The City of Andover has begun converting from an in-person water meter reading system to a remote reading system. This update, scheduled for completion in late 2021, will provide more timely information about water use and make the City’s water meter reading process more efficient.
Most residents will not be required to do anything during the installation process; however, if you see a meter technician in your yard, feel free to say hello. The technician will simply install an update to the meter reading touchpad on the exterior of your home. If the meter reading touchpad is determined not to be working due to a faulty existing wire, the technician will knock on your door to find the best time to install a new wire from the exterior touchpad to your interior water meter or will leave a flyer to schedule an appointment to access your water meter.
All technicians will use the most current COVID-19 safety protocols to keep everyone safe and provide identification.
Why is the water meter reading system being updated?
Andover's water meter reading system is many years old and requires contracted meter reading personnel to travel door to door to manually read each meter in the City. In-person meter reading services will be ending this summer and fall, so we are preparing for this transition. The update will allow for meters to be read remotely, which will help with efficiency. Gathering more up-to-date information on water usage will help you and us save money in the long-term.
Will my home, water, or power be impacted by the update?
Most likely not. If the exterior water meter reading touchpad is discovered to have a faulty wire that connects to your internal water meter, a technician will need to enter your home to replace the wire between the exterior touchpad and internal water meter. These instances should be rare but may be required if the existing wire is discovered to be faulty. The technician will attempt to make contact and do the repair while they are on site, or you can schedule this with the technician by calling the number on the flyer they leave at your door.
Do I need to be home for the update?
In most cases, no. A technician will simply install the update to the exterior water meter reading touchpad located on the outside of your home and be on their way within minutes.
If you see a technician in your yard, feel free to say hello. If they knock, please work with them to find the best time for completing the update.
How will I know when my meter reading system is updated?
Technicians will be going neighborhood-to-neighborhood, home-to-home on an ongoing basis from summer to fall, so you may not immediately notice this work occurring. If the new meter reading touchpad has not been installed yet, there is no need to call us. Technicians will continue to go home-to-home until all homes have been updated.
When will the new meter reading systems be installed?
Meter reading system updates are being completed between spring and fall. Technicians will be going neighborhood-to-neighborhood, home-to-home on an ongoing basis.
Which remote water meter reading system is the City installing?
Andover is migrating to is the Sensus FlexNet Automatic Metering Infrastructure (AMI) water meter system. For more information go to https://sensus.com/resources/videos/sensus-flexnet-communication-network-overview/.
Which water meter reading radio is being installed?
The Sensus SmartPoint 510M Non-Pit Set Module is being installed on the exterior water meter reading touchpads. These touchpads include a built-in radio that transmits water usage data to the City’s master water meter reading system. The radio specification sheet can be found at https://sensus.com/wp-content/themes/sensus/inc/webdam_download.php?asset_id=14375871
I am concerned about RF. Will the new system add RF to my home?
The RF discussion in some communities was a factor in the product Andover chose. First, the AMI radio will be on the exterior of your home and sit over the current touch read pad (normally located near you other utilities), NOT inside the home. The exterior walls will block some of the radio signal. Second, the radio only transmits when requested, normally once every 4 hours (or six times a day). A majority of the time, the radio is doing nothing but collecting data via the wire from the meter to the radio (not emitting any energy). The actual daily transmission of data takes less than one second for the entire day (all the transmission times summed up); again to minimize exposure. For more information see https://sensus.com/rf/.
Does the water meter emit any type of radio frequency (RF)?
The Sensus water meter does NOT have any type of transmitter inside of it (this is very different from other manufacturers that routinely embed the radio transmitter within the meter) and does not emit any energy.
Can I opt-out of the remote water meter reading program?
Yes, upon written request you can opt-out of the remote water meter reading program. Because your meter will have to be manually read, a charge of $50 per read ($200 per year for quarterly reads and $600 per year for monthly reads) will be included on your water bill.
The manual water meter reading fee was developed based on Andover’s fee schedule (the cost for employee time and equipment) and the average travel time to/from the Public Works Building (on Crosstown Blvd). The fee is not out of line with other cities and states.
The manual water meter reading fee will be applied after the AMI installation begins on your meter reading route.
Contact Scott Protivinsky (763-767-5152) in the Andover Utility Department if you have questions.