William Henry Lee III, the Mayor of Delano, GA told a press conference Friday that the Water Maintenance Department (WMD) had suffered a 40% drop in revenues over the last year, forcing the city to seek emergency operating loans from the federal Water Protection Agency (WPA).
Lee announced that the preliminary investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Inquiry (GBI) indicated that the cause appears to be that someone has tampered with the smart water meters installed by the WMD two years ago. The investigation has been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Inquiry (FBI) because it is a Federal crime to tamper with municipal water systems.
Johnathan Quest, the spokesperson for the FBI, confirmed that an investigation of the Delano WMD was underway, but refused to discuss the on-going investigation.
A person close to the investigation, however, told this reporter that central management unit of the smart meter system had been hacked and used to reprogram the meters so that they reported smaller amounts of water usage than was really measured by the meters. It was apparently a pretty sophisticated attack with significant amounts of insider knowledge because the usage rates were reduced over a six-month period so that all customers were reportedly using only the maximum amount of water that would meet the minimum billing requirements.
Quest has stated that the FBI is looking to talk with Daniel Krumitz, a person of interest who used to work for Robotron Water Systems, the company contracted by Delano WMD to install the smart meter system. Robotron confirmed that Krumitz had work for them, but that he had left the company about a year ago.