Water Meter Change Out Process

 

 About Water Meter Change Out Project

Timeline

Meters will be changed out starting in June 2023. Appointments can be made here or by calling 1-888-828-7323.

 
Why do we need to replace the water meters?

As with any measuring device, meters can become less accurate as they age. Failing meters result in estimated water usage or under reported water usage. Water meters have a useful life of approximately 20 years after which the accuracy will diminish. A large percentage of Wyoming’s meters are approaching or have exceeded this 20 year limit.

Also, the older meters are not compatible with current meter reading systems. The new meters will transmit the water meter reading directly to the Public Works department and accurately report your consumption every day. This will also improve the City's infrastructure and increase our ability to respond to customer inquiries.

 

What are the benefits?
  • High water usage and/or water leaks will be brought to your attention quickly and not accumulate over 90 days.
  • Eliminates estimated readings.
  • Provides accurate water usages for all customers.
  • Lowers operational costs to read meters.
  • Usage information data will be transmitted automatically to the City multiple times a day.
  • City staff will be able to better assist you in understanding your usage trends as they will have detailed information about your water usage. This will help you save water and reduce your water costs.

 

Is this new meter really needed?
Yes. We strive to provide the best possible customer service, high reliability and billing accuracy. The new technology will help us achieve these goals.

 

How long will it take to complete this project?

The project is scheduled to take approximately 4 months.

 

Will everyone be receiving a new meter?
Yes, any resident or business with a meter that is not a Neptune meter, will be changed out.

 

Is this something I have to do?
Yes, this is a mandatory meter replacement/upgrade. The City of Wyoming requires that all utility customers receive new meters.

 

How much will this cost me?

The meter and installation are provided to the property owner at no charge. If existing plumbing is in disrepair, the owner may incur a cost associated with fixing the plumbing prior to installation.

 

How do I know if I need a new meter? 
If your meter doesn't look similar to the one pictured and it does not have the name "Neptune" on it, you will need to have your meter changed out.

 Neptune-Meter

 About The New Meters

What type of meters are these?

These water meters are called Neptune meters and are sold by Ferguson Waterworks. These meters:

  • Improve efficiency of meter reading and water billing
  • Save staff time and fuel
  • Prevent reading and recording errors
  • Minimize the need for personnel to go on the property
  • Detect leaks in your plumbing system

 

Are the new meters the same as the ones being replaced?
No, the meters will be replaced with automated ones that transmit the meter readings to fixed radio antennas which are located on our water towers. These automated meters eliminate the need to obtain readings directly from the meter and, therefore, improve the efficiency and lower the cost of the meter reading program.

 

What kind of data will be sent out from my new meter?
The new meters will send flow/usage data to the fixed radio antenna, as well as any alarms, such as leak detection, tampering, and reverse flow. 

 

Do I need to maintain the meters?
No. Wyoming will handle all ongoing maintenance of the equipment. Do not tamper with the devices. Do not bang on them or attempt to adjust them. Teach children never to touch or play with utility equipment including the meters and radio transmitters. If you think something is wrong with the equipment, please call our Public Works department at 651-462-0580.

 

How can I be sure that the fixed radio antenna is reading my meter and not my neighbors?
Each meter is identified by a unique serial number which will only transmit your reading to the fixed radio antenna.

 

Will the meter transmit any personal information?

No. There will never be any personal information transmitted at any time. This is because the water meter does not contain any data related to your account or household. The central data collectors receive the water meter readings and it is sent to the City's server using an encrypted data link. The readings are stored in the City's utility billing database where it is linked to your account and your bill is calculated.

 
Will the radio transmitter interfere with my television, cordless phone, garage doors or pacemaker?
No, the radio transmissions occur on a frequency different from those used by television signals, cordless phones, garage doors, and pacemakers.

 

Are there any potential health concerns with the radio signals?

Studies made on low-power RF transmissions have revealed no negative health impacts. The meter transmits for less than a minute each day. The transmissions from the device are comparatively of much lower power, lesser duration, and of farther proximity to customers than typical household devices such as cellular or cordless phones, and televisions. Other common household devices that also use low-power radio signals include wireless internet systems, laptop computers, video game consoles, and baby monitors.

 

Is there anything hazardous inside the equipment?
No, only ordinary electronics and batteries are inside the equipment.

