Asheville City Council clears way for automated water metering system

Water meter illustration


Coming your way in 2021: smart water meters. At their Sept. 22 meeting, Asheville City Council authorized the City Manager to execute an agreement with Cavanaugh and Associates to develop, facilitate and complete the Request for Proposals process for selection of an “advanced metering infrastructure system.”   


That’s a mouthful but what it means is that the City will replace its aging 10-year-old water meters with new high-tech ones that can be read remotely. The old meters are nearing the end of their useful life span and need to be replaced.


Cavanaugh and Associates will be hired to manage the project at a cost of $175,520.


The City’s current water metering system consists of approximately 60,000 meters which are read mainly using drive-by Automated Meter Reading (AMR) radio technology. Nearly all of them will be replaced, except for large commercial or industrial meters.


The project will result in more efficiency, through significant reduction in the number of trucks on the road to read meters. This reduction will also decrease the City’s carbon footprint associated with Metering Services operations, so there is an additional sustainability benefit.


This project will give water customers access to more timely data and provide customers with the ability to monitor and better manage their water usage. Best of all, the new meter system will provide the framework for monthly billing, which will be more convenient for customers.


“The target for these installations is for them to begin in fall 2021,” said Water Resources Director David Melton. “Our goal is to complete the project in 18 months.”


Asheville’s Water Resources Department is operated as an enterprise fund, which means it is self-supporting without additional taxpayer funding. Money to pay for this and other Water Resources projects comes out of utility fees collected by the City of Asheville.


The City will notify neighborhoods when the installations are about to begin, in roughly a year from now.

To read the staff report to Council and related resolution, visit this link.