What is an AMR?
Every water customer has a meter in their home or business that registers water usage for billing purposes. All revenues from these funds are used to not only offset the water costs, but also to maintain and invest in the systems, equipment, and personnel that deliver the water. Water consumption is also used to determine your sanitary sewer bill, which raises the necessary revenue to transport and treat the waste from your residence.
In the past, meter readers would go door-to-door and manually read the dials on the meter inside the house or business to determine billing. As technology improved, Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) devices were installed to digitally transmit the usage data by a reading device in a truck that captures the data as it drives by on a monthly basis. This improves efficiency by reducing both time and costs for meter reading.
Why is the Village replacing AMRs?
Current AMRs are powered by batteries with a life span between 8 and 20 years, depending on the model. When the battery expires, remote meter reading becomes impossible, and a meter reader has to revert to the old method of entering a house or business to manually document the water usage and change out the old AMR. Over 80% of residential meters are now more than 12 years old, meaning most of them are well past their expected lifespan. As these old AMRs fail, Public Works employees replace them with the new 20-year models. Unfortunately, the failure rate of the older models is increasing as time goes by.
In response, the Village has budgeted for a proactive AMR replacement program over the next 3 – 4 years, with a goal of replacing about 2,500 units per year starting in summer 2018. These improvements will ensure that all metered water usage is efficiently accounted for and billed as accurately as possible so we can continue to safely, efficiently, and sustainably deliver water to you.
How will this impact me?
Most customers will be receiving notification sometime in the next few years to make an appointment for a Village employee to replace their AMR. In most instances, this change-out should only take twenty minutes and does not interrupt water service.
Who Do I Contact for More Information?
If you have any questions or received a notice to schedule an appointment, please contact our Public Works Department at (630) 871-6263.