Skip to comments.‘Smart’ city shuts off great-grandma’s water
Posted on 07/10/2013 7:40:34 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
MADISON Audrey Parker says she has paid her water bill on time for the past 20 years, but that didnt stop the city of Baraboo from shutting off the great-grandmothers water supply Tuesday.
The 81-year-old Parker says its because she wouldnt let the city replace her analog water meter with a new smart meter a battle shes fought with City Hall for more than a year now.
(Monday) I went to see the Mayor (Mike Palm). The cutoff day was this (Tuesday) morning and I thought the city might relent, Parker told Wisconsin Reporter. Yesterday they came and I wouldnt let them in.
City Hall vs. Grandma: Audrey Parker, 81, of Baraboo is fighting a one-woman battle against City Hall. The city shut off Parkers water Tuesday after she repeatedly refused the installation of a smart water meter. A little after 9 a.m. Tuesday, though, Parker left her house to go to the post office. When she returned she found a disconnect notice taped to her front door.
I saw the blue flag marking the water line and I said, Uh-oh, she said. I thought they might have relented, but not this time. Theyre trying to set an example of me.
Parker received similar notices over the past year, but the city didnt act on its threats.
Last September she went before the Baraboo Public Safety Committee to present her case to opt-out of the new meter.
Parker told the committee shes had heart palpitations since the city installed smart gas and electric meters outside her home in spring 2012, and that she had health and privacy concerns with the smart meter for her water.
And, she just doesnt like the city telling her what to do inside her own home.
The committee denied the opt-out and gave Parker two weeks to allow the city to change the meter. Those two weeks turned into more than nine months.
Smart meters use radio frequency waves to send usage information between a utility customers home and their utility company. The high-tech gauges are a key link in the transition to the Smart Grid, the shared initiative of the federal government and the energy industry to modernize the nations electricity transmission and distribution system. Theres a lot of taxpayer money involved in a myriad programs to bring the Smart Grid and smart meters online.
The U.S. Department of Energy has spent at least $$2.96 billion on Smart Grid projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus.
The use of radio frequency, the technology used in microwaves, cell phones, Wi-Fi networks and baby monitors, has some, like Parker, concerned about the long-term health effects.
Opponents of the meters cite anecdotal evidence of a variety of health-related problems, from migraines and nausea to insomnia, seizures and heart problems. They point to studies on cellphones as evidence of the danger of the technology in smart meters. A New York Times article noted that Researchers from the National Institutes of Health have found less than an hour of cellphone use can speed up brain activity, raising questions about the health effects of low levels of radiation emitted from cellphones.
Parker says she wont back down on refusing the smart meter, even if it means buying bottled water to drink and using rain barrel water to flush the toilet.
Ill get by without it, the octogenarian said, noting she was raised on a farm without running water. Theyve been heavy handed. Theyre not acting like public officials, theyre acting like totalitarians. I dont like to be threatened. Im not going to buckle.
I dont think people buckled when they built this country, she added.
Parker isnt alone in her resistance.
In Illinois, two women were arrested for interfering with smart meter installation, according to KATU.com in Portland, Ore. In Texas, a woman pulled a gun on a utility worker.
Baraboo city officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
I dont think people buckled when they built this country,
FReep Mail me of you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
They want to put a small radio transmitter so they can read the meter from the street and not have to demand entry to her house to read it.
This is not agenda 21. It’s a simple improvement in the way the city meters and bills for the water it supplies. There is no reason to get heart palpitations over it.
Go, Audrey! I really don’t think radio frequencies are a concern but 2+billion on energy conservation. Love to see how much landfill is used up with all the old water meters.
That’s the green movement scam-people throwing away perfectly good items for ‘green’ technology.
I applaud this lady.
I just found out that my rather reclusive cousin in CA (who is considered “odd” by the rest of the family) is in a similar battle with both the city, where she lives, and her younger brother who is supposed to watch over her. She refuses to connect the phone to receive calls and recently returned a cell phone (covered in tin foil) to her brother who had given it to her so she could call 911 in an emergency.
