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Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Project

A rusty water meter cover next to a digital water meter display showing a very low reading.

Customer Billing

Installing AMI meters is an exciting opportunity for the District to provide customers with real time water usage information. During the transition, CCWD is working diligently to assure customers are billed accurately.

CUSTOMER BILLING INFORMATION: The bills most customers are now receiving reflects consumption utilized on your new AMI meter. Although you were not charged for the new meter and your water rate did not change at the time of the upgrade, you may see an increase in your bill because the new meters record consumption more accurately than the old meters. As water meters age, they tend to run slower and may not measure all of the water going through them. Most of the old water meters owned by CCWD are more than 20 years old and at the end of their functional life. Therefore, depending on the age and accuracy of your current meter, you may see an increase in your bill based on more accurate readings.

If your property does not yet have an AMI meter, you will continue to be billed consumption from your old, analog meter until it is replaced. For questions about billing, please contact customer service at 209-754-3543 or customerservice@ccwd.org.

Current Project Status

Network Installation: Contractors are currently setting up network installation equipment throughout the District. This includes connectors, repeaters and solar panels that are vital for data to be transferred from your meter to the CCWD administrative office. All networking equipment is placed within public utility easements or on CCWD property. Network installation should be completed by Spring, 2022.

Meter Installation: Meter installs began the week of August 23rd in the Ebbetts Pass Service Area. Keystone Utility Systems is our subcontractor who are conducting meter installations throughout the District.  Keystone has completed most meter installs throughout the District, and all meters are scheduled to be installed by Summer, 2022.  When your new meter is installed, a door tag will be placed on your door informing you.

About the AMI Project

Currently, CCWD utilizes dated manual-read meters. District staff read the meters every two months. The AMI system will use advanced meters that can send usage data through a wireless network to the CCWD office. The meters will send data use in real time, as needed (usually once per day). A new software system will keep track of usage and averages for each customer. All data is collected securely and does not contain a customer’s personal information.

How AMI Works

A diagram showing data transfer between a home, a meter, a communications tower, and an office building.

An advanced metering system uses a wireless network to provide detailed data that is easily accessible online by customers and CCWD staff.

  • Advanced water meters transmit real time water use data over a wireless network.
  • CCWD Staff can access data and more detailed reports about water use throughout the district.
  • Customers can access data from a web portal

Learn more about your meter

CCWD installed three different types of AMI meters. To learn more about your meter and how to read it, click on the image that looks like your meter. If you do not know what type of meter you have, contact customer service at 209-754-3524 or customerservice@ccwd.org. A representative will be able to look up your account and confirm which type of meter you have.

A digital gas meter displaying a reading of 2937 ppm.
SSM Meter
A digital water meter reading "0000000.185" with "NO FLOW" status displayed, indicating no water usage at the moment.
SSR Meter
A water meter showing usage in cubic feet, labeled "Mueller Systems ME-8 Model 420."
 ME-8 Meter

Meter Accuracy Test

Put your highly accurate AMI meter to the test.

The advanced technology of AMI provides water agencies and customers with the confidence of highly accurate metering of water consumption. A simple way to gauge your meters accuracy is to conduct a five-gallon bucket test. All you need to do is grab a five-gallon bucket, a hose, and locate your water meter to mark a beginning and ending read. Here is a quick video tutorial on how to conduct a five-gallon bucket test.

*** Please note that a five-gallon bucket holds a little more than five gallons. Typically, five gallons reaches one inch below the top of the bucket. If you want to be more precise, you can mark out exactly five gallons in your bucket using a measuring cup (16 cups = 1 gallon). Another way to get exactly five gallons is to use a bathroom scale.

1 gallon of water = 8.34 pounds, 5 gallons = 41.7 pounds plus the weight of the empty bucket. Therefore, weigh the bucket first, and then add 41.7lbs to that value.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AMI Technology? 

 Advanced Metering Infrastructure, more commonly known as AMI, allows water meters to be read remotely. With the capability of offering near real-time data, AMI will enable you to view up-to-date water usage at any time during the billing cycle.

What are the benefits of AMI for me? 

The AMI system will allow CCWD to further enhance current customer service and make available new services like leak alerts, online access to timely usage measurements and usage alerts to prevent surprise bills. This new class of meter reading technology will enable customers to better monitor and manage their water usage.

What does the AMI project mean for me? 

CCWD will begin to upgrade our current water meters with new, modern AMI-compatible meters. To accomplish this, CCWD will need to replace the meter currently serving your home or business requiring a short outage. This process is quick and easy. CCWD has selected an AMI technology that provides balance between customer service and responsible investment.

