AMI Information
   AMI Install Team
   AMI Letter

The advantages of AMI are numerous. Here are six:

  • 1. Reduced water loss - Currently many leaks are found only when a meter is read - which occurs bimonthly. Leaks therefore sometimes continue for weeks with the customer unaware. With AMI water use is recorded hourly, allowing the District to be alerted of unusually high use on a near real time basis.

  • 2. Customer real-time engagement in water use - AMI allows customers to monitor their water use in near real-time over the internet, to compare use to prior periods, and to obtain immediate feedback on, say, a change in irrigation cycles or run-time. Irrigation accounts for half of all residential water use.

  • 3. Monthly billing - Bimonthly billing has been the practice of the District since 1961. While the practice reduces labor cost, it also reduces water use feedback to the consumer. AMI will allow the District to consider cost-effective monthly billing, which would aid customers who budget on a monthly basis.

  • 4. Reduced labor requirement - The District spent $160,000 last fiscal year reading meters in Novato. That labor could be used to serve customers in other ways. Tasks such as rolling a truck to obtain a final read on move-out and requests to re-read a meter to investigate high or low consumption are expensive. AMI allows the customer service rep to obtain a read on demand over the internet within minutes.

  • 5. Increased customer satisfaction – The ability to monitor water use on an hourly basis the consumer can identify exactly when and how much water use occurred. Information and transparency increases customer satisfaction.

  • 6. Safety - Meter readers must deal with unfriendly dogs and meters that are difficult to access or located adjacent to roadways on a blind curve or with an inadequate shoulder. AMI mitigates these risks.

The project includes the upgrading over 20,000 residential and commercial water meters with new, technologically advanced digital registers that can communicate water use data via wireless technology directly to North Marin Water District. These digital meter registers will replace the current system that requires District employees to drive around Novato and read each meter manually, key the read into a handheld computer, bring it back to the District and upload the information.

In most cases your existing meter can be retrofit with a new digital register and there will be no interruption to your water service. About 25% of customers have an older meter that cannot be retrofit. If you have an older meter you will receive a new meter in addition to a digital register. Those of you receiving a new meter will experience approximately 15-minutes of interruption to your water service. A door-hanger will be placed on your door 1-2 days prior to the meter replacement. A service representative will knock on your door and confirm that no water is running prior to replacing your meter.

Most meters are located will occur within public right-of-way and easement. Our contractor will restore to original condition any private property impacted by the installation.

Work will be performed Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:30 am 4:30 pm.

No, the installation will be seamless. You may not even realize the upgrade was performed. However, to help keep everyone safe, if you have a dog that is loose outside where we are performing this work, we may ask you to keep the dog inside or leashed during the work.

North Marin Water District will send out mailers a few weeks before the Contractor starts work in your neighborhood.

The meters themselves are actually the same. What is new is a reading system that allows the reading of the meter to be done electronically instead of manually. The new meter communication module will continue to display the meter reading, but it will be in gallons instead of hundred cubic feet, making it easier for the customer to understand their water use.

The system works via wireless signals sent from a small radio unit meter communication module. The communication module sends readings to regional Gateways (data collector units) which are located atop water storage tanks throughout Novato. From there, data is transmitted to the District. The meter communication module sends meter readings to Gateways four times per day. The Gateways then transmit the data to the District via the internet.

Currently, every two months, the District has to drive out and visit over 20,000 homes and businesses to read meters and hand-key the read into a hand-held computer. This is time consuming, expensive, and can result introduce human error. The new system will automate this. AMI will provide early leak detection, saving customers and the District thousands of dollars every year. AMI eliminates the need to estimate your bill when access to the meter is blocked or inclement weather fills the meter box with water. AMI eliminates the need for a water meter reader to visit your premise every two months; and it increases the accuracy of your bill by eliminating the possibility of human error in reading the meter. The new communication modules will read in gallons rather than cubic feet, making it much to understand your water consumption.

The older meters being replaced during the project will be recycled. As is currently the case, all water meters and digital registers will remain the property of North Marin Water District. We will continue to perform the required maintenance on these units.

Yes. Only meter consumption and meter serial numbers are transmitted. Personal customer information is not be transmitted.

Each meter communication module has a unique serial number, which is transmitted along with the meter reading. The serial number is compared to your account record to ensure a match.

AMI will eliminate estimated bills and increase billing accuracy. AMI can also alert you, via text message or email, to household leaks, allowing you to fix them quickly, mitigating water loss and the impact on your water bill. You will continue to receive your water and bills in accordance with your normal billing schedule. Your consumption will be shown in gallons instead of hundred cubic feet (Ccf).

No. NMWD’s AMI water meters are compliant with the Federal Communication’s (FCC’s) health and safety standards. In fact, the radio frequency (RF) exposures from AMI meters are much lower than most common household devices including microwaves, baby monitors and Wi-Fi devices. NMWD has reviewed numerous RF studies and reports, including those from the American Cancer Society, World Health Organization, and the California Council on Science and Technology, which all conclude there is no evidence that RF emission from AMI meters pose a health risk. Please click on the names of the organizations above for more information.


© 2018 North Marin Water District | PO Box 146 Novato | CA 94948-0146