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Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Project - February 17, 2021

A metal water meter cover and a close-up of a digital water meter display.

Calaveras County Water District’s (CCWD) Advanced Metering Infrastructure Project will upgrade all the water meters in the district and improve CCWD’s meter reading system. CCWD will replace all 13,000+ water meters with new, highly-accurate meters. These advanced meters will send usage data to CCWD through a wireless network. This technology is known as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).

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.

A diagram showing data transmission between a house, a meter, a communications tower, and an office building.

How AMI Works

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


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 Newport Beach 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 April 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. You will be notified 7 – 10 days before and after the AMI meter is installed via a 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

Comparison of radiation emission from devices: AMI water meter, wireless router, microwave oven, and smartphone.

How does the radio frequency of the AMI communications device compare to other common household devices?

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 will be conducting monthly, virtual town hall meetings throughout AMI project implementation for our customers to share any questions or concerns. If you would like to attend, you can access a meeting link by visiting the news section of our website. In addition, we will be sending out quarterly newsletters which will provide highlights and updates on the progress of the project.

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

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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