Why does CCWD need to upgrade my current water meter? 

In order to bring you these new AMI services and capabilities, your current water meter will need to be upgraded to one that it is AMI compatible. Many of the meters we have in service now are nearing the end of their useful life and will need to be replaced in the coming years anyway. By replacing them with AMI compatible meters, we can enhance current customer service offerings and make available new and enhanced services like leak alerts, timely usage measurements and usage alerts to prevent surprise bills.

Will I see an increase in my water bill? 

Although you were not charged for the new meter and your water rate did not change at the time of the upgrade, you may see an increase because the new meters record consumption more accurately than the old meters. As water meters age, they tend to run slower and may not measure all of the water going through them. Most of the old water meters in CCWD are more than 20 years old and at the end of their functional life. Therefore, depending on the age and accuracy of your current meter, you may see an increase in your bill based on more accurate readings.

Why is CCWD doing this AMI Project now? 

The implementation of AMI technology will help the District continue to improve the cost-effectiveness and value of District services. Additionally, CCWD is committed to outstanding customer service and promoting open communication with our customers, and AMI technology will further improve our ability to do just that. The District also has a long-standing commitment to stewardship of water resources and the environment, and AMI technology will also advance that tradition by further reducing the environmental impacts of our operations.

When will my water meter be upgraded? How will I know? 

 CCWD will upgrade meters in phases across the district by service area. The first meters will be upgraded in August 2021, however the District and the AMI Deployment Contractor, Mueller, are still finalizing the specific meter upgrade sequence. More details regarding phasing will be shared publicly and with you directly prior to installation.

Will I need to do anything to sign up to receive my AMI meter upgrade? 

No. An electronic construction sign will be set up near your neighborhood when Keystone Utility Systems is getting ready to install AMI meters in you area. After a new meter has been installed you will be notified via door tag. You don’t need to sign-up to receive the new meter.

Have other water districts implemented AMI? 

Hundreds of utility districts across North America have adopted AMI technology for their meter infrastructure needs. This technology has been approved for use in California since 2006 and has become the standard for water meter reading technology.

Is there a cost associated with these AMI improvements? 

There is no additional cost to customers for upgrading our meters. The AMI improvements have been fully budgeted in the District’s long term financial plan. Furthermore, because meters that can be read remotely greatly reduce vehicle and other expenses, the District expects the AMI improvements to save money over the long term.

Will my information be secure? 

 Yes. Preserving the security of our customers’ data and personal information is one of CCWD’s top priorities. The AMI system will feature advanced encryption technologies that will keep your data safe.

Is AMI technology safe? 

Yes. CCWD takes great pride in providing safe drinking water to the communities we serve. The District would never undertake a project that could be harmful to the health or privacy of the members of our community and we will do everything in our power to ensure that this project is no different.

How does the radio frequency of the AMI communications device compare to other common household devices? 
Chart comparing RF emissions from a water meter, WiFi router, microwave, and smartphone in microwatts per square centimeter.

Information on radio emissions from AMI water meters as compared to other common household radio sources was excerpted from the Automated Water Meter Program Radio Frequency Assessment conducted by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Is AMI technology a wise investment? 

Yes. The District has evaluated AMI and found that the return on investment will save money for the District over time while also enhancing the value and customer service the District provides.

How can I learn more about the AMI project? 

We are conducting town hall meetings on a rotating basis among service areas. We encourage the community to attend these meetings to hear about the current project status. We encourage customers to ask questions or share thoughts pertaining to AMI or any other district project at these events.

You may also reach out directly to CCWD staff by contacting Damon Wyckoff, Director of Operations (209-754-3306, or email damonw@ccwd.org) or Jessica Self, External Affairs Manager (209-754-3123 or email jessicas@ccwd.org)

Will the AMI technology attach to the current manually read meter or will it be placed somewhere else on residents’ property? 

 ​​Many of our meters are approaching the end of life and are not AMI compatible, so we will be upgrading the meters at these locations. The AMI device will attach to the meter in the meter box and be mounted to the underside of a new lid that will be installed as part of the meter replacement project.

How does the new AMI technology work, and how will the meters be read? 

The AMI technology employs a device that utilizes the cellular network, just like your mobile phone and also found in televisions and wireless home phones. This technology allows meters to be read remotely giving customers daily access to their water consumption data. Not only do the AMI device’s radio frequency (RF) waves fall below the level of what is recommended by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), they are also less powerful than any mobile phone. Additionally, the AMI technology inside your water meter is located outside your house, which reduces contact with the RF waves.

 

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