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More city residents opting for cost saving water meters

Updated: January 30, 2013 6:08AM

Nearly 12,000 water meters were installed in Chicago households this year as the popularity of the city’s MeterSave program continued its growth.

And there’s even a four-week waiting period to get one installed.

The city’s Department of Water Management officials say this year’s total exceeded their goals for installation.

“We hope to see it grow every year and word of mouth is spreading,” department spokesman Tom LaPorte said. “The word is getting out that people are saving money. We have as many as 90 percent of people who are getting these meters saving money and telling neighbors about it.”

The number of installations under the program has grown dramatically since it began in 2009. From 438, it rose to 3,590 households by 2010, to more than 8,000 in 2011.

The city says homeowners who have water meters are saving an average of 50 to 60 percent on their water bills. Under the program that offers free water meter installations, homeowners only pay for the water they use as measured by meters, and are encouraged to conserve water.

Under the old non-metered billing, a formula was used to predict water use and customers paid in advance for unlimited use.

LaPorte said the department also offers a seven-year guarantee that water charges won’t go higher than what they would have been if the meter had not been installed.

Interested homeowners can register with their water bill account information by calling 311 or visiting

Tina Sfondeles

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