High-tech water meters coming to Danville

Published 9:31 am Friday, December 15, 2017

Common old water meters in the City of Danville will soon become high-tech wireless monitoring devices.

At the Danville City Commission meeting this week, Anthony Wright with Harshaw Trane — the company under contract with the city to implement an energy-saving project to upgrade lighting, heating and air conditioning in many city buildings and Millennium Park — gave an update on the installation of the new water meters.

“Thanks to the entire team, city commission and city staff, the meter project is underway and doing quite well,” Wright said. Replacing the meters is a very important part of the project, he said.  

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The project is now focusing on installing the Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI), “which will allow the city to be able to essentially get real time information on water usage and consumption.”

This will not only help to more accurately record data but will potentially detect leaks sooner, he said.

Sensus water meter

According to Taylor Bramlage, with Media Relations at Harshaw Trane, a pilot program began earlier this week when contractors started replacing about 150 water meters throughout the city. These meters will wirelessly send customers’ water consumption data “through a dedicated frequency, to a base station installed at a tower on Fourth Street, then to the billing system at city hall, rather than having someone physically record each individual meter readings,” Bramlage wrote in an email.

“We mostly want to test the system and make sure that we have good communication from the station that is going to take reads on an electronic basis,” Wright told the commission. “And we want to make sure we’ve got all the systems talking to each other,” before they pull the plug in January, he added.

Beginning Jan. 8, contractors with Utility Management Services (UMS) will begin replacing around 8,500 water meters “in full force,” Wright said — there will be a team of specialized people doing the work, which should take about eight months to finish. 

They will be easily identified, he said: They will be driving trucks with “Utility Metering Solutions” logos, wearing bright yellow/green shirts identified by “Utility Metering Solutions Meter Replacement Team” and carrying appropriate identification.

Wright said Harshaw Trane is working with the city “to figure out how we want to communicate to the general public the stages of this project and its implementation.”

He said the project was also mentioned in the city newsletter that was just mailed.

In a letter posted on the city’s website, Mayor Mike Perros wrote, “Once installed, advanced meter technology will be able to collect multiple remote meter reads per day, allowing for better leak detection and improved customer service … Our drinking water in the community will remain safe throughout the project.”

Postcards will be sent to notify water customers at least one week in advance when meters will be replaced in their area, Wright said. The replacement process should take about 30 minutes to complete.

Before leaving the site, a door hanger will will be hung at the main entrance of the building. 

“When people see the door hanger, it will indicate what we’ve actually done at that particular visit. Some cases, we’ll change the meter as intended, but we also will come across cases where we will not be able to indicate what those reasons were and will reschedule with the city,” Wright said.

According to Bramlage, “there is no anticipated reduction of personnel as a result of this project, however, some staff may be redirected to address other needs of the water utility.”

In order to not disrupt the regular two-month billing cycle, Wright said the schedule to replace different areas’ meters will depend on the billing books. Therefore, billing and meter replacement “will hopscotch a little bit.” This means occasionally not everyone in the same subdivision will have their meters replaced at the same time because they may be on a different billing cycle. “We’re going by billing books, not by street or address,” he said.


Frequently asked questions and answers are posted on the City of Danville’s website at www.danvilleky.org. Residents may contact the water billing office at (859) 238-1200.

This door hanger card will be placed on the building’s main entrance before contractors leave the site informing the residents of the status of the visit.