 Installation Process

How To Schedule

You can schedule online or by phone - 1-888-828-7323. Appointment hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm and Saturdays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Appointments are scheduled in 2 hour blocks.

 
How long does it take to install?

The entire meter change out process takes less than 1 hour to complete with a water service interruption of up to 30 minutes. Please be advised some installations may take longer due to piping issues, location of meter, etc.

In some cases, it might be determined that the condition of your plumbing does not allow for the replacement of the new meter. If this does occur, the Ferguson contractor will discuss the reasoning and give you a postcard stating your next steps.

 

Will my water service be interrupted during the installation?

Yes, there will be a temporary service interruption of no more than 30 minutes. Residents will be notified in person prior to the installation of the new meter. Installers will make every effort to ensure that doing so will not impose an undue hardship on the resident.

 

What’s the install process?

A Ferguson contractor will present their badge to the homeowner or someone who is 18+. The homeowner will show the contractor the location of the meter. The contractor will take several pictures of the meter to ensure accurateness. The contractor will change out the old meter with the new meter and install the radio receiver to the outside of the home. To ensure that the installation is complete, workers will briefly test the new meter by running water through a faucet and also gathering a read from the street. The contractor will clean up the work area to restore it back to the original condition. Once complete, they will give the homeowner a card stating how to read the new meter and if there's a leak or emergency, who to contact. If the contractor is unable to complete the change out, it will be communicated to the homeowner and City about next steps.

Additionally, the contractors have been trained to identify lead services. If a lead service is identified during the meter installation process, the City will notify the homeowner of such and the proper steps in removing the lead service and lead piping. The City understands the potential associated risks with lead services and is providing this value-added service as it strives to continue to provide safe, clean water to all Wyoming residents and businesses. 

 
Who will install the meters?
RMR Services has been contracted to replace the water meters beginning in June 2023. Only one contractor will be doing the change out. This contractor will have proper identification and will arrive in marked vehicles. 

 

How do I know that the people who come to my house are representing the City as part of this project?

All City personnel assigned to the project will have a conspicuously displayed picture identification badge. All vehicles used by these individuals will also be in marked vehicles. Contractors without proper identification will not be allowed to work.

The Wyoming Police Department has been notified about this water meter change out project. If you ever have any questions about the identity of someone who claims to be working on behalf of the City of Wyoming, please call our Police Department’s nonemergency number at 651-257-4100.

 

Do I need to do anything to my home or business before you install the new water meter?

Yes. You need to remove anything within a three (3) foot radius of your water meter and reading device. Your water meter is most likely located in your basement or crawl space, usually along the front wall of your house, where your water service enters from the street. To help keep everyone safe, dogs and any other domestic pets will need to be secured during installation.

We also recommend testing your water shutoff valve. To ensure the water shutoff valve on the incoming water service (before your water meter) is in working condition, please turn the valve off and on. A ball valve in the off position is perpendicular (not parallel) with the water line. A gate valve in the off position is turning it clockwise. If you are unable to shut the valve off completely, please replace or repair it prior to scheduling your appointment. 

Valve

 

Isn’t my water meter on the outside of the home?

No, water meters are located within the homes to prevent freezing in the winter months. Some homes may be equipped with an outdoor reading device. Installers will be replacing the water meter inside your home and installing a new radio device.

 
Do I need to be present when they replace the meter?

Yes, you or someone 18 or over needs to be home and remain home during the entire installation process. We cannot enter anyone’s home without someone being present. We are scheduling 6 days a week to accommodate this.

 After Installation

Will there be any discrepancies with my water after the change out?

There may be some trapped air or slight discoloration in the water line that results from the change out. This will clear up after running your water for a few moments. You may hear some noise as the air exits spigots and fixtures. This is normal.

 

What if there is a leak at the meter or any problems after the meter is replaced?

If you notice a leak, something's not right after install, have an emergency issue or have general questions, please contact Ferguson at 1-888-828-7323.

 

Will my water bill increase?

Not necessarily; however, as meters age, they tend to run slower and lose accuracy over time.  Depending on the age and accuracy of your existing meter, your bill could change based on the consumption associated with the new meter. The new meters are simply recording consumption more accurately. 

These new meters will ensure fairness and equality for all the residents and businesses from this point forward.

 Further Questions

What if I have more questions about the water meter change out process?

You may contact us at 651-462-0575 or at wyoming@wyomingmn.org. Our office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4:30 pm.