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Automated Meter Reading (AMR) Program

City of Terrell has superior rated public water

 

The City of Terrell has begun another phase in improving customer service delivery to each water customer through our Water Meter Replacement and Automated Meter Reading (AMR) Program. In November 2007, the City will begin replacing water meters. The new water meters will be equipped with radio transmitting devices that will enable us to read your meter from a vehicle equipped to receive and store the reading. However, there may be certain circumstances when the City will need to access property to inspect or repair the water meter. The new system will allow the City to provide timely and accurate responses to your water meter reading inquiries. Over the next 6 months, every home and business in Terrell will be upgraded with the new AMR system.

The benefits of an automatic meter reading system include:

1. Increase productivity and reduced meter reading costs.
2. Provide accurate usage reports ensuring accurate bills.
3. Provide efficiencies in the billing which will allow for improved customer service.
4. Increase revenues with more accurate and timely billing.
5. Immediately provide new water meters for approximately 6,000 of our customers.
6. Minimizes the need for anyone to regularly access your property to read your water meter.

The City has contracted with Great Southwest Meters of Waxahachie, Texas to install this equipment. Working together, the City and Great Southwest Meters, want to assure all customers that installations will be performed by well-trained professionals. These installers will be required to display a photo ID. Great Southwest Meters vehicles are clearly marked and their employees will have a photo identification badge. The average installation time is about 15 minutes.

Torry L. Edwards, City Manager

 

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is an AMR Project?

The AMR stands for Automatic Meter Reading (AMR). The city wide project will replace all meters with new, state of the art meters with radio frequency (RF) devices that will allow the City of Terrell to obtain meter readings without entering your property. The RF device will reduce the need for us to come into your property to read your water meter.

 

Where is my water meter?

Most water meters are located outside in meter pits near the street.

 

Why do I need a new meter?

Many of the water meters are over 25 years old. Older meters are less accurate and more costly to maintain, and require a crew member to enter your property to read the meter.

 

My meter works fine, does it have to be upgraded?

Yes. In order to take advantage of the new technology, efficiencies, and cost-savings that the AMR system will provide, all water meters in the City will be changed out.

 

How does the new meter reading system work?

Most meter readings will be taken by a vehicle driving through your neighborhood. In some cases, a meter reader may manually read the meter. When the vehicle or meter reader gets near your meter, the meter transmits its meter reading by radio. The readings are collected by devices in the vehicle or held by the meter reader.

 

Will the timing of my water bills change?

There will be no change to your monthly billing period.

 

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

Each radio frequency device has a unique identification number, which is transmitted along with the meter reading. The unique identification number is compared to your account record to ensure that there is a match.

 

How do you know that my reading is accurate?

The new meters are tested before installation. These state of the art water meters have electronic registers, which verifies the meter reading before it is sent to the transmitting unit. This reading is deemed more accurate than visually reading the meter.

 

How do I know if higher usage may be a result of a leak in my plumbing system?

A new, more accurate meter may detect small leaks that the older meter missed. Check faucets for small drips. Also check your toilet tank for small leaks in the toilet bowl. You may want to place a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If the water in the bowl changes to the color of dye used in the tank, you have a leak. Seek assistance from your local home improvement center or plumbing professional to fix all such leaks.

 

Will my water bill go up?

Older meters tend to run slower and therefore do not measure all the water going through them. The new water meter will accurately measure the water that you use. All new meters are tested at the factory to ensure that they register properly. If you see a higher bill, it is usually not because your new meter is reading too high; it is because the old meter was running slow and did not count all the water thru it.

 

Do I have to be home for the process?

If the meter is located outside in a meter pit near the street you do not need to be home for this work to be completed.

 

Why is the water utility hiring a private contractor to do the installation work?

The City has over 6000 meters. The City does not have the staff to complete the job in a timely manner.

 

How long will the meter installation take?

Under normal circumstances, the installation will take 15 minutes. The water will have to be turned off for about 10 to 20 minutes until the meter is changed. Please be advised that there may be some trapped air or slight discoloration in the water line. This will clear up after running your water for a few moments. You may hear some noise as the air exits spigots and fixtures. This is normal.

 

How will I know your installer works for you?

Each installer will have a picture ID badge. If you are unsure about the installer’s identity, call the Water Utility service office at 972-551-6610 for confirmation.

 

What if we have a leak after the meter is installed?

The City of Terrell will make every effort to dispatch service personnel as quickly as possible to determine the cause of the leak and to take appropriate action. You may call the Water Utility service office at 972-551-6610 during normal working hours (8:00AM – 5:00 PM Monday thru Friday) or after hours emergency 972-551-6622.

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City of Terrell
201 East Nash St.
P.O. Box 310

Terrell, Texas 75160
972-551-6600
Metro: 972-524-3332
After Hours Repair Services: 972-551-6622
Fax: 972-551-6682

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