Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 7:02am
The Madison Water Utility is seeking vendor proposals to develop and implement a system upgrade that will enable customer meters to be read via a fixed-base radio network, and that will eventually allow the utility to issue bills monthly rather than at the current six-month intervals.
The system upgrade, known as an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system, will automatically read the water meter and send the data to the Utility via a secure network. Customers will be able to use the internet to monitor their own water usage via a password-protected account. The system will allow MWU to detect small leaks early and notify the customer, resulting in significant water and cost savings.
Monthly billing will also make it easier for customers to budget for the municipal services bill, which includes not only water usage but also charges for the City storm water utility, sewer utility, public fire protection, and landfill remediation.
Responses to the Water Utility's request for AMI vendor proposals are due April 19, and a vendor will be chosen in July after an extensive review. After that point, the utility will begin contacting customers to arrange appointments for workers to install the necessary meter modifications. Meters are located within customer homes, usually in the basement, although the registers currently read by meter readers are attached to the outside of houses. This process will take approximately 17 to 18 months, and the entire AMI system should be completed by December 2012.
The Madison Water Utility, as an agency of the City of Madison, serves approximately 235,700 people through about 66,000 meter service connections. Vendor inquiries may be directed to the City Purchasing Services department at 608:267-4969.
- Gail Gawenda, Water Utility PIO608:266-9129