Water Meter Replacement Project
- What can I expect?
Residents will begin receiving postcards in the mail, marked with the Town of Lexington's seal, requesting that they schedule an appointment. The scheduling process is made easy through both phone and online options. The actual process of replacing or retrofitting the meter will take approximately 45 minutes.
The installation work will be performed by a private contractor, Thielsch Engineering, whose installers are well trained in the replacement of water meters.
The installer will need to enter some residents' homes. It all depends on the age of the existing meter and the location of the existing endpoint/reading device. If the meter is 10 years or older, the technician will need to enter the house for a full meter replacement. If the meter was installed 9 years ago or sooner then the installer will need to enter the building if the endpoint/reading device is located inside the building.
- Will I be billed for this meter replacement?
Town Meeting appropriated the funds for this project. Water customers will not be charged for the replacement or retrofit of their existing meter(s).
- What are the benefits of replacing water meters?
Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) systems allow a community to automatically retrieve meter readings without having to enter the customer's home or facility or access their property.
The two general categories of AMR systems widely used today are mobile and fixed-network. The term Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is used to describe fixed-network AMR systems enabled with functionalities beyond meter reading for billing, such as the acquisition of interval reads and event flags, such as leak and tamper identification.
We will be installing an AMI system, which provides the following benefits:
- Improved meter reading efficiency, timely data collection for analysis, and improved read data consistency
- Reducing the number of estimated bills.
- Reducing administrative time and errors in entering meter read data.
- Water conservation: the AMI system will detect potential leaks, allowing for the leak to be repaired faster and will save water
- Meter readers do not have to enter the property to obtain meter readings.
- More efficient meter reading, troubleshooting operations, and customer notifications.
- Reduce customer inquiry call duration by providing better analytical tools and granular usage history. Information lets customer service representatives be better informed and helps customers understand their usage better.
- Allow for a transition to quarterly or monthly billing. More frequent meter readings and bills will allow customers to better budget themselves and monitor their water use.
- Significantly reduce abatements through efficient customer-side leak detection and proactive customer notification. Fixed networks allow for leaks to be flagged in days/weeks, instead of months, potentially preventing additional property damage and municipal water loss.
- Why are we replacing water meters?
There are a total of 14,451 active water meters exist in the Town's system. The largest portion of the DPW's metering infrastructure was installed between 1998 and 2002. As with any mechanical device, water meters are subject to wear and tear, and over time begin to lose their accuracy.
Instead of budgeting to test small meters, utilities typically budget to replace meters when they reach a specified age. The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Guidelines and Policies for Public Water Systems states that the normal life expectancy of water meters ranges from 7 to 15 years. Approximately 45% of the Town's small water meters have been in service 15-years or longer.
The project involves replacing domestic and irrigation meters in service prior to 2010. These meters will be replaced with solid state meters, which do not depreciate in accuracy over time and therefore will provide great value in a replacement program.
Meters put in service since 2010 that have remaining useful life will be retrofitted with a new reading device.
- How do I schedule an appointment?
Once you've received a postcard in the mail, you can schedule your appointment by calling Thielsch Engineering at 1-888-709-9944 Monday-Friday, 8 am to 4 pm. You can also schedule appointments online. Please do not contact the Town of Lexington to schedule your appointment.