Hendersonville Water and Sewer

Advanced Metering Infrastructure Project

Innovative. Efficient. Conserving Resources.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is AMI?

AMI stands for Automated Metering Infrastructure. It is a method of using communication technology to read meters remotely without having to access the meter located in meter boxes in the ground.


How does it work?

The City of Hendersonville has chosen a Fixed based network that provides two-way communication from the Host computer to strategically located Base Stations. The City is replacing the water meters throughout the service territory with new meters equipped with a meter transceiver. The meter transceiver is used to collect and transmit meter reading data, unique identification numbers, operating status and various alarms and transmit the data at regular intervals to the Base Stations.


Why is the City undertaking this effort?

Automated meter systems are quickly becoming the standard for utilities around the country. The City has used the drive-by version of this technology since 1994 for a small section of meters in the service territory. The efficiencies gained in that area will now be upgraded and shared across the entire City’s service area. These new devices allow for more accurate and faster collection of water usage readings than the current manual method and improve safety conditions for City staff. Currently, the meter readers must open every meter box to obtain a reading from the meter. Introducing automatic meter reading as the standard for Hendersonville is one of the ways we can better serve our customers and improve the overall efficiency of the utility department.


How many meters will be changed?

The City is replacing the majority of the meters that have not previously been installed with meter transceivers.


Will the electronic device on the meter interfere with other

electronic equipment?

No. The radio transmission operates in compliance with FCC regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices.


Is this part of a fixed (closed) network?

Yes. The fixed network will collects readings at fixed data collection points and transmits them electronically for billing purposes without staff needing to go to the location of the meters. Fixed networks can allow a utility company to provide customers with Internet access to their reading information on a more frequent basis than their bill.


Can I access daily readings from the meter online?

Yes, when the system is installed water customers will have the ability to access their water consumption online.


Do I have to be home for the meter replacement work?

No. Since the water meters are located outside of the home in the City right-of-way, you will not need to be home for the replacement work.


What happens if I have a problem after the installation?

If you have a leak, low pressure or some other problem after the installation, or at any other time, you will be provided contact numbers that you can call to report your concern.  Because your water will be turned off temporarily during the meter change process, you may experience a brief period of air or discolored water. In most cases briefly running your cold water will clear this situation.


Why is the water meter being replaced?

To upgrade the meter to one capable of communicating with the AMI equipment, and as an extension of an existing program to replace aging meters after they have reached the end of their life cycle. With the introduction of newer technology, the existing meters are not able to communicate using the AMI technology. The newer meters will save labor time, prevent recording errors, minimize wear and tear on vehicles, minimize the need for City employees

to access the meter pit, and decrease the need to estimate accounts due to severe weather conditions.


Does the meter have to be replaced?

Yes. All meters will be changed to be read by the automated metering infrastructure technology.


Has this new AMI equipment been tested for accuracy

and reliability?

Yes, meters come pretested along with results directly from the manufacturer. The radio device will be tested for accuracy during the meter collection process regularly.


How does AMI benefit customers?

• Improved customer service by increasing accuracy of meter readings.

• Minimized need to access meters at the property.

• Reduction in estimated bills.


Will my water bill go up?

Possibly. Older meters tend to lose accuracy as they age and therefore do not measure all the water going through them. The new water meter will accurately measure the water that you use. All new meters are tested prior to delivery by the manufacturer to ensure that they register properly. If you see a higher bill immediately upon the new meter installation, it is likely the old meter was running slow.


Can I cover up the meter after the installation?

No. Access needs to be available at all times. There will still be occurrences when meter technicians will visit the meter on site to perform routine maintenance or verify high readings. Obstructions to the meter box are subject to removal by City personnel.


What if there is something blocking or in front of the meter?

Please keep access to the water meter available at all times to ensure it is accessible for any potential emergency that would require the meter to be turned off. Be careful during the leaf season to not cover your water meter with leaf piles.


Can I read the meter?

No. Only City staff are authorized to open the meter lid. Plumbers are not authorized to open meter lids.


How will I know that you have my reading & not someone else’s?

Each radio frequency device has an unique identification number, which is transmitted along with the meter reading. The unique number is compared to your account record to ensure a match.


Does this mean no more meter readers?

Yes, the number of meter readers will be reduced and retrained for other jobs some of which will become Meter Maintenance and Repair Technicians. The Meter Technicians will be inspecting all water meters periodically to assure they are still assessable and in proper working order. City staff will continue to visit your property for routine service, maintenance or repair. We will continue to respond to water emergencies.