Eastern Municipal Water District expedites meter upgrades to 5,000 meters per month

By on August 26, 2017

Perris-based Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) has begun an expansion of its meter upgrade program to better assist their customers in monitoring their water use. The district had initiated the meter upgrade program earlier this year and were replacing some 1,000 meters per month.

With the expedited program EMWD is looking to upgrade more than 5,000 water meters per month to new Smart Meters. The district anticipates having every meter within its footprint replaced by the summer of 2019.

Earlier this year, EMWD began a leak notification program for their customers who already had a Smart Meter installed. One of the primary benefits of the new Smart Meters is the ability for the district to assist customers in identifying potential leaks on their properties. If the district notes a residential customer has continual usage for a 72-hour period, the customer is notified of a potential leak by the method they prefer — phone, email or text message.  Since EMWD began the program earlier this year, more than 12,000 customers have been notified of a potential leak. The program has had a 95-percent success rate.

“It is important that we use available technology to our advantage by providing our customers the tools necessary to better understand their water use,” EMWD President David Slawson said. “In addition to creating a more efficient model, we want to ensure that we are proactively assisting customers in identifying potential leaks. Doing so will help our customers save both water and money.”

In addition to assisting customers in identifying potential water leaks, the district will realize three other cost-savings opportunities through the meter upgrade program:  EMWD personnel will no longer need to drive nearly 170,00 miles annually to read water meters manually (the equivalent of 60 cross-country treks); corresponding fuel costs will be dramatically minimized; and, the Smart Meters will reduce the need for fleet vehicles (and their inherent costs) solely dedicated toward meter-reading.

The new meter technology will eventually allow customers to use a portal to monitor their water usage in real time, project monthly bills and to identify if there are potential leaks at their properties. In the interim, customers can visit www.emwd.org/smartmeters to determine which streets in EMWD’s service area that will undergo meter upgrades each month.