The Western Virginia Water Authority is replacing every water meter in its system — about 58,000 in all — and that explains the black plastic caps you may now see attached to water meter covers. They protect transmitters that are part of the new meters which wirelessly send close to real-time information on each customer’s water use. Officials say it will help them detect and repair leaks much more quickly. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones.

(Continue reading for a larger photo of the water meter cover and new plastic cap.)

The black plastic cap protects a transmitter attached to each new water meter.