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Municipal government / Software / Technology

Baltimore DPW is implementing new water billing software

Starting November 20, DPW is implementing RouteSmart software. Some customers could see a one-time change in their bill.

Water billing has been a consistent issue in Baltimore city in recent years. (Photo by Flickr user Steve Johnson, used under a Creative Commons license)

Starting on Friday, the Baltimore Department of Public Works (DPW) is rolling out new software that it expects to improve billing systems.

Called RouteSmart, the system will help with the city’s automated meter reading technology, according to DPW.

“The RouteSmart software will enable DPW to optimize the City’s automated meter technology by regrouping the way we collect our readings, record usage and the order in which we issue bills to our customers,” said Aacting DPW Director Matthew W. Garbark said in a statement.

The software will allow DPW to regroup meter readings and record usage by ZIP code. It is expected to streamline the process of billing. Per DPW, this doesn’t have an impact on the city’s smart meters, which recently had operations moved to a private company several years after installation, as the mayor noted continued struggles.

When the software is implemented on November 20, some customers might see one-time change to their water bill. Some will have a billing period longer than 28 days, and others will have a shorter billing period. The billing change will appear on bills received after November 20. In bills going forward, it will be the regular monthly water bill time length.

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.

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