News Flash

City News

Posted on: March 20, 2019

Water Meter Reading System Replacement

watermeter

Water Meter Installation and Replacement VIDEO

Starting on Friday, March 22, the City of Buda will begin the process of installing and replacing the City’s water meter system.  The City will be working with Siemens Industry, Inc. to install and replace the water meters. The new system will enable customers to see their consumption data in real-time as opposed to having to request their consumption data from the City. This will also give citizens control over their consumption by enabling customers to set usage alerts and leak warnings.     

Please help us save time by cleaning up and pruning the landscape located near your meter box.

Frequently Asked Questions  

Does my meter have to be replaced?
Yes. All meters will be changed in order to be compatible with the new advanced metering infrastructure system. Customers cannot choose to remain on the older automated meter reading system.

What is AMI?
AMI stands for Advanced Metering Infrastructure. It is a method of using communication technology to read meters remotely without having to access the meter located in meter boxes in the ground.

How is AMI different from our current metering system?
Our current metering system also automatically reads the meter and sends the information back to the Utility Billing department. The current system was installed over 10 years ago and is no longer supported. Customers also can't view their consumption on a daily basis. Some of the benefits of AMI include:

· Empowers the customer to have direct access to their data so that they can better manage their usage.

· Improves customer service by increasing accuracy and frequency of meter readings.

· Minimizes need to access meters at the property.

· Allows customers to detect leaks allowing for quicker repairs which will save them money.

· Allows customers to set usage alerts on their account before high bills are received.

· Helps the customer and the City achieve water conservation goals.


Will the electronic device on the meter interfere with other electronic equipment?
No. The radio transmission operates in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices, and is similar to the current system already in place for the past decade.

Do I have to be home for the meter replacement work?
No. Since the water meters are located outside of the home in the City right-of-way, you will not need to be home for the replacement work. It will take 20-30 minutes to change a meter. Technicians will check to see if anyone is home before starting the installation process. 

What do I need to do to prepare for the installation? 
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. Be careful during the fall foliage season to not cover your water meter with piles of leaves, and trim back any vegetation around the meter box throughout the year.

How do I know when my meter will be changed? 
Meter replacement will start towards the end of March and take several months to complete. Weekly updates on where meter replacements are occurring will be posted on the City’s webpage dedicated to this project: ci.buda.tx.us/watermeterreplacement.

Can I access daily readings online? 
Yes, when the system is fully implemented in the summer of 2019, water customers will have the ability to access their daily water consumption online in one hour increments.  The City intends to do a public awareness notice and publish instructions for online account access nearer to the completion date of the meter installation process. 

How can I access the web portal to take control of my usage? 
Customers will be provided with information related to how they can sign up for the customer web portal in April.

Has this new AMI equipment been tested for accuracy and reliability? 
Yes. Meters come pretested along with results directly from the manufacturer. The radio tower component will be tested for accuracy during the meter collection process regularly. Several dozen meters will be randomly selected each year and tested to see if performance standards continue to be achieved. 

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 electronically to ensure a match. 

Will the new device affect my bill?
There is no additional cost to the customer for the new system. The older meters may undercount consumption. Most customers will not notice a difference in their consumption and bill.  

For additional information on water meter installation and replacement please visit our website at https://www.ci.buda.tx.us/588/Advanced-Metering-Infrastructure. For questions please contact the City of Buda Utilities Department at 512-295-8845.


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