The new access provided through the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) System, shows the customer how much water they are using and offers the ability to help conserve this important natural resource as well as better manage monthly spending.
“The benefits of the new online smart water meter system for customers include being able to detect any leaks before they show up on the monthly water bill,” stated Randi Kim, Utilities Department director. “Not only does the new system eliminate surprises that could impact the commercial or household budget but customers can manage their own usage to help conserve this important natural resource.“
Earlier this year, the Grand Junction Utilities Department completed a three-year program to replace remaining meters having to be read in person by technicians with radio readers. The new AMI system uses a small radio device to periodically transmit low-power radio signals wirelessly from water meters to receivers positioned on buildings or towers around the city. Through the AMI software, customers have direct access online to water usage information. By providing data transmitted electronically by AMI from more than 9,800 meters, the Utilities Department has eliminated the need to send technicians in trucks to read customer meters for monthly bills.
The smart water meter system allows the city Utilities Department and customers to see daily and hourly water usage in nearly real-time through the online customer portal. An alert system will detect unusually high water usage to find leaks within the same day rather than waiting for this to be found when the monthly water bill arrives. In addition to early leak detection, customers will be able monitor their water use at any time of the day and identify ways to conserve water such as reducing the frequency of landscape watering or fixing a leaky toilet. “This transition to the AMI system is one more way we are providing efficient, safe, and reliable water services to our customers,” continued Kim.
The city’s AMI project was supported by a $300,000 WaterSmart Water and Energy Efficiency Grant from the Bureau of Reclamation.