What is “Advanced Metering Infrastructure System(AMI)?”

 

KEY MESSAGES

1. Advanced metering technology is an example of Lancaster County Water and Sewer District’s (LCWSD) commitment to maintaining a high quality of life for our customers through cost-effective, innovative programs.

2. The innovative system replaced monthly meter reads with a wireless system that collects multiple remote meter reads per day, allowing for better leak detection, less vehicle travel with collecting readings, and improved customer service to our customers.

3. Our communities’ drinking water has remained safe throughout the project.

4. Advance metering supports LCWSD’s commitment to preserving and protecting our environment in a number of ways, including: reducing carbon emissions by taking meter reading vehicles off the road; enhancing LCWSD and the customer’s ability to quickly detect and stop leaks; and providing customers with daily information on water use so that they can improve their efforts to conserve.

5. Advance metering enhances privacy by removing the need for monthly visits by meter readers. Further, as has always been the case, LCWSD will continue protecting the privacy of utility customer information.

6. Advanced metering enables us to do everything we can do today, just more efficiently and effectively by relying on advanced radio technology.

7. Advanced metering enables our customer service representatives to better service you and answer your questions regarding water usage and billing. In the near future, customers will be able to view daily consumption and be alerted of leaks in a timely manner instead of waiting until the monthly readings and finding them.

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

1.How does the system work?

a. The system works via wireless signals sent from a small radio unit inside the meter box that is connected to the water meter. The meter radio unit sends readings to regional collector units that then transmit the meter reading data to LCWSD’s office.

b. Regional collectors will be located on existing water towers located throughout Lancaster County.

c. Each radio unit will send a 111-millisecond usage report from the meter to LCWSD’s office four times a day.

 

2.How does this system benefit customers?

a. Every month, LCWSD had to drive throughout the entire county to read meters with a computer and collector. The advanced metering system will take vehicles off the road, significantly reducing LCWSD’s carbon footprint.

b. The project will soon include the addition of a new web-based reporting system that will allow customers to track their daily water use and learn about strategies for saving water and reducing their utility bill. When it is available, customers will receive detailed information on how to take advantage of its offerings.

c. Thanks to its advanced technology and backup systems in the field, the new system will provide accurate, timely water use data regardless of weather conditions or power outages.

 

3.Will wireless technology affect my health or privacy?

a. The new meter registers or transmitters does not negatively affect health or privacy. In fact, overall health will be improved and privacy enhanced by replacing vehicles and visits to or near your home with environmentally clean radio communication. The wireless portions of the system will be operated according to Federal Communications Commission rules, and will not interfere with other radio frequencies in the area. The transmitters use one-quarter of the power of a cell phone. The amount of exposure to radio waves decreases with the square of the distance from the source. Exposure to radio waves from these new transmitters is absolutely tiny compared to cell phones. In addition,transmission time for the unit totals 15 seconds per day.

4. Where can I get more information?
a. Call LCWSD office at 803-285-6919 or 1-800-832-2126 or continue to monitor LCWSD’s website at www.lcwasd.org.