Carmel Utilities will begin replacing aging water meters across the community with new, enhanced equipment allowing for more accurate readings and better water efficiency. The project, beginning this month with expected completion in late 2022, will replace approximately 29,000 meters, which have become less effective and accurate because of old age.
“Meter manufacturers cite an average meter age of 10 years. Many of Carmel’s meters are more than 18 years old and, in some cases, 30 years old,” Carmel Utilities Director John Duffy stated. “By replacing our customers’ meters with this new advanced water meter technology, we’ll be able to better serve our water customers with more accurate data on water consumption and detect and stop leaks in a timely manner.”
Carmel Utilities does not plan to raise rates to pay for the project, which is funded through an $8 million revenue bond and other measures.
Carmel Utilities has contracted Envocore – RTS Water Solutions to install the new Neptune water meters in a phased approach by neighborhood. Residents are to be informed prior to the installations with two separate postcard mailers, one sent to the customer’s home two weeks before installation, with the other three days before the contractor’s arrival. The customer’s water will be turned off while the installation process takes place, lasting approximately 20 minutes. A door hanger will then be left at the front door with pertinent information regarding installation.
By replacing entire routes of water meters with the new infrastructure, the project also will eliminate the need to send staff to record meter readings. Eighty-five percent of current meters are direct read, with staff going to each homeowner’s meter and walking approximately 7 to 10 miles per day outside in any type of weather. While a meter reader in the field can read an average of 375 meters a day, the new technology allows meter readings at 350 meters per minute via radio frequency collected on a computer within the Carmel Utilities office. The city’s meter readers will be reassigned into other positions within Carmel Utilities and will not lose their jobs.