Automated Meter Reading Upgrade
The Board of Water Works of Pueblo (the Board) continues to replace existing water meters with new meters that utilize Automated Meter Reading (AMR).
In the past, Pueblo water customers’ consumption was measured by the traditional process of meter readers looking at each meter in the system and entering the data. With AMR technology, each of the new meters includes a sealed, battery-powered data transponder that periodically sends meter data to one of sixteen data collection units located
throughout the covered areas. These solar-powered collectors then send the data to the central computer for billing, customer service, and field services.
The AMR upgrade program began in the spring of 2008, and will take a total of ten years to upgrade all 40,191 meters in the system. 18,078 have been converted during the first three years of the program, and another4,000 will be installed during 2011.
“This upgrade has enhanced service to our customers and increased the efficiency of our operations,” says Ric Esgar, Field Services Manager. “For example, we can obtain a final read for a customer almost instantaneously without sending an employee across town to manually read the meter. Also, if a customer senses high or low consumption from their bill we can poll their meter from our central office to detect any change in usage that might indicate a problem.”
The conversion to AMR will not cost anyone their job. "The Board's Meter Readers work hard reading all of Pueblo's water meters once a month," explains Danny Golob, Meter Services Supervisor. "The AMR system will keep this task manageable as the Board's service area continues to grow, with meter readers still needed until the entire system is completely automated. By that time, meter readers will have changed duties, some of them maintaining the AMR system."
Meter replacements are being done at no cost to water customers by employees of the Board of Water Works. These employees will wear identification badges and their vehicles will display company identification, as work on the AMR conversion takes place Monday through Friday each week between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Since a brief interruption of water service may occur at a property as its meter is being replaced, customers will be notified individually when work at their particular address is to take place. Notification will be provided both as a phone call and as an informational door hanger.
For additional information, contact Ric Esgar, Field Services Manager, at 584-0245.