Water Meter Replacement Program

Overview & Benefits

Aurora Water is upgrading our water meter system as part of our efforts to continually improve our water system and replace water meters that are approaching the end of their useful life. These advanced meters will use a time-tested technology that will give Aurora Water the ability to better manage our extensive water distribution system, spot large leaks more quickly and identify opportunities for water savings. In the future, a secure, web-based portal will be available for our customers that will allow access to increased information on water use and allow us to connect you to one of our many water-saving programs.

Aurora Water has contracted with Badger Meter to replace over 87,000 water meters over a four-year period. The meters read water flow through a highly accurate and reliable system that has been in use for many decades. What’s new is the way the meters are read and the readings getting to the utility billing system. Using an advanced technology called AMI, which stands for “Advanced Metering Infrastructure,” the water meter readings are transmitted to Aurora Water via cell phone signal. This allows us to read meters remotely and more frequently than our current “drive-by” technology referred to as AMR or “Automated Meter Reading.” AMR meters provide data from the meter only when our meter reading staff drives by to read them. Due to the large number of meters in Aurora, it is only practical to have one reading per month. The AMR meters do not have the capacity to store water use data, so only the only information being transmitted is the total meter reading at the time of transmission.

AMI meters, on the other hand, can store the meter data in regular intervals. The meter pushes that data out multiple times per day, giving us true picture of how much water is used and when. This can be invaluable in identifying large leaks before they can do damage. By analyzing this usage data, our water conservation professionals can help identify potential water savings, and our engineers can use this information to better design and manage our systems of pipes and valves.  

Benefits

  • Provides better information about water usage patterns across the city. The information will help enhance our ability to design, maintain and improve our water system.  Ultimately, data will become available to customers to help improve their ability to manage their water usage.   

  • Operates more efficiently, eliminating the need to read more than 87,000 meters every month using trucks with receivers.

  • Taking vehicles off the road helps reduce our community’s carbon footprint.

The AMI upgrade process

The initial implementation of the program began in the spring of 2019. We will continue the installation process across the city of Aurora over the next four years.

The installation process takes typically takes less than an hour and residential water service will interrupted for five to ten minutes. Commercial customers may also experience service interruptions. Our crews and our contractor partners will install these meter upgrades. Crews from Badger Meter, our installation contractor, will have Badger Meter ID badges and signage on their trucks that identify them as Aurora Water contractors.  They will leave a doorhanger when the job is complete. There is no charge or deposit required for meter upgrades.

You will not notice any changes to your water service once the installation is complete. We will contact some customers by phone to check your satisfaction with the process. Our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible for our customers.

If you have questions about the AMI system, please email AuroraWaterPR@auroragov.org

Meter Replacement FAQs

What is a water meter and how does it work?

Your water meter measures the amount of water used in your household or business. Residential water meters use a tried and true technology called a nutating disk to measure the flow of water. Here’s a video link to show how this works: youtu.be/v3vcPhuWXSs

Where is my water meter located?

In most cases, your water meter sits inside a pit located in your front yard or in the streetscape (between the sidewalk and the curb). The pit has a cover on it that identifies it as a water meter.

How is the water meter currently being read?

Aurora Water has used a system called Automated Meter Reading (AMR) since 1995. AMR uses a low-power radio transmitter to send meter data a relatively short distance. Aurora Water reads whole neighborhoods of meters once a month by driving around in vehicles with a computer and radio receiver.

What is the advanced system being installed and how does it work?

The new system is called Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). It sends the meter data to Aurora Water using cellular technology rather than a dedicated radio transmitter. This not only means that we can use existing cell phone towers to read your meter, but we can also read it more often than just once a month.

Why is the city replacing its water meters?

Our last major system replacement started in 2005 and the meters are beginning to reach their end-of-life.

How many water meters will be replaced?

Over 87,000 water meters will be replaced over the four-year program period. The only exception will be our largest water meters, which have a different maintenance schedule than most residential and commercial meters. These meters will still get the AMI components.

Does this replacement include my electric and natural gas meters?

No, the program is only for the water meter that Aurora Water is responsible for. Xcel Energy manages electrical and natural gas meters in Aurora.

Will Aurora Water be raising water rates to pay for this advanced system?

No, Aurora’s water rates will not be increasing to pay for this updated technology. Aurora Water replaces meters every 10 years, so this upgrade was anticipated and included into our capital improvement plan.

Do I have to be home for the water meter replacement?

No, you do not have to be home during the meter replacement.

Do you have to enter my home or business for this meter replacement?

Since the meter is located in the meter pit, we won’t need access to homes and most businesses. There are a few businesses, such as shopping malls, that may have meters located inside. Our staff will contact the business in advance.

What if I live in apartment, townhome or condo?

Aurora Water will notify the point of contact we have in our billing records for your apartment manager or HOA. Since the work will occur at the meter for your building or complex, there should be little impact on the specific units.

Will my water be turned off during the water meter replacement?

Yes, water may be turned off for short time during the meter changeover.

Has this equipment been tested for accuracy and reliability?

Yes, all water meters and associated systems are tested to meet Aurora Water’s exacting standards.

Is this a new technology?

Yes and no. The water meters use a well-tested and reliable technology that’s been around for almost a century. What is new is the way the water meter data is sent to Aurora Water. The meter sends data on a daily basis, helping us identify leaks and other issues.

How often will the meter data be collected?

While that data is sent once a day, the meter will record water use on an hourly basis. This can help us work with customers on understanding how water is used and how we can help save you money on your bill.

Will I be able to see my water usage online?

We want to ensure that our water meter replacement program is successful, so our focus will initially be on the physical meters themselves and the system integration with Aurora Water’s system. Aurora Water will release a customer portal once a large percentage of our customers have been moved over to the advanced meters. This web-based portal will provide a secured environment for customers to view their water use data, set alerts and alarms and learn more about water saving programs.

How do I know that you have my meter readings and not someone else’s?

Aurora Water has been reading meters electronically since the late 1990s. Water meters are uniquely programmed for each customer’s property.

When will these advanced meters be installed at my home or business?

The water meter replacement program will be phased in over four years, beginning in the fall of 2019. We will post the proposed installation plan on our website as soon as it’s available.

How does this new advanced system enhance customer service?

There are many ways that having additional data from your meter can help improve your experience with Aurora Water. We can help verify water use patterns that may lead to high bill or identify a large or small water leak before it damages your home.

Is this advanced system secure?

Yes, this system uses the same secure technology used in most cell phones.

What is the expected life cycle for these new advanced water meters?

While the physical meter can last 20 to 25 years, the battery that is used to send the information is warrantied for 20 years.

Who will be installing the advanced water meters?

The meters will be installed by National Meter and Automation, Inc., a Colorado-based company that is owned by Badger Meter.

How will I know that the technician works for National Meter?

They will have signs on their trucks identifying them as contractors for Aurora Water, and will carry ID cards with both National Meter’s and Aurora Water’s logos.

Do I need to keep my meter accessible?

Yes, your meter and meter pit must always be free of obstacles, including trees, shrubs and other landscaping materials. Landscaping or fencing should be kept at least 3-5 feet from the meter pit.

What if my business or home requires a constant supply of water without interruption?

If you have a specific need to have the water on during the meter replacement, please call the Aurora Water Operations Service Center at 303.326.8645 prior to the meter installation.

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