Wireless Water Meters
It is the mission of the Department of Public Works (DPW) to provide the most economical and reliable service available to residents and as such, the DPW is in the process of upgrading the Town's water meter infrastructure with Advanced Metering Interface (AMI) equipment. This new system will allow the DPW to remotely read water meters rather than its current practice of manually reading each water meter in town. The new equipment will also allow town water customers to monitor household water consumption through a web or mobile interface. This system upgrade was approved by 2017 Annual Town Meeting.
By collecting water usage data on an almost immediate basis, the DPW will be able to identify leaks and faulty meters much sooner, and will also be able to better identify unaccounted for water. Also, because the need for manual readings will be eliminated, DPW personnel can be placed on other projects.
Residents with town water can also access their household water usage information through a web or mobile interface to monitor household consumption, identify leaks much sooner, anticipate billing costs, and can better understand household usage in order to promote water conservation practices at home.
Specifically, the upgrade will:
- Replace approximately 3,700 of Weston's existing water meters to increase meter accuracy
- Help the DPW by providing the infrastructure to achieve its goal of efficiency and best environmental practices that support programs focused on reducing the consumption of natural resources. These include:
- significantly enhancing service to water customers, including faster response and more efficient customer service, as well as on-demand move-in / move-out remote meter reads
- allowing DPW personnel to monitor individual and town-wide water usage and configures alerts to potential infrastructure or residential issues (i.e. leaks)
- simplify the billing process
- The AMI system offers a secure, web and mobile Consumer Portal for water customers that has timely and accurate consumption information. This interface allows users:
- to control water usage, costs, and advance personal “Green” initiatives
- to access their own consumption information and billing data
- to access usage reports on yearly, monthly, and an hourly basis
- to set budgets and water conservation goals
- to access management tools such as setting usage parameters, either in dollars and/or volumetric units, that trigger email/text alerts when usage exceeds custom parameters
- The Consumer Portal also
- correlates consumption data with meteorological local temperature and precipitation
- prepares reports in graphical and tabular views for reading consumption and billing approximations coinciding with date ranges selected by users
- enables pre-payment of billing
- compares current usage to previous periods
Through AMI, a small transmitter is connected to your water meter. This transmitter will read the meter and send a brief, low-powered radio signal to a nearby collector. Collectors then transmit meter reads to Weston's DPW. The transmitter that sends your meter reading has an identifier that is unique to your household's meter. This identifier is also transmitted with the meter data, which is compared electronically to your billing account record.
The Installation Process
Beginning this summer, DPW, working with its contractor Baystate Winsupply, will contact residents and businesses regarding installations. For the most part, water meters are on the outside of the home or business and the upgrade will occur without interruption. If water is in use at the time the contractor is on site, a request will be made to interrupt service for a short time in order to perform the replacement. Contractors will have a photo identification badge and will be in a clearly marked vehicle. A notice will be left after the new meter installation.
A small number of Weston residences and businesses have water meters located within the house or business. In this case, a letter will be mailed that requests an appointment to make the upgrade. Please do not ignore this letter. A sample notice can be seen below.