Water Meter Upgrades
The Town of Estes Park Meter group has launched a project to upgrade water meter reading hardware within the Estes Park water service area. Meter staff will perform meter upgrades throughout the Estes Park water area, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.Staff are focusing on replacing the meters that are not currently reading with the Town's smart grid system.
These upgrades will allow us to collect water reads remotely via RF (radio frequency), eliminating the potential for errors and increasing efficiency during our reading process. The scope of this project will require Town employees to change out older, existing water meters and replace them with newer models equipped with an RF transmitter. This will require staff to temporarily shut off water service while replacing the water meter.
Customers with meters that are due for replacement will be notified through a letter in the mail from Department staff. Customers who receive a letter are asked to schedule an appointment to have their meter upgraded. Department staff will also be contacting customers in person and over the phone.
If it would be more convenient to have a specific date and time pre-arranged so that someone can be at your home to give us access, please contact Kurt Ratsch by phone at 970-577-3620 or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
In order to speed up the replacement process, please locate your meter and make it easily accessible. Water meters are typically located where your water service enters your house, usually in a crawlspace or utility room near a water heater.
A meter replacement typically takes 15-30 minutes. Occasionally, it is difficult to locate a meter and, therefore, it may take longer and/or it may require a return visit from our staff.
Factors that can affect the ease and duration of replacement can include:
a) condition of the existing service line,
b) condition of shut-off valves,
c) location of the pressure reducing valve (PRV), and
d) accessibility of the water meter.
These factors will be assessed at the time of the replacement, and we will do our best to inform you if the process could take longer than expected.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is my water meter being replaced?
Water meters typically have a replacement life of 20 years. The City is investing in its infrastructure to replace old meters and upgrade reading technology to an Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system to provide enhanced customer service, including quicker detection of water leaks in the home and other benefits. Water meters are being replaced at no cost to the residents. AMR meters are already used throughout the Estes Park system.
- What is AMR/AMI?
Automated Meter Reading (AMR) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), allows water utilities to gather utility usage data from its customers, both residential and commercial, without manually reading meters. The utility improves services and saves money by minimizing the costs associated with reading individual residential and commercial meters while allowing more time to do other required maintenance activities. In addition, Automated Meter Reading/Advanced Metering Infrastructure improves data accuracy and helps identify anomalies
- How does Automated Meter Reading (AMR) work?
A small box, called a Meter Interface Unit (MIU), or transmitter, is installed on the interior of your house or business near your water meter. It is connected to your new water meter inside your home and transmits a radio signal to a data collector, which is then transmitted to the Town. Each meter has a unique identification number that ensures only your reading is assigned to your account. This system reduces the need for meter readers to manually gather meter readings. For those households or businesses whose meters are in meter pits in the front yard, the MIU unit will be installed in the meter pit.
- How does the installation work?
- The Town has hired two meter technicians to install new water meters and MIUs. They will schedule an appointment with all residents and businesses that have a meter inside the house.
- For those residents and businesses with meters inside meter pits, a notification tag will be put on the front door. Additionally, prior to the change out of meters, staff will knock on the door to confirm their presence.
- The meter technicians will need access to meters in basements, utility rooms, behind locked fences, garages, etc. An adult (minimum of 18 years old) must be present while working inside the premises.
- Please make sure that there are no obstructions around the meter that may hamper access to the meter.
- Under normal circumstances, the installation will take approximately 30 minutes. Momentary water service interruptions will occur to change out the meter.
- The meter technicians will provide proper identification when installing your meters.
- Will my water bill increase?
The water rate will not change as part of this project. Property owners will be billed for actual water used, so the bill could change if previous meter reading was under-reporting or over-reporting actual usage. The new metering system ensures equality for all customers by measuring and billing residents and businesses accurately.
- How much will the system cost me?
There is no charge for the installation. Automated Meter Reading (AMR) is designed to help control costs by increasing meter reading accuracy and efficiency.
- Does Automated Meter Reading (AMR) have any other benefits for me?
Yes. AMR improves accuracy. It will detect possible leaks faster and notifies staff of problems before they become serious and costly. It also eliminates the need for manually reading meters, except for periodical maintenance or replacement of system components, when needed. This allows the Town to be more efficient and save money by preventing recording errors. The water meter replacement project also supports the Town's sustainability goals.
- Will the radio frequency interfere with my television or phones?
No, the radio transmission operates in compliance with FCC regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices.
- Will my information be secure?
Yes, only meter consumption readings and meter numbers are transmitted. Personal customer information is not loaded into the transmitter and therefore will not be transmitted
- How do I know that my reading is accurate?
Each radio frequency device has a unique identification number, which is transmitted along with the meter reading. The unique number is compared to your account record to ensure a match. This reading is deemed more accurate than visually reading the meter.
- Can I opt-out of the AMR program if I do not want to participate?
There is no opt-out option within this program. The meters and transmitting devices belong to the Town and we appreciate your support for the rehabilitation of our Automated Reading (AMR) System. If the meter servicing your property is scheduled for replacement, we ask that you grant access to the meter technicians.
- What if I have questions or concerns?
If you have questions about the upgrade project, installation, or scheduling, contact Sarah Clark at Estes Park Light &, Power at 970-577-3627.
If you have questions about your water service, contact Brenda Wyss, Estes Park Water at 970-577-3619.