The City water utility currently uses mechanical water meters and water usage information for each meter is obtained via drive-by automatic meter reading that occurs monthly. This project will replace all existing mechanical water meters with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology incorporates hardware, software, communication tools and customer displays into a comprehensive system that measures, collects and analyzes water usage data. Replacing the City’s existing meters with AMI technology provides a cost-effective approach for enhancing customer service, improving water savings and providing near real-time water usage data to customers.
On February 7, 2024, the City Council awarded a construction contract to Ferguson Waterworks to implement the AMI project. Ferguson Waterworks and its subcontractor Concord Utility Services will be responsible for replacing approximately 4,500 mechanical water meters with new ultrasonic water meters that can provide and remotely transmit near real-time water usage data.
The AMI project consists of three parts. First, the contractor will conduct a pre-installation audit to inspect the condition of existing water meter boxes and confirm water meter sizes and quantities. Water service to our customer will not be affected. The City asks customers to please trim any overgrown landscaping and remove objects that might be blocking access to the water meter box. After the audit, the contractor will procure new water meters and then proceed to replace the existing water meters. Customers will be given advance notice of the date of their scheduled water meter replacement. Once all water meters have been replaced, the City’s utility billing system will be updated and a new online portal will be activated so that customers can access, track and help reduce their water usage. All water meters will be replaced by late Fall 2024, and a new online account portal for customers will be activated by the end of 2024.
Funding for the AMI project was included in the 2023 Water Rate Study adopted by Council on August 2, 2023. The cost to implement AMI has already been factored into current approved water rates. Also, funding for this project has been provided in part from the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 and through an agreement with the State Department of Water Resources.
On February 5, 2018, the City Council approved the 2018 Water Master Plan Update which included a detailed analysis of the City’s water system including supply reliability, well resilience, public safety and a cost-effective plan for renewal and replacement of vital infrastructure. One of the recommended projects was to replace the City’s mechanical water meters with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology. The AMI project is included in the adopted Five-Year 2023-2028 Capital Improvement Program (included in the Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Adopted Budget) to implement this key project recommended in the 2018 Water Master Plan Update.