New Meter Reading System

The Town of Fuquay-Varina has authorized conversion of a portion of its water utility meters from drive-by reading to hourly reading through a fixed radio network to provide customers improved usage information, reduce manual reading processes, and enhance water resource conservation. This project expands the functionality of existing meter and transmitter infrastructure already owned by the Town. Drive-by metering technology is referred to as Automated Meter Reading (AMR) and fixed network meter reading is called Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).

MeterSYS, a Raleigh-based advanced metering services firm, will serve as Project Manager and provide field services throughout the implementation phase. The project will be conducted in coordination with Itron, the system manufacturer, and United Systems and Software, Itron’s certified AMI technical partner. Itron’s Choice Connect AMI Network System uses two-way communication technology, which will enable Fuquay-Varina to automate its meter reading process, provide improved customer service, increase billing accuracy, reduce leaks to promote resource conservation, and improve Utility operational efficiencies by capturing real-time meter reading data. 

The new AMI system uses wireless and radio frequency technology to transmit hourly water usage data from individual meters to an antenna and base station at Town-owned poles and water tanks. The data transmissions sent by the meters to the collector and on to the software utilized and managed by Utility staff are secured by encryption and contain no customer information. 

The initial phase of the AMI project involves optimizing the meter equipment and deploying the network infrastructure and will include a software integration between the AMI MDMS and the Utility’s billing system. The Town has selected specific locations within the service territory to collect performance results for testing and planning. Accounts included in the initial areas will have their meter lids drilled and equipment mounted through the lid to allow for improved signal strength. 

The work being done will not disrupt customer’s water service and will take less than 15 minutes to complete. Field vehicles will have company decals displayed on door panels and staff will carry proper identification. Additionally, field personnel will have successfully completed a background check and be significantly trained to perform work.