Questions and Answers
Q: Why is the City conducting pilot studies?
A: Last summer, an audit of water meter equipment was completed. One of the recommendations from the audit was to explore new technologies that will help address questions concerning customer water usage. The two pilot studies will consider two new versions of electronic water meter equipment and help establish a knowledge base for long term water meter equipment planning.
Q: Who is paying for these pilot studies?
A: The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department, an enterprise fund department of the City of Charlotte.
Q: Who is going to perform these studies?
A: CMUD will lead the projects and their evaluations, but installation contractors and equipment vendors will assist with the equipment setup. All field technicians will be properly identified with a City Contractor Identification and driving a vehicle with signage. They will not need to access the inside of resident’s home for any reason.
Q: How are addresses chosen?
A: Addresses were selected from the pool of accounts used in the 2010 summer audit because baseline information was established then. Accounts were also chosen based on levels of usage. Only residential customers are included at this time. Accounts are selected by a software program which does not allow picking one address at a time. Entire neighborhoods were selected.
Q: What if I don’t want my electronics replaced:
A: Although the meter belongs to the property owner, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities has the responsibility of maintaining the meter and ensuring its accuracy. The meter is located within the public right-of-way.
Q: Can I request to be put on a future list for new electronics?
A: We are unable to add specific addresses at this time.
Q: What will the electronic update include?
A: The electronics will be replaced with the new technology. The installer will verify that the mechanical meter and transmitter (ERT) are working properly before leaving the installation site. This will also include:
- Take photos of meter box conditions
- Ensure mechanical dials and electronic readings match
- Tech will perform a “water flow” test if there is an available external spigot/faucet
- If no spigot/faucet the Tech will perform an electronic test at the meter
- The Tech will leave a door tag with results
Q: How much water is used during the flow test and will I be reimbursed for usage?
A: The installation requires up to 15 gallons of water which amounts to less than 25 cents of water. There will not be an adjustment on the customer’s bill as this is considered preventive maintenance work to the metering equipment.
Q: What if a problem is found – when will it be fixed and how will the customer be notified?
A: If the city owned equipment repair is simple and can be performed by CMUD Meter Management Staff, the goal is to have it repaired before the customer receives their next bill. If the repair requires CMUD Field Operations (digging up city water pipe), the appropriate service order will be created and the repair will take additional time.
Q: If the repair impacts the customer’s bill, what will happen?
A: This would follow our normal process for city leaks. If the customer has not been billed, CMUD Pre-Billing staff will make an adjustment if appropriate. If the customer has been billed, Pre-Billing staff would create a request for the CMUD Billing Center to perform an adjustment if appropriate.
Q: Which areas are involved in the pilot studies of new electronics?
Itron 100W – approximately 1500 Units deployed
- Hidden Valley (750)
- River Run (750)
- Installation begins in May
Badger Orion – approximately 700 Units
- Faires Farm (350)
- Peninsula (350)
- Installation begins in September