Advanced Metering Infrastructure Project
About the Advanced Metering Infrastructure Project - General Information
- Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) technology is an example of the City of Anna’s commitment to maintaining a high quality of life for our citizens through cost-effective, innovative programs
- The AMI system replaces monthly manual water meter reads with a wireless system that collects multiple remote meter reads per day, allowing for better leak detection, increased billing accuracy, regular billing intervals and improved customer service.
- Our community’s drinking water will remain safe throughout the project.
- Advanced metering supports the City’s commitment to cost-effective customer service by enhancing our ability to detect leaks; and providing customers with information on water use so that they can manage their water consumption.
- As has always been the case, the City of Anna will continue protecting the privacy of utility customer information according to all state and federal laws.
- With advanced metering, the same water consumption information is collected that we already collect today, but more efficiently and effectively by relying on advanced technology.
- Advanced metering will enable our customer service department to better serve you and answer your questions regarding water usage and billing.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Can you explain the installation process?
- The project includes replacing approximately 4,500 residential and commercial water meters with new, technologically advanced meters that can communicate usage data via wireless technology directly to the City’s utility billing system.
- All meters in Anna’s utility service area, including domestic water and irrigation meters will be read using the advanced metering system.
- Installation of the new meter should take 15 minutes but no more than 30 minutes in most cases, with your water service being unavailable during that time.
- The City of Anna and our contractors are committed to minimizing impacts caused by this important project and will ensure that interruptions in water service are kept to no more than 15 minutes in most cases.
- To ensure that the installation is complete and to clear potential debris in the line, workers will briefly flush the line at your outside faucet briefly (usually no longer than 1-2 minutes).
- While most of the work will occur within public right-of-way and easements, the City’s contractor will restore as close to original condition as is practicable, any area impacted by the installation.
- Before temporarily interrupting individual water services, crews will make every effort to ensure that doing so will not impose an undue hardship on the customer. Such efforts will include observing the meter to ascertain whether water is being used and communicating with the customer regarding the installation when the customer is present at the premise.
- All workers will be easily identifiable as either City workers or the City’s contractor. Contract workers will have the words “J & J Plumbing” clearly visible on their vests and vehicles.
- Before leaving the site, a door notice will be left at the front entrance to the property informing the resident of the status of the visit – installation complete, installation pending, unable to access water meter, or other.
2. Do I need to do anything to prepare for the installation?
- To help keep workers safe, please ensure that dogs and any other domestic pets are confined to areas away from your meter box.
- Always keep meter box lids unobstructed by vehicles, trash carts or other items.
3. How will I be informed when the installation is taking place at my home or business?
- A project sign will be placed at the entrance to your subdivision (where applicable) no less than three business days prior to installation.
- Customers can check where installations are occurring by checking a webpage that is updated each week on the City’s website.
4. Who is doing the work?
The project is being managed for the City by Neptune Technology Group and HD Supply. HD Supply is responsible for the day-to-day execution of the project, including recommending equipment and materials, selecting vendors and contractors, overseeing installation, and ensuring the highest level of customer satisfaction.
The City of Anna will be working closely with the contractors to ensure a successful project.
Contractors working on the project will carry proper identification and will have successfully completed a background check.
Contractors will not need to enter residential buildings, nor will they be asking for any form of payment from customers.
5. How does the system work?
- The system works via wireless signals sent from a radio unit that is connected to the water meter.
- The meter radio unit sends readings to regional collector units that then transmit the meter reading data to the City’s utility billing system.
- Regional collectors will generally be located on existing elevated water tanks within the city.
6. How does this system benefit customers?
- Currently, every month, city staff has to manually visit approximately 4,900 homes or businesses to read meters. The advanced metering system will take vehicles off the road, significantly reducing costs.
- The system eliminates the need to add more meter reading personnel as our City continues to grow.
- They system enables the City to provide you, our valued customer, with data that you can then use to manage your water consumption.
- Thanks to its advanced technology and backup systems in the field, the new system will provide accurate, timely water use data regardless of weather conditions or power outages.
7. How much does this cost?
- The total budget for the project is approximately $1.3 million, and is being funded through a 10-year lease-purchase.
- Once the project is fully implemented, the City will no longer require 3 to 4 staff members to manually read water meters for several days each month. These employees will then be available to provide more proactive customer service and perform regular water system maintenance. The increased maintenance will also result in savings over time.
8. What happens with the current meters and equipment?
- The existing meters being replaced during the project will be sold and the proceeds returned to the Utility Fund to offset future capital infrastructure costs.
- The new water meters and radio units will remain the property of the City and the City will continue to perform the required maintenance on the units.
9. Will wireless technology affect my health or privacy?
- The new meters will not negatively affect health or privacy.
- The data collected by the metering system is limited to water consumption data and is no different than what is collected today by the City of Anna and many cities in our area.
- The wireless portions of the system will be operated according to Federal Communications Commission rules, and will not interfere with other radio frequencies in the area. The transmitters use one-quarter of the power of a cellphone. The amount of exposure to radio waves decreases with distance from the source. Exposure to radio waves from advanced metering is minuscule when compared to cellphones that we regularly carry in our pocket. In addition, transmission time for the units we are installing totals 15 seconds per day.
10. Are new water meters more accurate than my current water meter?
- If your water meter is old, it is likely that it has not been registering all of your water use, and a new meter will register the amount of water you are actually using. Most of the meters to be replaced are relatively new and customers should not see a noticeable increase or change.
11. Where can I get more information?
- Call the City Public Works Department anytime at (972) 924-4510 with questions or feedback.