• Billing clerks Mary Belleheumer and Mary Ginter update an account in Waterford Townships new Customer Information System.

    Credit: Waterford Township

    Billing clerks Mary Belleheumer and Mary Ginter update an account in Waterford Township’s new Customer Information System.

Waterford Township, Mich.

Challenge: Finishing a 17,000 residential meter change-out program, a $1.5 million project financed with an EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan. The contractor is swapping existing meters with Neptune Technology Group Inc. high-resolution E-Coder meters and installing Neptune’s R450 radio transmitters at customer buildings. The contractor verifies in the field that the new meter’s communicating properly, via the radio, to our Neptune N_Sight fixed-based network reading system and then moves to the next location. It’s then our responsibility to update the data in Neptune’s Customer Information System software, verify the meter’s reading properly, set up alarming on the new device, and prepare the account for the next billing cycle.

Solution: With the contractor installing 300 units a week, we’ve reassigned staff to handle the deluge of daily installations. The project is to be completed by the end of 2014. By then, all residential meters will be read utilizing a radio-read fixed-base network, eliminating the need to read meters in the field. Customers will have increased access to their own meters, allowing low- and high-flow notifications and real-time reading capability.