Newport News Waterworks is beginning the much-anticipated smart meter installation project. This project will last approximately two and a half years, as crews upgrade over 130,000 existing meters in Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, York County and part of James City County. Work will begin next week in midtown Newport News and upper York County. Residents and businesses are encouraged to visit the Smart Meter Installation Project website to track progress and see when work will take place in their area.
Over the past year, Waterworks has worked with project partners, including Ferguson Enterprises, Mueller Co., ESource (formerly Excergy), and Deloitte, to build and test the project’s required infrastructure. The team installed over 1,200 test meters, integrated process systems, evaluated communication distance and meter box flooding, and studied the meter’s internal valve operations.
“Newport News Waterworks invested a great deal of time and resources during the testing phase to ensure we can deploy smart meters throughout the 225 square mile service area while minimizing disruptions to customers,” said Yann Le Gouellec, Director of Newport News Waterworks. “Smart meters reduce the number of trucks on the roadway and the department’s carbon footprint, while eliminating monthly visits from meter readers. This full deployment of smart meters is an infrastructure improvement that will speed up issue resolution and identify problems in our system sooner for the benefit of our customers.”
As smart meters are deployed throughout the service area, Newport News Waterworks anticipates launching a new customer service portal this fall. Enhanced options include access to more timely and detailed usage data and quick and easy service connection or disconnection. Waterworks will also be able to identify unusually high usage incidents and, in many instances, contact customers before they receive high bills.
Waterworks has partnered with Ferguson Enterprises and their subcontractor, Utility Partners of America (UPA), for the installation. UPA will send postcard notifications to homes 30 days before work is scheduled. On the day of installation, UPA will shut-off the water supply for approximately 20 minutes. When the work is done, UPA will leave a door hanger at the home. All work will be completed outside and residents do not need to be home while their meter is being replaced. Since water will be temporarily shut off, residents are encouraged to flush an outside or indoor faucet to remove any residual air or discolored water.
For more information on the smart meter installation project, visit www.nnva.gov/2212 or call the UPA project hotline at 757-304-3291.
# # #