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EMWD Expedites Meter Upgrade Program

Technician installing a Smart Meter.

Beginning in August 2017, more than 5,000 water meters will be upgraded per month to Smart Meters, which will allow EMWD to assist customers in identifying potential leaks on their properties. With the expedited installation of the meters, EMWD anticipates having every meter replaced by the summer of 2019. EMWD had previously been replacing approximately 1,000 meters per month.

EMWD earlier this year began a leak notification program for customers who already have Smart Meters installed. If a residential customer has continual usage for a 72-hour period, the customer is notified by phone, email or text message of the potential leak. Customers may choose the notification method they prefer.

Since EMWD began the program earlier this year, more than 12,000 customers have been notified of a potential leak and there has been a 95-percent success rate.

“It is important that we use available technology to our advantage by providing our customers the tools necessary to better understand their water use,” EMWD President David Slawson said. “In addition to creating a more efficient model, we want to ensure that we are proactively assisting customers in identifying potential leaks. Doing so will help our customers save both water and money.”

The new meter technology will eventually allow customers to use a portal to monitor their usage in real time, project monthly bills and to identify if there are potential leaks at their properties.

EMWD will also realize long-term cost savings through the meter upgrades. By transitioning to automated meters, EMWD is avoiding driving nearly 170,000 miles per year to read meters manually. That is the equivalent of driving cross-country approximately 60 times. It also helps save in fuel costs and reduces the need for fleet vehicles dedicated solely toward meter-reading crews.

Customers may visit each month to view a list of streets in EMWD’s service area that will undergo meter upgrades that month.