Residential water meters in the Otay Water District’s service area are now read via an automated system. Automated Meter Reading meters (AMR) transmit water use data via a one-way radio signal from the meter to a meter reader up to a half mile away. These meters are read once a month by a District vehicle driving down the street. The meter transmits a signal containing its data to an antenna on the vehicle. A laptop computer in the vehicle then records data from all meters along the specified route. This well-proven and cost-effective technology helps the District increase productivity, reduces costs and improves customer service.
With the AMR system, field representatives are able to read approximately 2,500 meters in 4 hours versus 700 meters in 8 hours, depending upon the route. Multiple routes can also be merged and completed in the same time it took to read just one route.
As part of the District’s ongoing commitment to quality control, the meter reading team does a comparison of the radio read to a manual read once every 18 months.