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City of Coppell water utility customers will soon begin seeing their water meters replaced as part of the City's Advanced Water Meter System project, a new service enhancement initiative to install advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) throughout the community. The city-wide installation of 13,375 new meters is projected to take 14 months and will impact every home and business in the community.
Why did my water bill increase?When will my meter be replaced? How will a resident/business know someone is a member of the water meter team? Will the water meter team need access to my home? What will my property look like after the meter has been installed? Is there anything the resident/business needs to do after their water meter has been replaced? How does the new meter benefit me? Why is the City replacing my water meter (or why is the City replacing all the water meters)? Will I still be able to open the meter box with a standard meter key in order to turn the water off in an emergency?In older houses that don't already have a check valve, will a check valve be installed along with the new meter? Do you have any info on if/when smart gas meters are coming? If my bill goes up how do I know it is correct?
Why did my water bill increase?During the project planning, a random test of sixty-three residential meters, conducted by a third party, revealed that the current meters are registering, on average, about 90% of the water actually used. The test also found that of the sixty-three meters, five meters, or 8% of the meters tested, were registering no usage. Since that testing, the City has found that on average, at any given time, there are approximately 700 meters, or 5% of the system's meters, are not registering usage.
With the more accurate meters, it is very possible that members of the community will receive bills that are higher than statements for a corresponding month in a previous year. It is highly likely that comparing consumption history of the old meter to the new meter will be significantly different for many customers because their meter was not registering all of their water usage. For some, it is possible their meter has not been registering any usage. In both instances, customers can expect to receive a larger bill than they did previously.
When will my meter be replaced?Currently, the City is working with the installation team and project manager to establish the replacement timing of each area of town. Each customer will receive a letter in the mail providing information concerning when the water meter team will be installing in their area. Additionally, the City will call, email and text residents who have signed up for NotifyCoppell to inform residents when the water meter team will be in your neighborhood.
How will a resident/business know someone is a member of the water meter team? The truck used by the water meter team will have a "water meter team" sticker on its door. Team members will be wearing bright yellow shirts with "PMI" on the front left corner of the shirt and will also have a picture ID badge with them. The badge also provides two phone numbers for the citizen to call to confirm the identity of the person. One phone number will contact the Utility Billing number, and the other number connects to the PMI 24-hour line. Water meter team supervisors will be wearing a bright yellow safety vest with "Water Meter Team Supervisor" printed on the back of the vest.
Will the water meter team need access to my home?No, no one will need to enter your home. In fact, water team members are not allowed to enter homes.
What will my property look like after the meter has been installed?The property will be left in the same condition as it was prior to installation.
Is there anything the resident/business needs to do after their water meter has been replaced?Residents will find a yellow door hanger on their door notifying them that they received a new water meter. The door hanger provides information concerning steps to take prior to using their water.
If you run a business, the water meter team will coordinate a convenient time to replace each businesses water meter. Each business will be provided with a door hanger when their meter is replaced.
How does the new meter benefit me?Soon after the meters are installed, customers will have access to an internet-based customer dashboard that can be accessed from a computer, tablet or smartphone. The dashboard or customer portal will provide residents and businesses with access to usage data from their new meters. Residents and businesses will be able to more closely monitor their water consumption and adjust their usage accordingly. In addition, a leak alert can be set that notifies the account holder if the system is detecting a leak at their home or business. The customer can also setup usage alerts which will generate an email when the account registers the usage established by the account holder. In short, customers will be given the tools and data they need to better plan and "Get to Know Your H20".
Why is the City replacing my water meter (or why is the City replacing all the water meters)?Currently, the City uses three types of metering systems and multiple meter brands that range in age from three years to over 10 years. This variability poses operational challenges for City staff. The Advanced Meter System project will include one type of system and one brand for all meters, which will better equip City staff to maintain operations, manage inventory, and provide all customers with the same level of customer service.
Will I still be able to open the meter box with a standard meter key in order to turn the water off in an emergency?Yes, a standard meter key will open the lid.
In older houses that don't already have a check valve, will a check valve be installed along with the new meter? No.
Do you have any info on if/when smart gas meters are coming? Currently, it is unknown.
If my bill goes up how do I know it is correct? The advance water meter system brings improved accuracy as compared to the current water meters. During the development and investigation phase of this project, existing meters that were tested were found to only be registering approximately 90% of actual water used and some were registering no usage. The new automated readers are expected to register at least 98% of actual water usage.
To verify meter accuracy, every meter shipped by Sensus is tested for accuracy according to American Waterworks Standards before leaving the factory. All test results are attached to the meter to ensure accuracy and quality. The City has also contracted with Siemens to randomly select and test water meters each year to determine if the meters are accurately reading usage. The meters will be sent by Siemens to a third party for testing with the results shared with the City Council.