Installation of new automated meters to begin Spring 2021
Harnett County has authorized the replacement of Harnett Regional Water’s water meters. The current meters were manually read in most instances and provided just one meter read per month. Harnett Regional Water (HRW) will install new automated meters that will collect 720 reads each month. This new technology is referred to as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and will provide exponential benefits to the County and its customers.
Customers will have direct access to detailed usage reports and the opportunity to sign-up for alert notifications for water leaks and high consumption to proactively identify leaks. Harnett Regional Water staff will have access to enhanced system reporting and functionalities, as well as detailed trending data to deliver improved customer service support and expedited response time.
“We are excited to be able to provide this new advanced metering infrastructure system to our residential and commercial customers,” stated Steve Ward, Director of Harnett Regional Water. “It will greatly enhance HRW’s ability to provide real time usage data to our customers. Customers will now have much greater access to their account without directly contacting our office. It will provide them the opportunity to monitor their usage and eliminate much of the guesswork from unexplained water usage. They can even set a limit on their monthly usage and receive text or email alerts when they reach it.”
The meter project involves the installation of highly accurate and state-of-the art metering technology for residential and commercial water customers. The new AMI system uses wireless and radio frequency technology to transmit hourly water usage data from individual meters to an antenna and collector at County-owned water tanks. The data transmissions sent by the meters to the collectors and on to the Meter Data Management System (MDMS) software utilized and managed by Utility staff are secured by encryption and contain no customer information.
In September of 2019, Harnett Regional Water began researching options for automating its meter reading processes and replacing meter infrastructure that had reached the end of its operational useful life. Harnett Regional Water determined through replacement of existing water meters with newer, AMI meters provided far greater benefit to County utility operations, customer service, and the community than the costs associated with the upgrades.
Harnett Regional Water conducted a comprehensive bid process for new water metering technologies. Through competitive evaluation, the County selected Ferguson Waterworks as the prime vendor. Ferguson is a distributor of Sensus, a meter manufacturer and advanced metering solutions company. Their AMI system that HRW is deploying will provide significant improvements to customer service, while achieving greater utility operational efficiencies.
The meter project will involve the replacement of thousands of County water meters, installation of a County-wide AMI network serving all of the County’s water services, and installation and integration of the MDMS with the County’s utility billing system. The project is expected to be completed by April 2023.
Installation will require a short disruption of service, generally 10-15 minutes for residential customers. Installers will not need access to your home and will only knock to notify you of their presence. After the new meter has been installed, a door tag will be placed on the front door to indicate the work has been completed. Commercial and industrial customers will be contacted by Ferguson Waterworks to have their meter replacement scheduled outside of business hours to limit service disruption.
The installation crew will be following state and local Coronavirus guidelines, including wearing facemasks. All field personnel will have successfully completed a background check, will carry proper identification, and have company decals displayed on their vehicle. The meter upgrade project will be managed by a team comprised of the vendors and County staff. MeterSYS, a Raleigh-based advanced metering services consulting firm will provide project management throughout the implementation.
For more information on this project, visit Harnett Regional Water’s meter project website at https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/f0b6788b86c745eca5f0ddc855efbae5.