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City of Milpitas

Water Meter
Upgrade Project

To better serve customers, support conservation efforts, and reduce operating costs, the City of Milpitas is in the process of modernizing its water utility infrastructure. Beginning in March 2021, new and improved water meters will be installed at homes, businesses, and other facilities.

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Project Summary

This is a city-wide water meter modernization project. Most existing water meters in Milpitas are beyond the manufacturer’s recommended life span of 20 years. Older meters require manual readings and can become inaccurate. The City’s new meters will improve reading accuracy and allow for more frequent and remote data collection. This upgrade will come at no additional cost to water customers. Most meter replacements take about 30 minutes and do not require building occupants to be present.

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The City of Milpitas has partnered with ENGIE North America (ENGIE) and its subcontractor Professional Meters Inc. (PMI) to complete this project.

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Water customers will receive a letter and postcard in the mail from the City prior to meter installation. These notices will include instructions and a phone number to call if you have questions.

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This is a mandatory replacement project but building occupants do not need to be present. Water service will be temporarily interrupted during the installation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is this project?

This is a city-wide water meter modernization project. Water meters have an expected useful life of approximately 20 years. Most meters in Milpitas have reached or exceeded this life span. The City is having old meters replaced with new meters capable of transmitting usage data remotely throughout the day. Removing the need to take in-person readings will save City staff time and provide water customers with instant access to up-to-date usage information at any time.

What is the timeline for this project?

Meter installations will begin in March 2021. Expected completion of the project is fall 2021.

What are the benefits of this project to me?

This project will provide Milpitas water customers with instant access to usage information at any time (not just when a bill is due). Once upgrades are complete, water customers will be able to log into a portal to view usage information and even setup leak alerts. This platform will help customers make informed decisions about how to conserve water and save money.

Are these meters more accurate?

Traditional meters wear down over time, creating the potential for inaccuracies. The new meters, called Recordall Disc Meters, have a disc in the chamber that moves as water passes through, and uses magnetic sensors to register the volume of water flowing through. This method for measuring water flow maintains a high level of accuracy throughout the entire life of the meter.

How does the new technology work for transmitting usage information?

The new technology is collectively called Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and it allows for automated meter readings. Centralized “endpoints” continuously monitor data from each local water meter in a given area. At predetermined intervals, these endpoints wirelessly transmit local meter information to the City.

What will the installation entail and who will provide notice?

The City has partnered with ENGIE North America (ENGIE) and its contractor Professional Meters Inc. (PMI) to install the new meters. Water customers will be grouped by neighborhood and assigned a month in which their meter will be replaced. PMI will need access to water meters, typically located near the property line in a vault.

Customers do not need to be present for work to take place unless a water meter cannot be accessed without assistance. Ahead of installation, customers will be mailed a notice telling them when work will begin in their neighborhood. Customers are asked to make sure the meter vault is accessible prior to installation. Most meter installations take approximately 30 minutes. During this time, water service will be disrupted. Installers will provide proper identification upon arrival

Do I need to schedule an appointment?

Residential customers DO NOT need to schedule an appointment unless a water meter cannot be accessed without assistance or there are special needs for planned water disruption. Professional Meters Inc. (PMI), the contractor selected to perform installations for the City, will mail a notice prior to meter installers arriving in a neighborhood. This notice will contain a number to call if assistance is required.

Commercial and other non-residential customers DO need to schedule an appointment. Professional Meters Inc. (PMI), the contractor selected to perform installations for the City, will send a notice in the mail and/or leave a door hanger with a phone number to call and schedule an appointment. Appointments do not need to be scheduled until this notice is received.

What if my current water meter is behind a locked gate or I require planned water disruption?

If your water meter cannot be accessed without your assistance or you have a special need for planned water disruption, wait to receive your postcard mailer notifying you of work beginning in your area. Once received, call the phone number provided on the postcard to schedule an appointment.

Will my water bill change?

The new water meters will have a higher level of accuracy compared to the old meters that have reached the end of their useful life. Customers may see an increase in their water bill based on the new meter’s higher level of accuracy. Improved accuracy will ensure customers are appropriately charged for water usage.

What should I expect after I receive a new meter? Are there any steps or precautions I need to take?

It is normal after receiving a new meter for your water to briefly contain discolored water, air pockets, small particles, or sediment. Flushing your lines after installation is recommended. Turn on your bathtub’s cold water faucet or use an outside faucet. Avoid flushing from faucets that have aerator attachments or hot water faucets that may draw sediment into your hot water tank. For a few days after installation, please check your new meter for leaks. If you experience any issues please call PMI toll free at (855) 229-5562.

How much will the meter replacement cost me?

There is no additional charge to customers for meter installation.

Will my information be secure?

The City maintains the confidentiality of our customers’ information in accordance with appropriate privacy policies. Only water consumption data and meter numbers are transmitted. Personal customer information is not loaded into the transmitter and, therefore, will not be transmitted.’

How does this project align with City priorities?

The City is dedicated to providing quality water services for Milpitas customers. AMI technology will provide City staff with better tools for serving customers. This upgrade will provide more sophisticated information about water usage patterns, which can be leveraged in future planning. This data will help the City design and analyze conservation programs which align with the City’s goal of Making Water Conservation a Milpitas Way of Life.

How significant is the radio frequency (RF) signal from an advanced meter?

The wireless transmitters used for the City’s advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) use radio frequencies (RF) to transmit data. Exposure to RF from a wireless meter fall far below federal limits and are much lower than many common household devices, including cell phones, laptop computers, and wireless baby monitors. Meters will only transmit a signal four times a day, and each transmission lasts approximately one second. All equipment operates in compliance with state and federal communication standards.

Public Notices & Resources

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Water Meter Install
Address Lookup

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Web Portal

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Postcard + Letter Notices
to Customers

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Water Meter
Spec Sheet

Contact Information

For more Information about changes to your water meter, contact the City of Milpitas at:

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1 (800) 331-4223

For other water service related questions, please visit the City of Milpitas Public Works Department website.