Stop MDC Requiring Smart Radio Frequency Water Meters
The Metropolitan District is in the midst of a campaign to install radio frequency meters, aka “Smart Meters”, in all homes in their service area. This campaign includes the threat of shutting off water service for households not complying. However, a number of serious issues are attached to smart meter usage, including: - The potential for health related issues due to the radiation in radio frequency waves. - A history of inaccuracies resulting in gross over-billing that has been reported in other states utilizing this technology. - Reports that these meters are potential fire hazards. - Invasion of privacy by monitoring private household activities. Dr. David O. Carpenter, former Founding Dean of the University at Albany School of Public Health said when asked to comment on radio frequency meters, “Public fears about wireless smart meters are well-founded. They are backed by various medical authorities such as those of the Santa Cruz County, California, Public Health Department. These authorities are worried about the growing number of citizens who say they have developed electrohypersensitivity (EHS), especially since for many of them, the symptoms developed after the installation of such meters.” Dr. Carpenter also cited reports by Australian Associate Professor of Neurosurgery Vini G. Khurana documenting adverse neurological effects reported by individuals sustaining close proximity to wireless meters, especially under 10 feet. EMF Safety Network, a California-based environmental protection organization, conducted a survey of 443 households in 2011 to evaluate the impact of radio frequency meters on public health and safety. Their findings do not bode well for Smart Meters. For instance, 49% of people reported that they have developed sleep problems since having the meter installed in their homes. 40% reported headaches. 38% complained of developing ringing in their ears. After having these meters in their homes, 40% of survey participants complained to their utility provider. The complete results can be found on the EMF Safety Network website, http://emfsafetynetwork.org. Beyond potential health risks, privacy threats are also a question. Radio frequency meters have the capability to collect and store data related to daily household usage of the utility involved. The MDC has not adequately disclosed the particular recording and transmission capabilities of the radio frequency meters. Neither has it supplied information on the degree of the data that will be recorded, how long it will be kept, and whether not the data will be shared. Would the data collected be available to the NSA? One may argue that we are bombarded with various radio wave type technologies daily, such as cell phones. However, cell phone users do so by choice and not by government mandate. We do not believe that a publicly owned, government-run utility have the right to deprive American citizens of the water they need for survival in order to achieve compliance with their will. This threat looms large on the MDC website reading, “Customers who ignore repeated contact attempts may have their water service shut off”. Again, local government has no right to demand that private citizens be forced to install potentially dangerous and intrusive equipment on their private property. Numerous utilities in other states have enacted opt-out programs for citizens who do not wish to have these meters in their homes. This seems reasonable and, more importantly, Constitutional. We, therefore, petition the MDC to a) enact an opt-out policy for their water meter program and b) cease threatening citizens with withholding of water for non-compliance.