Water Meter Replacement Project

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​Overview

The City of Riverbank has selected National Meter and Automation, Inc., to:
  • Implement a $4.1 million Automated Meter Reading (AMR) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project
  • Replace over 7,000 city water meters with new water meters
  • Remove and replace water meter box, as needed, to bring to City Standard
  • Improve the efficiency of meter reading
  • Install advanced leak detection system on water mains
  • In addition, the City will also be installing new billing software to allow for accurate and efficient billing
  • Allow for water usage to be recorded in gallons instead of cubic feet.
The improved and more efficient meter reading operations utilizing AMR/AMI technologies can help municipalities conserve water, improve customer service and reliability, maximize capital budgets, protect property and reduce operating costs.

The water meter upgrades will begin in early 2016.


How It Will Work

Meter Replacement Procedure

In most cases, meter change out is a simple procedure that requires an hour or less.
  • The contractor, Pacific Meter Services, Inc., will be operating in the City between the hours of 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday
  • It will take approximately 30 - 45 minutes to replace each meter and water services will be briefly interrupted during installation
  • Door hangers will be distributed before the contractor arrives at any address
  • The contractor will leave a door hanger after the work is completed
  • Please clear the area around the meter when contractors are scheduled to arrive
  • Residents are not required to be present during the meter replacement
  • If your meter is not accessible or if you have special needs, please contact the City of Riverbank at 209-863-7155
  • All water meters are scheduled to be replaced by December 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AMR/AMI?

Automated Meter Reading (AMR) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), allows water utilities to gather utility usage data from its customers, both residential and commercial, without manually reading meters.  The utility improves services and saves money by minimizing the costs associated with reading individual residential and commercial meters while allowing time to do other required maintenance activities.  In addition, Automated Meter Reading/Advanced Metering Infrastructure improves data accuracy and helps identify irregularities.

Why is the City undertaking this effort?

Automated meter systems are quickly becoming the standard for utilities around the country.  The new devices allow for more accurate and faster collection of water usage readings than the current manual method or drive-by method and improve safety conditions for City staff.  Currently, the meter readers must open every meter box to obtain a reading from the meter or drive through the town to get the radio reads.  Introducing automatic meter reading as the standard for Riverbank is one of the ways we can better serve our customers and improve the overall efficiency of the Water Department.

How many meters will be changed?

The City is replacing over 7,000 of the meters in the City of Riverbank.

Will the electronic device on the meter interfere with other electronic equipment?

No.  The radio transmission operates in compliance with FCC regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices.

Do I have to be home for the meter replacement work?

No.  Since the water meters are located outside of the home you will not need to be home for the replacement work.

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, you will be provided contact numbers that you can call to report your concern.  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 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, minimize wear and tear on vehicles, and minimize the need for City employees to access the meter pit.

​Does the meter have to be replaced?

Yes.  All meters will be changed to be read by the automated metering infrastructure technology.

Has the 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 of meter readings.
  • Minimized need to access meters at the property.

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.

Can I cover up the meter after the installation?

No.  Access needs to be available at all times.  There will still be occurrences 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.

Can I read the meter?

No.  Only City staff are authorized to open the meter lid.  Plumbers are not authorized to open meter lids.

How will I know that you have my reading & 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 to ensure a match.

Does this mean no more meter readers?

No.  The City of Riverbank currently uses Water Maintenance Workers to read meters.  The Water Maintenance Workers will now be able to focus on routine services, maintenance or repairs.  They will also continue to respond to water emergencies.

Contact Information

Please call the City of Riverbank, Development Services Department at (209) 863-7155 or (209) 863-7127 with any questions or feedback.