(BLOOMINGTON) – At their meeting this evening at 5 pm, the Utilities Service Board (USB) is scheduled to consider a $1.9 million agreement with Utility Metering Solutions to oversee the transition of Bloomington’s water meters to the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
If approved, the contractor will act as the agent of the City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) to install new meters, set up software, conduct community outreach and other measures ensuring a smooth conversion. Installation is anticipated to be complete by March 2020.
In December, City Council approved a lease-purchase agreement to fund the implementation of the AMI system serving all CBU customers. An integrated system of smart meters, communications networks, and data management systems, AMI enables two-way communication between utilities and customers. The system provides a number of important functions that were not previously possible or had to be performed manually, including on-demand reading and the ability to measure water usage automatically and remotely, to connect and disconnect service, to detect tampering and to identify and isolate pressure issues and potential leaks. Both the utility and the customer will have access to more detailed water usage information with the new meters.
Water metering is the first application the AMI system will serve. The base stations can also serve as a high-security radio communications network for other “smart city” applications. In addition to water meters, the network can communicate with other smart devices across the city, supporting future applications that can coordinate and streamline the delivery of City services. These applications can reduce environmental impacts and improve data quality. The overall cost for the AMI project, including contingencies, is estimated to be $9 million.
“The immediate benefits of this modernized metering system will be to heighten the efficiency with which CBU is able to respond to infrastructure issues, and empower customers to make more informed decisions on managing water consumption,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “Beyond its application for water metering, an innovative network like AMI offers the far-reaching potential to create efficiencies, cut costs and conserve natural resources.”
The USB meets every other Monday (except City holidays) at 5 p.m. at the Utilities Service Center in Bloomington (600 E Miller Drive). Everyone is welcome and time is reserved at the end of each meeting for public comment. More information can be found at CBU’s website bloomington.in.gov/utilities or their facebook page “City of Bloomington, IN – Utilities”.