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Automated Meter Reading Project - FAQs

What is AMR?

Automated Water Meter Reading (AMR) is the technology of automatically collecting consumption, diagnostic, and status data from devices with the ability to store and transfer data to a central database for billing purposes.

Why is the District implementing an AMR Project?

The implementation of AMR is a result of many factors as detailed below:

  1. The existing mechanical water meters have far exceeded their service life with an average age of more than 33 years, resulting in an approximate 25 percent recording inaccuracy;
  2. Current meter reading techniques require significant staff resources from field to office staff; and
  3. Water regulations require the District to accurately track water use and water loss.

How is the AMR project being funded?

Funding for the AMR project is being generated from two sources as detailed below:

  1. In July 2021 the District secured a low interest loan totaling $1,726,046 through the California State Water Resources Control Board (CSWRCB) Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF); and
  2. In August the District secured a grant totaling $500,000 through the Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant Program.

Customers will not see any AMR associated charges on their bill.

 

When does the AMR project begin and when is it expected to be completed?

In September 2021, the District Board of Directors approved a contract with Ferguson Waterworks for the implementation of AMR project.  The  completion of the AMR Project will occur in phases as follows:

  1. Existing water meter audit.  This phase of the project is in progress and is anticipated to be completed in January 2022.
  2. Meter installation.  This phase of the project is scheduled to begin March 2022 and expected to continue through June 2022.

How does the installation work?

One week prior to installation the customer will be notified by Ferguson Waterworks of scheduled meter replacement.  District contractors remove the existing meter and replace with new meter.  Often this is completed without removing the meter box, but if damaged the meter box will also be replaced.  The installation process is completed in approximately 30-40 minutes.

If I notice a problem after installation, whom should I contact?

If you notice a problem after installation, please call the office at (530) 333-4346

How does the AMR system work?

Water meters internally record and store consumption data.  District staff will regularly collect the data using drive-by radio technologies for transfer to District billing software.

What information is transmitted, and is my account information secure?

The AMR system only transmits the water meter readings, the meter identification number and diagnostic information to verify the equipment is operating correctly.  Personal customer information is not transmitted.  For additional security, the data is encrypted and transmitted over a privately licensed radio frequency channel.

How will I know if my water bill is accurate?

The meters are tested by the manufacture and comply with the American Water Works Association standards.  Meter software is programed to flag any unusually use data, often associated with a break, for customer notification.

Will I be able to read my own meter?

Meters are equipped with digital display to facilitate in person reading.

Is the AMR technology safe?

AMR technology will not negatively affect your health.  The wireless portion of the system is operated per Federal Communications Commission rules and will not interfere with other radio frequencies in the area.  The transmitters use one-quarter the power of a cellphone transmission.

How long will this device work?

The life expectancy of the devices installed in the field is a minimum of 20 years.  Periodic inspection and maintenance will be performed to ensure all devices are performing as expected.

 

If you have any questions regarding the installation process, please contact the District’s Water Resources Manager, Adam Brown at (530) 333-4356 ext. 110.

Automated Meter Reading - FAQs