AMI Water Meter Replacement Project
Iredell Water Corporation (IWC) will begin replacing all residential and commercial water meters beginning in October 2021. The new meters will allow IWC to install Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) that will provide better customer service, reduce operational costs and reduce water loss in the system. These new meters will automatically transmit readings wirelessly, meaning IWC can be more efficient and reduce water system costs. Iredell Water's current AMR drive-by meter system, which was installed in 2008, has reached its end-of-life, with over half of the meter transmitter batteries failing at this time. Our maintenance staff is currently reading over half the water system manually. This new AMI meter system will prevent manual reading errors, speed the meter reading and billing process, and eliminate time-consuming manual re-reads altogether.
IWC has awarded the installation contract to perform this meter upgrade to Fortiline, Inc with G2 Utilities being the installation contractor.
About the Meter and AMI System
The IWC selected Kamstrup meters due to their experience and excellent performance record and benefits their system provides to the IWC. Each Kamstrup meter is covered by a factory-backed 20-year warranty. The Kamstrup water meters accurately measure and record water usage data and then wirelessly transmit the data to the IWC billing system. Utilizing this new system, meter readings will be collected daily, as opposed to the current monthly data collection frequency. By collecting meter reading information more frequently both IWC and its customers will be alerted to abrupt or abnormal changes in water usage much earlier than previously possible.
Water Meter Installers
When the contractor comes to change out a water meter, they will knock on the door and show the homeowner the identification card issued to them by Fortiline Waterworks and G2 Utilities. All employees will have this ID in their possession. Contractors will also drive vehicles that have the G2 Utilities corporate logo on them along with Iredell Water Corporation’s logo. Customers are encouraged to call IWC at 704-876-0672 or G2 Utilities at 252-399-9125 if they have questions about installers.
The Meter Replacement Project will take approximately 9 to 12 months to complete, installation is expected to begin in October.
Iredell Water Corporation has selected Fortiline Waterwork, Inc., to:
- Implement a $3.5 million Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project
- Replace over 9,700 water meters with new water meters
- Improve the efficiency of meter reading
- Install advanced leak detection system on water meters
The improved and more efficient meter reading operations utilizing AMI technologies can help conserve water, improve customer service and reliability, maximize capital budgets, protect property and reduce operating costs.
How It Will Work
Meter Replacement Procedure
In most cases, meter change out is a simple procedure that requires less than 15 minutes.
- The contractor, G2 Utilities., will be operating between the hours of 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday
- It will take approximately 10 - 15 minutes to replace each meter and water services will be briefly interrupted during installation
- E-mail and/or text message notifications will be distributed 2 weeks before the contractor begins installing in the area
- The contractor will leave a door hanger after the work is completed
- Please clear the area around the meter when contractors are scheduled to arrive
- Residents are not required to be present during the meter replacement
- If your meter is not accessible or if you have special needs, please contact Iredell Water at 704-876-0672
Frequently Asked Questions
What is AMI?
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) allows water utilities to gather utility usage data from their customers, both residential and commercial, without manually reading meters. The utility improves services and saves money by minimizing the costs associated with reading individual residential and commercial meters while allowing time to do other required maintenance activities. In addition, Advanced Metering Infrastructure improves data accuracy and helps identify irregularities.
Why is Iredell Water undertaking this effort?
Automated meter systems are quickly becoming the standard for utilities around the country. The new devices allow for more accurate and faster collection of water usage readings than the current manual method or drive-by method and improve safety conditions for IWC staff. Currently, utility employees must open every meter box to obtain a reading from the meter or drive through the system to get the radio reads. Introducing AMI as the standard for Iredell Water is one of the ways we can better serve our customers and improve the overall efficiency of the Corporation.
How many meters will be changed?
IWC is replacing over 9,700 meters.
Will the electronic device on the meter interfere with other electronic equipment?
No. The radio transmission operates in compliance with FCC regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices.
Do I have to be home for the meter replacement work?
No. Since the water meters are located outside of the home you will not need to be home for the replacement work. No employee or contractor should ever enter your home.
What happens if I have a problem after the installation?
If you have a leak, low pressure, or some other problem after the installation you should contact G2 Utilities at 252-399-9125 to report your concern. Because your water will be turned off temporarily during the meter change process, you may experience a brief period of air or discolored water. In most cases, briefly running your cold water will clear this situation.
Why is the water meter being replaced?
To upgrade the meter to one capable of communicating with the AMI equipment and as an extension of an existing program to replace aging meters after they have reached the end of their life cycle. With the introduction of newer technology, the existing meters are not able to communicate using AMI technology. The newer meters will save labor time, prevent recording errors, minimize wear and tear on vehicles, and minimize the need for IWC employees to access the meter pit.
Does the meter have to be replaced?
Yes. All meters will be changed to be read by the automated metering infrastructure technology.
Has the new AMI equipment been tested for accuracy and reliability?
Yes. Meters come pretested along with results directly from the manufacturer. The radio device will be tested for accuracy during the meter collection process regularly.
How does AMI benefit customers?
By improved customer service by increasing the accuracy of meter readings. An increased number of readings throughout the month will also allow for the early notification of leaks which will save customers money. Reading remotely will also minimize the need to access meters at the property.
Will my water bill go up?
Possibly. Older meters tend to lose accuracy as they age and therefore do not measure all the water going through them. The new water meter will accurately measure the water that you use. All new meters are tested before delivery by the manufacturer to ensure that they register properly. If you see a higher bill immediately upon the new meter installation, it is likely the old meter was running slow.
Can I cover up the meter after the installation?
No. Access needs to be available at all times. There will still be occurrences when meter technicians will visit the meter on-site to perform routine maintenance or verify high readings. Obstructions to the meter box are subject to removal by IWC personnel.
What if something is blocking or in front of the meter?
Please keep access to the water meter available at all times to ensure it is accessible for any potential emergency that would require the meter to be turned off.
How will I know that you have my reading & not someone else's?
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.
Does this mean no more meter readers?
No. Iredell Water Corporation currently uses our Maintenance staff to read meters. The Maintenance staff will now be able to focus on routine services, maintenance, repairs, and new service installations throughout the water system. They will also continue to respond to water emergencies.
Please call Iredell Water Corporation at 704-876-0672 with any questions or feedback.