Water billing system on tap

By Jessica Dempsey

June 15, 2017 12:00 AM

City council has awarded the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) contract to Neptune Technology Group Inc., for the sum of $1,570,625.
On Monday, city council discussed their aim to deploy an AMI system to collect water consumption data, which would be on a monthly billing cycle.
The new system will aim to help in four key areas: customer service, increased operating efficiencies and cost reduction, sustain and increase revenue, and reduction in water loss.
“We are going to have the technology that people will phone and we can immediately give them at the fingertips information,” said Mayor Gerald Aalbers.
The AMI system will be able to track usage in hourly increments, so it can assist with high water consumption complaints, and let a user know if they have a leaky faucet.
As well, alarms or notices can be sent to customers about abnormal usage, which in turn will save them money.
With rental properties, council noted it would hopefully ease some frustrations of landlords where the water bills will be available monthly, as opposed to bi-monthly.
“Technology is a wonderful thing. We will be able to do it remotely. Literally, you will be able to have it done at a push of a button from city hall … so there is some cost saving involved,” said Aalbers.
The new system will reduce the number of needed site visits, and in turn, help with safety and cost savings.
Annual savings are projected to be around $90,736.
“A water meter is a water meter, but the technology associated to it has improved dramatically and we are stepping up to the 21st century,” Aalbers said.

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