Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
Beginning in the Fall of 2019, the City of Liberty Utilities Department will upgrade its water meter infrastructure and meter reading technology to a new, automated Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
Old meters that have traditionally been read manually every month will be replaced to communicate water usage data automatically using radio transmitters. These new meters will eliminate the need for usage estimates.
A basic FAQ about the project is below and more information will become available as the details are confirmed:
Who will install the AMI meters?
After completing a competitive Request for Proposals process, the City contracted with RTS Water Solutions from Parkville, Mo., to install the new meters and radio transmitters. The contractor will be working through one section of the city at a time over the course of 10 months to replace the more than 10,000 water meters along with older meter lids in Liberty.
How will I know when my water meter will be replaced?
If you have an exterior meter, be on the lookout for a postcard from the City of Liberty that will alert you as to when the contractor plans to begin work in your area. The contractor will follow up with a door hanger the a few days before they move into the area.
If you have an interior meter, after an initial postcard has been mailed to your address letting you know installers will be coming to your area soon, you will also receive a door hanger with instructions on how to set up an appointment to have a new meter installed.
Do I need to be present when the new meter is installed at my home?
If your water meter is outside your home or business, your presence is not needed when the new meter is installed.
If your meter is inside your home or business, the contractor will contact you to schedule an appointment.
Will I be without water when they install the new meter?
During the conversion process for individual meters, customers will only be without water service for about 30 minutes.
Will water rates increase as a result of the AMI?
The short answer is no. The AMI project itself has no impact on customer consumption or utility rates. However, replacing older and less accurate meters with AMI will lead to more accurate usage readings and therefore could affect your bill.
What are the benefits of AMI for the customer?
AMI provides real-time usage reports that could help identify leaks in the private system.
Once the new meter installation project is fully completed city-wide, the City of Liberty will roll out a new customer portal through which you will be able to securely access detailed water consumption information, monitor usage and set alerts that may help you identify leaks more quickly and prevent unintentional high water consumption.
Does the AMI require any maintenance by the customer?
No, like your current water meter, the AMI system does not require any maintenance by the customer. After the meter is installed, you will notice a raised round disc on top of the meter lid. This is the communications antenna for the AMI device and is durable to common weather elements. Customers will need to be careful when mowing, weed trimming, etc. as to not damage the antenna.
Should I be worried about privacy concerns with this new system?
No. No personally identifiable information (PII) is transmitted with the AMI data signal. Furthermore, although the water usage data is not considered to be a high value target, the data signal is encrypted and protected.
The City of Liberty does not sell customer data, including water consumption, under any circumstances. Consumption data has been collected, transmitted, stored and analyzed since the inception of water metering technology. The type of data collected is not changing with AMI. What will change is the way the data is collected and the frequency of collection.