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WATER METER REPLACEMENT PROGRAM

Related Link: Water Meter Replacement Policy (pdf - 95k)

On July 5, 2011, City Council approved a contract with Water Resources, Inc., of Elgin, Illinois, for services related to the 2011 City Wide Water Meter Replacement and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Fixed Network Program.  This replacement program will provide every residential and business water customer with a new, state-of-the-art water meter and will allow the City to remotely retrieve meter consumption readings.  This meter replacement program will take approximately 12 months to complete. 

Here’s how the new system will work:

  • New water meters will be installed in all residences and businesses within West Chicago.
  • The newly installed water meter unit is then connected to a Meter Interface Unit (MIU), which will be mounted on a side or rear facing exterior wall. 
  • The MIU is contained within a small box and transmits the water consumption data to a network of data collectors mounted on City-owned infrastructure, such as utility poles and water towers, throughout the community. 
  • The data collectors then transmit the consumption data to City Hall’s water billing system.  This network is called the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
  • The automated system will allow for accurate collection of water consumption data and timely responses to customer inquiries. 

Currently, the City maintains about 7,000 residential, commercial and industrial water meters, which utilize two different water meter-reading systems.  The oldest meter reading system was installed in the early 1980s as part of a major meter replacement project. 

In the mid 1990s, the City underwent another water meter change.  Over the last several years, the City and its customers have had increased problems with the existing water meter infrastructure and data collection processes.  Compounding these problems, the existing meter provider has discontinued support of the current water meter assemblies, which are in place for approximately 60% of West Chicago’s residential meters and some of the industrial meters. Consequently, the City will need to undertake a comprehensive meter replacement program. 

Water Resources, Inc., using products provided by Neptune Technology Group, Inc., and working together with its sister firm Water Services Company, will perform all work, and be solely responsible for all aspects of the project, including customer notifications and scheduling, product warranties, training, and installation of both the water meter assemblies and AMI fixed network system. 

Work will include installation of the MIU on the exterior of the building and its connection to the newly installed water meter unit as well as the replacement of most internal water shut off valves.  Water will be turned off for a brief period of time while the work is completed.

In addition to replacing the water meter assemblies, business customers should also expect replacement and/or installation of external strainers on all water meters two inches (2") and larger.  Recertification of all backflow prevention devices will apply to businesses and some residential customers, including those with lawn sprinkler systems.

To help the meter replacement program go more smoothly, in early September personnel from Water Resources, Inc. will begin the process of locating, surveying, and verifying the operability of the City's water shut off valve (commonly referred to as the Buffalo Box or B-Box) typically located in either the parkway or rear yard.

Water Resources, Inc. will be mailing a letter to all households and businesses over the course of the 12 month program to schedule a convenient time for a licensed plumber to work in the residence or place of business to replace the water meter(s).  Weekend and evening hours will be available.

All personnel performing this work are employees of Water Services Company, and have had a background check by the City.  Each installer will wear a uniform, carry a picture ID badge and travel in a marked vehicle.  We strongly encourage you to ask to see anyone’s identification prior to granting permission for them to enter into your home, place of business, or onto your property.  A person over the age of eighteen (18) years must be present/home during the installation appointment.

The City of West Chicago asks for your cooperation during this year-long water meter replacement program.  If you have any questions, or concerns, please feel free to contact the Public Works Department at (630) 293-2255.