What she doesn’t know is that she has a smart meter on her home, and her brother can link to it (from another city 130 miles away) so that he can track her electricity useage to make sure that she is alive and well.
We all think she’s nuts, but maybe she’s smarter than all the rest of us put together. She’s getting along fine — nearly off the grid in the heart of a large city.
Why doesn’t the city put the smart meter out by the road? Seems like this would be a ‘smart’ solution that would accommodate both parties?
And her brother works for whom? The electric company?
Otherwise I would be interested to hear that this information is available to the public...
Her brother is a self employed architect. I don’t know how he does it, and I’m not going to ask. He is her guardian, but she resists all help. He has a way to link to her meter to see when the usage peaks, the variations throughout the day, etc. so that he is aware of movement in her house.
Since he’s kind of the caretaker, he likely has the account number.......log in via computer and “check your usage” - that’s the way they’re touting those things around here.
Tyranny comes to Maple Street.
They want to put a small radio transmitter so they can read the meter from the street and not have to demand entry to her house to read it.
This is not agenda 21. Its a simple improvement in the way the city meters and bills for the water it supplies. There is no reason to get heart palpitations over it.”””
Sorry- YOU are wrong.
I live rural—have since 1993.
I have had electric meters all that time, and the ‘meter reader’ doesn’t get out of his truck. He stops- punches some buttons on his ‘reader’ & my power usage is recorded for the monthly billing period.
He never sets foot inside my fence lines.
The SMART meters CAN & WILL be controllable by outside persons as to YOUR usage.
The usage can be restricted/lowered electronically anytime they wish.
I have lived on a PRIVATE well also since 1993. I have large animals- horses. We have had a 10 ++ day heat wave with temps over 110 degrees on many of those days. When the temp gets over 90, my horses drink plenty of water-—as much as 50 gallons EACH per day. Being told by ANYONE how much water my horses will be allowed will be grounds for shooting someone!!!
Control of every aspect of your life from behind the Washington Beltway is not their job!!!. Most of those fools don’t even know the difference between a horse & a pony!!!
E. Pluribus Unum ~:” UN Agenda 21 at work to eliminate all private property and individual freedom.”
Agenda 21 is a United Nations effort to control people and land by useing beige , benign ,neutral grammar.
The Agenda 21 ‘buzz words’ :
The city already controls your water. There is a valve in the street. They can turn it off anytime they want. Nothing will change for this woman if they put a transmitter on her meter.
Coast to Coast had someone on last night to explain Agenda 21. Pretty frightening.
Last time *I* checked, water meters, just like gas and electric meters, were installed on the EXTERIOR of a building. Hence, no need to demand entry to the house.
And there IS such a thing as RF sensitivity. Hell, I can tell when I’m near a high-tension line, and the same “spider-sense” saved an airman from microwave burns back when I wore the Blue Suit. . .
There are numerous arguments about “smart meters”, including the capability to reduce usage imposed externally on the consumer. That doesn’t even get into the well-observed conclusion that “smart” meters always show a significant increase in electrial usage over the perfectly-useful “manual-read” meters. . .
The water meter has been inside every house I ever lived in.
In cold country like Wisconsin you CAN’T put the water meter outside. It would freeze.
It doesn’t really matter - even if these things could prolong her life by 50 years, if her answer is no, then no is the answer.
Ours are underground, near the street.
“This is not agenda 21.”
Keep saying that until you find your electric and water shut off when you protest the government’s actions -like she did.
She was not shut off for non-payment, she was shut off for protesting government decisions.
Water is a public utility, not a government service. When the government controls it they eventually turn it into a service which they control on their terms as we see here.
This is a huge issue you’re missing.
In days of your, when an opposing force set out to conquer a walled, well-protected city, they would besiege it: surround it and cut off its food and water supplies and communication with those outside the city, essentially turning the walled city into a prison. No food. No water. No communications. No hope.
