Smart Meter/AMI Project

Updated: December 2020
Waterworks officially kicked off our Smart Metering initiative on January14, 2020. After seven months of preparation, the first smart meter was installed on August 24. There are now 1,256 smart meters in service at locations in Newport News, York County and Poquoson. These areas were chosen to test the system for communication distance and saltwater corrosion. Over the last few months, Waterworks has been comparing automated results with manual reads, and the smart meters have shown an accuracy rate of 99.4%. If all goes as planned, Waterworks will begin full deployment in March 2021. A complete installation schedule will soon be posted on the Waterworks
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December 2019 Advanced Metering Infrastructure ($5,000,000) – Newport News Waterworks will begin transitioning from the current manual water meter reading process, which is very labor intensive, to an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system in 2020. AMI will be electronically read and allow for greater capabilities, including options such as remote water connection turn on/turn off, leak detections and consumption statistics. These funds, part of the FY2020 Capital Improvements Plan, will allow Waterworks to replace 1,000 of the 119,500 residential meters with AMI meters to test how well the new meters function. There will be no direct charge to customers for this upgrade and customers will not notice any changes to their water service once the installation is complete. On-demand viewing of last night’s entire City Council meeting is available at Updated: December 2017​ Waterworks is currently working on the scope of work with Excergy for Phase 2, AMI System Design and Bidding Services. Internal discussions are centered on how best to bid, package, and deliver the project. ​​Options will include full third-party integrator responsibility, Newport News Waterworks handling the integration, or a hybrid solution. The AMI system the utility selects is to have a minimum shelf life of 20 years. It is anticipated that the implementation of the AMI system will be 3 years following vendor selection and will include a pilot/confirmation effort prior to a full roll-out.​​ We estimate that Phase 2 will be completed by the end of 2018 and a vendor selection process to begin in early 2019.​ ​

Updated: September 2016​​​​​ Phase 1 has been completed with delivery of the final report in August. Total capital and 20-year operating costs for implementation of the preferred AMI alternative across the entire regional service area is estimated at $56 million. Workshops will be conducted in September and October to further evaluate the final estimated implementation costs and the associated financial and operational benefits to both NNWW customers and the utility. ​​

Updated: June 2016 In February 2016, the Waterworks Department launched a three-phase Automated Meter Reading (AMR)/Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project. AMR and AMI are both forms of automated, remote meter reading. ​​AMR refers to drive-by systems. The meter collects and stores data until it is collected by a meter reader driving past in a vehicle. AMR systems are limited to one-way communication.​​ AMI enables two-way communication through a fixed network to transmit information between the utility office and meters or other endpoints, and provides greater benefits to the utility and its customers. AMI has the potential to enhance Waterworks’ operational effectiveness by increasing meter reading efficiency; improving meter accuracy; reducing costs associated with vehicle operations; reducing water losses; improving system pressure management and pumping efficiency; and enhancing system modeling and demand analyses.​​ Phase I of this project is a study, conducted by the consulting firm Excergy Corporation, to determine the feasibility of implementing an AMR and/or AMI system in the Waterworks service area. The Feasibility Study is a detailed analysis of the costs and the benefits of AMR/AMI systems. Multiple scenarios are being considered, including a full AMR system (drive-by meter reading), a hybrid AMR/AMI system, a full AMI system, and a full AMI system with remote connect/disconnect capabilities.