Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) systems are currently widely instituted by utility companies. AMI systems allow utilities to remotely collect customer consumption data through radio frequencies. There are many benefits to using AMI such as:
- Improved meter read accuracy and efficiency in data collection
- Ability to read meters in inaccessible or hazardous locations
- Early detection of leaks or meter tampering
- Reduction of misreads
- Reduction in vehicle and labor cost for manual meter reads
- Ability to connect or disconnect service remotely
On September 16, 2016, the Board of County Commissioners approved a contract with Ferguson Waterworks to start replacing LCU's existing meters with new AMI meters. The project will take approximately 4 years to convert all the existing meters.
Construction of upgrades and improvements to the Advanced Water Meter Installation Project were financed by the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The DWSRF program is administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) with joint funding from the U .S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of Florida.
This project will assist in a more effective collection, interpretation and presentation of water consumption data. It will allow for remote collection of customer consumption data, facilitating consumption collection at dangerous and/or inaccessible locations, while improving data analysis for early detection of leaks, meter tampering, and/or meter misreads. It will improve meter read accuracy and efficiency in collecting monthly customer consumption data for billing and system maintenance and operations, while improving customer support by reducing billing complaints and costly dispute resolution for community residents and businesses in Lee County, Florida. DWSRF programs operate around the country to provide states and communities the resources necessary to maintain and improve the infrastructure that protects our valuable water resources nationwide.
What to Expect During the Project
AMI systems require both the installation of new meters and infrastructure to relay the radio frequencies. The infrastructure uses a series of repeaters placed throughout neighborhoods to relay the information. You may see the contracted technicians in your neighborhood installing the repeaters, which are either placed on street signs or separate poles. When your meter is scheduled to be replaced, the contracted technician will notify you that day. Vanguard technicians were hired by the county to install your new AMI meter and will be driving white trucks and wearing yellow safety vests. If you are not home, they will leave a notice on your front door informing you of the meter replacement.