Nothing in that equation has changed for controlling a population: deny it food, water, and communication. The smart grid is all about who controls your access to the bare essentials of life: food, water, and communication.
Does anyone really trust that these bastards who control it really have our best interests at heart???
If so, I have some swamp land to sell you.
Should’ve spelled it “yore.” My bad.
there should be a manual overide to block any interference.
As a public works director and city engineer in a past life, we changed out all of the analog meters to what is known as ARM (Automatic Radio Meter) meters. They use low level radio frequency to transmit the meter usage to a laptop in the utility truck. What used to take 6 meter readers to do now only takes one, and also allows the “meter reader” to perform the normal daily assignment while the laptop passively collects the data.
I like to consider myself an anti-bureaucracy bureaucrat and have always looked for ways to make government operation more efficient. I know there are a lot of folks on FR who think any gubmint employees are a waste, but there are some of us that are committed to improve the system.
I can state for a fact that my system was in no way connected to any UN/NSA/Smart Grid, surveillance network!
“The usage can be restricted/lowered electronically anytime they wish.”
And that, IMO, is the big dirty secret of Agenda 21 -politically-selective rationing. They will game utilities to serve their interests. Water, electricity, garbage collection, and anything they control will be used to further their political goals under the guise of bs ‘sustainability’ initiatives.
Sustainability is just their bs term for politically-selective rationing.
All of your usage info is available to the public. If I gave you my name and address you could call my city’s billing department and they will tell you my usage. This is all public info.
The solution is for each house to have off grid power sources.
Just pass cosmetic overide expemption laws ala the sat dish laws. Solar Panels may not be stoped by any local code or ordinance of HOA. Some HOA’s stop solar due to beauty rules.
Solar can’t replaces but it can substitute.
There is no way that the ARM water meters can throttle the water volume for peak/non peak demands. That would require operating the valves connected to the meter and a more elaborate source of power for the required mechanical operation than for the low level radio frequency it emits.
Use of smart technology can allow a utility through an advanced SCADA system to turn on/off pumps from the water source as the demands increase/decrease. The old school method was to manually operate pumping systems based upon historical peak hour demands even though it may not be needed and this saves the utility money, which means utility rates don’t go up to cover these costs. These systems also provide alerts for repairs, etc.
Thank you Shotgun. This really is a simple convenience for the water authority and the consumer/homeowner to make it easier to read the meter. The whole “turn off power to your A/C on a hot afternoon” is a different issue. Even then, I’ve had a smart (electric) meter for several years and have yet to see an occasion when it was employed.
Huh. I had no idea...
The smart marketing would be to point out that fewer manual on/off switches mean fewer unionista employees.
Or that their time can be better spent doing real work as opposed to windshield time reading meters...
I was able to cut my staff from 6 to 4 and implement a preventative maintenance program.
thanks Shotgun For The Rational Descriptive Response On how AMR Water Meter Processing Functions The Power Needed To Turn Corroded Meter Valves Does Not Reside In AMR Systems
Many of them spend hours each day staring at a hole in the ground and a can of Shinola with a puzzled look on their faces....
I didn’t either until my mom started working for their city’s utility billing office. She could also shut off water, electricity, cable, and Internet with the stroke of a computer key. Frightening.
True, the meter goes inside (for you city folks) and a small plastic box is mounted on an outside wall. The box is connected to the meter by a small cord and contains the "readout" device. The boxes are easy to spot once you know what they look like. They are usually mounted about five feet off the ground, are about the size of a cigarette pack, and have a faceplate that's gray and blue.
If you don't like the "RF" idea, just wrap it in aluminum foil. They will probably send you an "estimated" bill that will make your jaw drop!
My electric and gas meters are both outside and smart. I'm on a deep well so there is no meter. I just got a postcard solicitation for insurance on my "entrance line" connecting my house to the city water main. It looked like a scam since we don't have city water anywhere near our neighborhood.