Installation is under way of new advanced water meters for about 13,000 Delaware homes for a total project cost of $1.73 million.
The city has installed, free of charge, 1,950 advanced meter infrastructures, or AMI, at Kensington Place, Cheshire Crossing and Lantern Chase subdivisions as of Thursday. Crews have completed about 300 meters a week with the project slated to completed in June.
“Crews are making good progress upgrading our water meters with state-of-the-art equipment that will deliver better customer service,” said city spokesman Lee Yoakum.
The Advanced Meter Infrastructure technology includes a small battery-powered transmitter, which is connected to a water meter, and sends brief, low-powered signals to a nearby collector that transmit meter reads to the city’s utility billing office.
“AMI eliminates the need for meter readers to come into a home or business to manually read the meter. This will help reduce the number of city vehicles on the road, vehicle maintenance costs, fuel costs and vehicle emissions,” Yoakum said. “When fully operational, residents for the first time can utilize a custom web portal for easy access to information about consumption and usage trends, and provide a way to set email and text alerts to avoid costly leaks and achieve conservation goals.”
Customers with an outdoor meter pit, usually located in their front yards, will be contacted via mail two weeks before the installation, followed by a door hanger afterwards.
But those with an indoor meter will be contacted by the city to schedule installation, which should take less than 30 minutes. In some cases, water service will be turned off for 15 to 20 minutes and will be restored before the installer leaves the home.
“We have not heard anything, good or bad about the new meters during any meeting or via our social media site,” said Kathy Thompson, president of the Homeowners Association for Kensington.
Upcoming installations include Stratford Woods, Lexington Glen and Heather Hills.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.