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What is Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI)?
For over a hundred years, utilities tracked water meter consumption by sending meter readers around to read the dials and manually enter the usage numbers. Automated metering infrastructure (AMI) uses a radio unit attached to the meter to send usage reads to tower based antenna. The antenna receives the signal through a base station computer at the tower and sends the information to a server at the utility headquarters.
The switch to AMI will allow the city to modernize it's system and become more efficient. The project is paid for by the cost savings and increased accuracy of the new meters. The city will be changing all of the roughly 35,000 meters that service our customers, many of which are 20 or 30 years old. As part of this project the city will be reallocating positions to higher priorities, and eliminating vehicles and the associated costs of manually reading meters.
How does this change-out affect the customer?
Because most customers' meter is located in a pit in their front yard, they will see very little impact in the meter change-out process. There will be a short interruption of service (usually less than 20 minutes) and customers may notice a spurting of air in the pipes the first time water is used after the meter has been changed. For those customers that have a meter in the basement of their homes, the city will contact you to set up an appointment. Commercial customers will also be contacted if there is a need to interrupt service to ensure their business is not disrupted.
Customers will receive notice of the meter replacements through door hangers, mailings, the city web site, the Olathe News, and the Olathe Government Television Network (Comcast Channel 7 and AT&T Channel 99). The City's contractor will contact residents prior to the meter is replaced.