Why is my water meter being replaced?
Water meters typically have a life of 20 years. The City is investing in its infrastructure to replace old meters and upgrade reading technology to an Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system to provide enhanced customer service, including quicker detection of water leaks in the home. Water meters are being replaced at no cost to Highland Park residents.
What is AMR?
AMR stands for Automated Meter Reading. The City is replacing existing old water meters with new meters that utilize AMR technology to remotely read water meters and relay the data to the City’s Finance-Water Billing system, providing timely and reliable reading without having to gain access to your property.
How does the Automated Meter Reading (AMR) work?
A small box called a Meter Interface Unit (MIU), or transmitter, is installed on the interior of your house or business near your water meter. It is connected to your new water meter inside your home and transmits a radio signal to a data collector, which is then transmitted to the City. Each meter has a unique identification number that ensures only your reading is assigned to your account. This system reduces the need for meter readers to manually gather meter readings. For those households or businesses whose meters are in meter pits in the front yard, the MIU unit will be installed in the meter pit.
Will my water bill increase?
The water rate will not change as part of this project. Property owners will be billed for actual water used, so the bill could change if previous meter reading was under-reporting or over-reporting actual usage. The new metering system ensures equality for all customers by measuring and billing residents and businesses accurately.
How much will the system cost me?
There is no charge for the installation. Automated Meter Reading (AMR) is designed to help control costs by increasing meter reading accuracy and efficiency.
Does Automated Meter Reading (AMR) have any other benefits for me?
Yes. AMR improves accuracy. It also eliminates the need for manually reading meters, except for periodical maintenance or replacement of system components, when needed. This allows the City to be more efficient and save money by preventing recording errors. The water meter replacement project also supports the City’s sustainability goals.
The City is in the process of implementing a website tool for the City and residents to monitor and manage water usage. The tool will allow residents to identify potential leaks and provide alerts to reduce costly repairs and water bills. The City is also in the process of reviewing the quarterly billing cycle to further assist residents with managing their water consumption or potential leaks. More information on this tool will be available in the summer, 2019.
Will the radio frequency interfere with my television or phones?
No, the radio transmission operates in compliance with FCC regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices.
Is AMR new technology?
AMR technology has been used for several years and is being used across the country with much success.
Will my information be secure?
Yes, only meter consumption readings and meter numbers are transmitted. Personal customer information is not loaded into the transmitter and therefore will not be transmitted.
How do I know that my reading is accurate?
Each radio frequency device has a unique identification number, which is transmitted along with the meter reading. The unique number is compared to your account record to ensure a match. This reading is deemed more accurate than visually reading the meter.
What if I have questions or concerns?
If you have questions about the project or your water service, contact Bill Painter, the Water Distribution Foreman, at 847.926.1151