Smart Meter Installation Project
Recently there has been inaccurate and misleading information spread throughout the community regarding Smart Meter Infrastructure. In February 2017, RMWD Board of Directors authorized the replacement of existing manual read meters with radio read meters as part of the District's overall Water Infrastructure Facilities Plan. The project is expected to take 10 years to complete. RMWD has approximately 9,685 retail customer meters spread throughout 75 square miles of service area, so any improvements that can be made to address operational efficiencies are critical. To date RMWD has installed approximately 3177 radio read meters. RMWD staff is continuing to install radio read meters through our service area at a rapid pace and will continue until the project is 100% complete.
Smart Water Meters function no differently than analog meters, in that all meters have an analog mechanism. There are many benefits and improvements to Smart Meter infrastructure, many of which have been requested by RMWD customers:
- Improve metering efficiencies by acquiring reads via portable mobile computer unit that gathers data as the operator drives by
- 24-hour water usage data
- 180-day usage archive
- Identify constant water flow
- Meter usage reports
- Reduce meter reading errors
- Account for all water sales
- Reduce unbilled usage due to aged meters
There is no evidence that Smart Meters cause customer water bills to increase. On the contrary, Smart Meters will allow customers to detect potential leaks earlier and prevent those leaks from leading to higher water bills.
Currently RMWD Staff must physically read each meter. Other “curb and gutter” communities have houses and meters spaced a few feet apart from each other, so meters can be read fairly quickly. In our community of Ramona, houses are spaced much further apart, so reading meters for the entire service area takes significantly more time than other areas with the same number of meters.
RMWD and all other public water agencies within the state of California have been mandated by SB-555 Water Loss Audit Reporting to initiate processes for controlling water accountability; replacing old meters is a part of complying with SB-555.