AMI - Advanced Metering Infrastructure
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) provides our residents with improved meter reading and billing accuracy. This state-of-the-art technology will provide water usage data in real-time and detect leaks or issues immediately, leading to a faster response time and increased customer satisfaction. The benefits of this Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI):
- Real time reporting of water usage
- Quickly identify excessive water use
- Quick detection of water leaks
Installation of New Meters
The installation of the new meters will begin February 2024 and should be completed in less than 24 months. The new meters will be installed neighborhood by neighborhood, beginning with the oldest/least accurate meters and continuing based on a combination of age/accuracy and what part of the month you receive your bill. This interactive map will show the meters that have been installed.
- Will my water bill go up?
Possibly. Older meters tend to lose accuracy as they age and therefore do not measure all the water going through them. The new water meter will accurately measure the water that you use. All new meters are tested prior to delivery by the manufacturer to ensure that they register properly. If you see a higher bill immediately upon the new meter installation, it is likely the old meter was running slow.
- What is AMI?
AMI stands for Advanced Metering Infrastructure. It is a method of using communication technology to read meters remotely without having to access the meter located in meter boxes in the ground.
- How does it work?
The City of Deerfield Beach has chosen a fixed based network that provides two-way communication from the meter box to strategically located Base Stations. The City is replacing water meters citywide with new meters equipped with a meter transceiver. The meter transceiver is used to collect and transmit meter reading data, unique identification numbers, operating status, and various alarms at regular intervals to the Base Stations.
- Why is the City undertaking this effort?
Advanced meter systems are quickly becoming the standard for utilities around the country. These new devices allow for more accurate and faster collection of water usage readings than the current manual method and improve safety conditions for City staff. Currently, the meter readers must open every meter box to obtain a reading from the meter. Introducing automatic meter reading as the standard is one of the ways we can better serve our customers and improve the overall efficiency of the department.
- Is this system more accurate than the one we have now?
It is much more accurate. The new system can detect usage as low as .01 gallons and will be 98% accurate or better. Some of the meters are past their usable life and as much as 25% (or more) of the water passing through the meter goes undetected.
- How often will meters be read?
The AMI system will transmit usage data every 8 hours.
- When will the new meters be installed?
The installation of the new meters will begin February 2024 and should be completed in less than 24 months.
- Is the transmission of the data secure?
Yes. Data transmitted from the meter through the system is encrypted through the entire process. Additionally, no personal or even location data will be transmitted. Only the amount of water that goes through the meter and the time of day the usage will be collected and transmitted.
- Since these meters are automated, will Customer Service still be available?
We are not making any changes to Customer Service as part of the AMI project. All of the Customer Service Representatives available before the AMI project will continue to be available to respond to your calls and emails.
- Will you still be able to determine if there is a leak at the meter?
Our ability to determine leaks on the city side of the meter will remain unchanged, but our ability to detect leaks on the customer side of the meter will be greatly improved. In fact, you will gain the ability to set your own threshold for leak detection and get alerts sent directly to you letting you know about the issue.
- Will the meter be in the same location as my current meter?
Yes. The new meter will be replacing your existing meter. It is not being moved.
- Does this mean our water service is being outsourced?
No. The City of Deerfield Beach will continue to produce and distribute your drinking water and your calls and emails will be answered by our Customer Service section.
- How will it be detected if my meter isn't working?
The AMI system can detect unusual water usage patterns, including more or less water usage than normal. Alerts can be set up to let you know when those conditions are met.
- How many meters will be changed?
All of the City’s 12,953 meters will be replaced with new smart meters over the next 24-month period.
- Will the electronic device on the meter interfere with other electronic equipment?
No. The radio transmission operates in compliance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices.
- Can I access daily readings online?
Yes, monitor your water consumption at www.dfb.city/sensus to stay informed.
- Do I have to be home or the meter replacement work?
No. Since the water meters are located outside of the home in the City right-of-way, you will not need to be home for the replacement work; however, if your water meter happens to be accessed from your back yard, we will notify you with sufficient warning for access.
- What happens if I have a problem after the installation?
If you have a leak, low pressure or some other problem after the installation, or at any other time, contact customer service at 954-480-4279 (opt 2) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Because your water will be turned off temporarily during the meter change process, you may experience a brief period of air or discolored water. In most cases briefly running your cold water will clear up this situation.
- Why is the water meter being replaced?
To upgrade the meter to one capable of communicating with the AMI equipment, and as an extension of an existing program to replace aging meters after they have reached the end of their life cycle. With the introduction of newer technology, the existing meters are not able to communicate using the AMI technology. The newer meters will save labor time, prevent recording errors, and reduce the costs associated with contracts for meter reading.
- Does my meter have to be replaced?
Yes. All meters will be changed to be read by the automated metering infrastructure technology. Customers cannot choose to remain on the older manual reading system.
- Has this new AMI equipment been tested for accuracy and reliability?
Yes. Meters come pretested along with results directly from the manufacturer. The radio device will be tested for accuracy during the meter collection process regularly.
- How does AMI benefit customers?
- Improved customer service by increasing accuracy and frequency of meter readings.
- Minimized need to access meters at the property.
- Reduction in estimated bills.
- Ability for customers to set usages alerts on their account before high bills are received.
- Can I cover up the meter after the installation?
No. Access needs to be available at all times. There will still be instances when meter technicians will visit the meter on site to perform routine maintenance or verify high readings. Obstructions to the meter box are subject to removal by City personnel.
- What if there is something blocking or in front of the meter?
Please, keep access to the water meter available at all times to ensure it is accessible for any potential emergency that would require the meter to be turned off.
- How will I know that you have my reading and not someone else's?
Each radio frequency device has a unique identification number, which is transmitted along with the meter reading. The unique number is compared to your account record electronically to ensure a match
- Does this mean no more meter readers?
Yes. The City currently contracts these services and once AMI is fully deployed, these services will no longer be needed.