Weston Municipal Utilities began the implementation of its system-wide Automated Meter Reading (AMR) implementation on November 6.
There are numerous components for this project, with the main ones being:
- Installation of radio transmitters at all locations without them (approx. 3,970)
- Installation of centrally located, “fixed base,” equipment to read the meters—
- Implementation of diagnostic software to obtain information about water usage at customers’ locations
- Software allowing customers access to information about their meter referred to as customer portal software
In addition to replacing meters and installing radio transmitters, a cross connection inspection will be conducted at all residential properties. The cross connection inspection is a requirement of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Village’s municipal code, at the time of a meter replacement. The intent of these inspections is to eliminate locations in homes where nonpotable water could potentially be siphoned back into the potable water system. The inspectors will point out such locations, provide educational literature, and also provide hose bib vacuum breakers, if needed.
The project requires an on-site visit to all 5,000+ customers in the Village in a 6- to 9-month period beginning November 6. This is a task that would not be possible for the Village to accomplish with its own staff due to the short implementation schedule and the number of locations to be visited. Therefore, the Village has partnered with HydroCorp of New Berlin, Wisconsin, to perform the residential and other small meter visits for this project. Village staff will be performing the replacements for the 1 1/2"″ and larger meters.
The success and timely completion of this project is dependent on the cooperation of our customers.
The process requires that HydroCorp installers/inspectors be given access to homes to accomplish the meter changes and cross-connection inspections and that someone over the age of 18 be present during the visit. Visits are expected to last between 30 and 45 minutes.
When you receive a letter, please respond promptly to schedule an appointment. HydroCorp has developed a plan to systematically work through the utility service area, so customers will be receiving letters at different times. There is no need to contact HydroCorp until you receive your appointment letter.
Information about the project and a map showing the expected general progress of the project can be obtained from page 2 of the FAQs at www.westonwi.gov/MeterProjectFAQs. The benefits of implementing the AMR system include re-allocating meter-reading labor to other utility needs, more accurate meter reading, the ability to transition to monthly meter reading, and others. However, the bottom line is that customer service will be improved by providing better information about customer accounts for the benefit of utility customers.