The city’s Water Division has replaced about 40 percent of water meter data transmitting devices with new Neptune R900 transmitting devices, as part of the ongoing effort to improve customer service and staff efficiency.
Crews are halfway through a two-year process to replace more than 18,000 residential and commercial transmitting devices, as well as outdated meters that are not compliant with current standards.
The new meter read system will allow the city to collect water meter readings via transmitted signals, instead of walking or driving past every home and business with utility services. This will provide more accurate billing and better service for our utility customers. The new system also will offer opportunities to assist customers in monitoring usage and detecting costly leaks.
The city and Neptune, the device manufacturer, continue to test the new, fixed network, but are not yet using it for billing purposes. As we complete device installations one billing cycle at a time, we will switch over to the new system.
Part of the process, completed last year, was to install 24 antennas across the city to receive the read information. City-owned antenna locations include water towers, fire stations, lift stations and water booster stations. Locations were chosen that provide the necessary electrical service and, more importantly, the best radio coverage for data collection.
At the request of some of our customers, the city has developed procedures that allow customers to opt out of the new devices, for a fee, as well as to locate the new device a distance from their home, at the customer’s cost. Contact the Utility Billing Division at 269-966-3366 for more information on those options.
Water staff are looking at options to recycle the old devices.