The City of Richfield began its water meter replacement project in the summer of 2019. The existing water meters have reached the end of their functional lifespan and have begun to fail at increasing rates. In light of this, the City has moved forward with a citywide water meter replacement project. This project will take approximately three years to complete.
In April 2019, after a competitive bid process, City Council awarded the project contract to Vanguard Utility Service, Inc. Vanguard crews were in Richfield swapping out Meters from July to October 31, 2019. All Vanguard installers have a city-issued identification badge and have underwent background checks through the Public Safety Department.
Residents will receive a postcard & separate letter with instructions for setting up an appointment to have their new water meter installed prior to replacement in their neighborhood. When crews are in your area, you will begin to receive notices like the example below. The project is split up into many "zones", so please only contact Vanguard to set up your appointment if you have received a notice like below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my water meter being replaced?
Water meters are necessary to determine how much water is being used by residents and businesses. City water meters were last replaced in 2006 and are currently reaching the end of their life cycle. With new water meters and new water meter technology the City will be able to operate its water system more efficiently which will also improve customer service. The new water meter system will reduce operational costs and provide more accurate and reliable data.
What specifically is being replaced?
The existing water meter will be replaced with a new water meter and radio-read device. The radio system will be mounted as high as feasibly possible, near an external wall.
What type of water meter and meter system is being installed?
The old water meters will be replaced with a new Sensus water meter and radio read-device. These meters will be read using drive by technology. Sensus is a leader in the utility infrastructure industry and supports the City of Richfield’s commitment to deliver quality services efficiently and cost effectively.
|Existing water meter before replacement||New water meter after replacement|
When can I expect my water meter to be replaced?
Water meters will be replaced starting in 2019, with a goal of all water meters replaced by the end of 2021. The City is replacing all water meters throughout Richfield, including residential, commercial and irrigation. A postcard with instructions to set up an appointment will be mailed out closer to the start of replacement in your area.
What are the benefits of a new water meter?
New water meters will allow for more efficient and advanced leak detection. The system will flag accounts monthly, indicating issues such as a leak or meter malfunction. Additionally, if a customer would like to learn more about their consumption, City staff will be able to provide customers with more recent and accurate data resulting in the ability to modify use and save money.
Other benefits include more reliable water meters, as well as reduced operational costs. In the near future technology and enhancements will allow utility customers the ability to access their own consumption data, helping with better management of water use. This will allow residents to not only better budget their water bill but also to decrease the size of their environmental footprint.
How much will the new water meter cost?
While this is a $4 million+ project, there are no additional charges to residents for the new water meter. Residents will continue to receive water bills quarterly.
Will my water bill increase with this new meter?
Possibly. As water meters age, they become less accurate and may not always measure all of the water running through them. The new meters will likely provide a more accurate record of consumption, so it is possible if your existing meter is failing.
Where is my water meter located?
Water meters are typically located in a well room or laundry room in the lower level of a home. If the lower level is fully finished, the meter may be located behind a wall, under the front steps, or in a closet or cabinet area.
Will the radio device interfere with my television, cellphone, Wi-Fi, pacemaker or other technology?
No, the radio read device should not interfere with these or similar devices. The City is currently already using a radio-device to transmit data to read the existing water meters. The radio unit transmits at a very low power for a brief amount of time so it is extremely unlikely interference would occur.
Are there any health concerns associated with this technology?
The water meters operate at energy levels that are less than 1/100 of one percent of the RF exposure limit specified by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This means that the meter system provides less exposure than television, Wi-Fi, cellphone, computers, laptops, garage door openers, cordless phones, microwave ovens, etc. Click to learn more. Please direct all questions regarding health concerns to the FCC.