Ventura Water employees installing new smart meter.
by city staff
Ventura Water has started replacing the old, manually-read water meters throughout the city with new, Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), also known as smart meters. Smart meters provide wireless communication between the meter at your home or business and Ventura Water (your local water utility). Water customers will immediately realize the benefit of smart meters through the ability to detect and notify consumers of costly leaks within 24 hours rather than finding out at the end of a 60 day-billing cycle. Other benefits include improved accuracy and the ability for customers to actively manage their water usage and therefore have a better knowledge of how much water they are consuming on a consistent basis.
In the fall of 2017 approximately 32,000 water meters for Ventura’s residential and commercial customers will be replaced. The meter upgrades will be installed in multiple phases of about 1,000 meters per month for a three year period.
A smart water meter, often referred to as sustainable water management technology, looks very similar to the existing meter but has an added device that relays readings remotely. Smart meters are considered among the most innovative technologies available to manage and predict usage and, ultimately, they will help improve conservation efforts for the entire community.
Once all the meters are installed, Ventura Water plans to implement monthly billing (instead of bi-monthly) in 2020. The existing water meters are old and due for replacement. The new smart meters give customers more information and control of their water usage, and offer environmental benefits by reducing the need for meter readers.
Are the new meters safe? Yes, the AMI technology is safe, much safer than cell phones, laptops, Bluetooth devices, microwave ovens and similar commonly used equipment. The AMI Meter radio frequency transmissions only contain the reading, error codes and meter ID – protecting the customer’s personal information.
Ventura residents have done a great job conserving water and have made efficient water practices a way of life. In March 2017 our water demand was down by 31% compared to March 2013. The City of Ventura remains focused on responding to the water challenges we are facing and will continue to implement projects that diversify our water portfolio and improve future water reliability.
“Ventura Water works in partnership with our community to be efficient and plan for the unpredictable future. Hundreds of residents have participated in our turf replacement Water Wi$e Incentive Program, free Water Conservation Survey visits and other programs,” said Ventura Water Acting General Manager Joe McDermott.