Maple Grove has awarded Ferguson Waterworks with a project to replace about 16,000 manually read meters with new meters utilizing Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology. About 6,000 AMR water meters currently in use will not be replaced at this time. The project cost is funded through water utility funds.
About 6,000 residents currently self-read the meter and mail a meter card back to the City on a quarterly basis, where the data is manually entered into the billing system. Other accounts included in the project are read on foot by City employees using touch pad technology, which is fragile and no longer supported by manufacturers. Many of the meters included in the project exceed their 20-year effective life. The project will improve operational efficiencies, system integrity, call-out services for property transfers, leak detection capabilities, water use and conservation management, and customer service.
The AMR technology is similar to that utilized by gas and electric utilities, however is different in that it does not continually broadcast a “Wi-fi” type signal. The meter radio unit is in sleep mode for most all of the day. Meter readings are transmitted once daily to collection devices at one of 13 antenna sites throughout the city, where the information is stored and downloaded to the City offices. AMR water meters with mobile drive-by technology have been used in the system for about 10 years, still operating on original batteries.
The water meter replacement project will be completed in phases, coordinated with billing cycle areas. Work is tentatively scheduled to progress in phases as follows:
November: Northeast Maple Grove
December: Rice Lake Area
January: Fish Lake Area
February: Eagle Lake Area
March: Lake Edward Area
April: Southwest Maple Grove
May: Weaver Lake Area
June: Northwest Maple Grove
You will receive notice from Ferguson Waterworks to schedule an appointment for the work. It is important that appointment be scheduled within about two weeks of receiving notice, for the work to be completed in a timely and effective manner. Appointments can be made by phone or on-line, and the process typically takes only a few minutes. Installers are scheduled for several appointments within a 2-hour window, and most installations take less than 30 minutes. For those heading out of state for extended winter get-a-way, Ferguson Waterworks will work with you to schedule an appointment upon your return.
The water meter must be readily accessible to the installer. The installer will unscrew coupling connections to remove the old meter, and install the new meter in its place. The radio unit is mounted to the wall or ceiling above the water meter, and connected to it by wire strapped to the piping. Other plumbing repairs are outside Ferguson Waterworks’ scope of work; they present an obstacle to keeping other scheduled appointments.
October 2013 Update:
Ferguson Waterworks has completed work on water meter replacement installations (14,927 of 15,414 affected services) and is no longer scheduling appointments. Public Works crews have replaced approximately another 150 water meters with access issues, for about 98% replacement. Thank you for helping to make this a successful project.
Maple Grove Public Works will finish the replacement project, continuing to install the new meters at no additional charge (basic installation) until the end of 2013. Public Works staff has been successful at replacing meters with faulty valves and in tight quarters. Please contact Maple Grove Public Works at 763-494-6370 to schedule an appointment, or if there are any questions.
View a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the water meter replacement project. Questions about the project may be directed to Public Works at 763-494-6370.