Cleveland Water to replace all CH meters by year's end
Cleveland Water has announced plans to replace all water meters in Cleveland Heights with new “state-of-the-art” automated meter reading (AMR) technology. The utility expects its Clear Reads project to be completed by the end of 2017, and stated that the new meters and their installation will not result in any additional costs to customers.
Every new meter is connected to an “endpoint,” a small battery-powered device that will read each water meter multiple times each day, then send the meter readings via radio signals to a “collector,” which then will transmit that data to Cleveland Water.
According to Cleveland Water’s website, each endpoint has its own “unique identifier that is transmitted along with the read data. This identifier is compared electronically to [each] account record to ensure that the meter reading matches the meter assigned to [that] account.” When the data is transmitted from a meter to Cleveland Water, the utility will only see the device name, the last eight meter readings, and notification of any leak or problem with the meter’s operation.
Clear Reads enables Cleveland Water to obtain meter readings without sending anyone out to read the meter, and without needing trucks to drive around to pick up meter signals. According to the utility, Clear Reads “delivers better customer service by providing accurate bills based on actual consumption, early leak detection, and overall improved efficiency.”
Jason Wood, chief of public affairs for the city of Cleveland, mentioned other benefits of the Clear Reads project at a meeting Cleveland Water held at the CH Community Center on June 24.
Wood stated that there will be a reduction in estimated bills and more-accurate water bills as a result of this new AMR technology.
He also explained that the installation of new meters is mandatory for every home and business in the Cleveland Heights service area. To have the meter installed, one must wait for a notification letter from Cleveland Water to arrive by mail, then call to schedule an installation appointment at a time when someone 18 or older can be on the property during the time of the installation, if the meter is indoors.
Appointments can be scheduled during weeknights or over the weekend, and installation is estimated to take around an hour to complete. During installation, the water may have to be turned off for 15 to 20 minutes. Some wire may need to be run, but there will be no need to tear up any landscaping to do so.
If the new meter is to be installed inside, there must be at least three feet of space around the installation site.
Cleveland Water has hired UtiliCon Corporation, a Cleveland-based company that provides general contracting services such as constructing water and sewer mains, to install the meters.
Wood promised that Cleveland Water will make the installation process “as noninvasive as they can make it,” and “will be as flexible as they can be.”
Connor O'Brien is a senior majoring in communication and minoring in English at John Carroll University. He is currently an intern for the Heights Observer.