The District is implementing Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) water meters as part of its meter replacement program. Automatic meter reading, or AMR, is the technology of automatically collecting consumption, diagnostic, and status data from the water meter. This data is collected by a handheld device which is transferred to a database for billing, troubleshooting, and analyzing. Our meter readers and billing personnel handle a large volume of data and entering that data manually increases the chance for human error.
Radio Frequency (RF) based meter reading usually eliminates the need for the meter reader to enter the property or facility, or to locate and open an under-ground meter pit. The utility saves money by increased speed of reading, safer reading methods, and has fewer missed readings from being unable to access the meter.
The District has employed a two-way or “wake up” system, where the radio signal is sent to the AMR meter’s unique serial number, instructing its transceiver to power-up and transmit its data. This transmitting occurs quarterly when the District performs its meter reading. The water meter is continuously collecting information, but its data is not transmitted until a signal is sent to the meter from a handheld device.
In handheld AMR, a meter reader carries a handheld computer with a built-in or attached receiver/transceiver to collect meter readings from an AMR capable meter. This is sometimes referred to as “walk-by” meter reading since the meter reader walks or drives by the locations where meters are installed as they go through their meter reading route. The District’s metering system communicates over a licensed spectrum with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and are in complete compliance with FCC rules and regulations.
So, if you observe a District employee replacing your water meter you now have some knowledge of the District’s meter replacement program and AMR. As a courtesy, District staff who are replacing meters knock on the customer’s door if there is an interruption of service. All water meters, whether located on private property, in public rights-of-way, or in utility easements are owned and maintained by the District. The protection of all meters and meter vaults (concrete rectangle box with metal access lid) located on private property shall be the responsibility of the property owner.
Benefits of AMR
- Lowers the cost of meter reading
- Provides real-time billing information, reducing estimated readings and re-billing costs
- Provides safer reading methods
- Reduces billing errors and disputes
- Enables flexible reading schedules, eliminating delays in billing
- Reduces customer complaint calls and increases customer satisfaction
- Monitors tampering and theft
- Promotes energy conservation and customer savings with time-of-use consumption
- Increases information about usage and empowers customers to conserve resources and save money