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DC Water Begins High-Tech Meter Upgrade Project

New Water Meter
February 07, 2017

DC Water Begins High-Tech Meter Upgrade Project

– More than 85,000 meters across the District to be replaced –

DC Water is launching a city-wide initiative to upgrade most water meters in the system, giving customers newer technology that will help them manage and track their water usage.

“This next generation water meter will provide even more benefits to customers, and will reduce the need for estimated billing or manual meter reading,” said DC Water CEO and General Manager George S. Hawkins.  “This is one more example of our mission to incorporate innovative technology in our operations for customer benefit and operational efficiencies.”

More than 85,000 meters will be replaced, mostly for residential and some smaller multi-unit buildings, beginning this month and lasting through mid-2018.

The last time DC Water undertook a large-scale water meter replacement project was in 2003. At that time, DC Water installed the newest meter technology. As a result, usage data was automatically uploaded twice daily to DC Water via radio and cellular technology, eliminating the need for meter readers to visit each property.

This ushered in a new era of services that enabled Customer Care Associates to help customers diagnose their high water bills. It also allowed customers to view their daily usage online. Additionally, DC Water’s internal teams developed a first-of-its-kind application to send alerts to customers whose water usage spiked significantly over a period of several days. This is often a resident’s first indication of a leak, pipe break or plumbing problem. The award-winning technology, called HUNA, short for High Usage Notification Application, has sent more than 97,000 notifications to customers since its inception more than 10 years ago.

These meters are now older and are ready for replacement.

DC Water has hired Smart Grid Solutions (SGS) to install the new meters. Most of them will be replaced without needing to interrupt any water service to customers.  The work will be performed Mondays through Saturdays while many residents are at work, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

For most customers, it will be a straightforward replacement of the old meter to the new one as 95 percent of the meters are located outside. Customers are asked to be sure that there is not anything heavy blocking their meters, such as planters or landscaping stones. In some instances, the meter or transmitting unit may be located inside the building. In these cases, the customer will be contacted by SGS to set up an appointment. DC Water reminds all customers to verify the identity of those doing work on the utility’s behalf, especially when entry is requested. SGS employees will have a DC Water issued photo ID.

For more information and updates on the meter replacement program, please visit: www.dcwater.com/newmeters

Media Contact:

Pamela Mooring
External Communications Manager
(202) 538-2773                                                                                  
pamela.mooring@dcwater.com