OWASA will begin meter upgrades this fall for the Agua Vista initiative providing better water use data and enabling early leak detection

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 10:58:00 AM

This fall, OWASA will begin upgrading OWASA meters with technology that will communicate hourly water use information. This technology will enhance our services in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area and will improve the efficiency of reading meters.

In November 2017, OWASA and its contractors will begin upgrading the more than 21,000 meters across the community. The entire project is expected to be completed by the spring of 2019.

The new metering system will alert OWASA when water use indicates a significant leak at a customer’s home, business, etc., and OWASA will use this information to proactively notify customers. In 2019, once the majority of meters are upgraded, a web portal will be available to customers enabling them to monitor and establish individual alerts on their own water use.

Agua Vista meters will briefly communicate once a day from a small unit inside the meter box. These meters are typically located in boxes near the street outside of homes and businesses.

OWASA is calling the initiative Agua Vista, which is an adaptation of the Spanish translation of “water in sight.”

Advance notice to customers before meters are upgraded

OWASA customers will receive a letter about four weeks in advance of their meter upgrade. Most OWASA customers will not need to be home when this work occurs.

The majority of the meters will be upgraded by our contractor, Utility Partners of America (UPA). On the day of the upgrade, a UPA employee will knock on the door to alert the customer about the work and leave a notice when the upgrade is complete. Water service will typically only need to be off for about 5-10 minutes during the upgrade.

UPA employees will wear collared shirts with the “UPA” logo and a project-specific badge. Their vehicles will be marked with UPA and OWASA logos, and they will have a letter identifying them as a subcontractor for the project.

On October 12th, the OWASA Board of Directors will discuss customer service policies related to Agua Vista. The agenda for the October 12th work session will be posted on the Board meeting webpage by Monday October 9th. Customers are welcome to comment on this and other agenda items.

No increase in monthly OWASA water and sewer rates will be necessary because of Agua Vista.

To learn more about this project and to find answers to frequently asked questions, please visit owasa.org/metering-initiative

For more information                                    

Greg Feller, Public Affairs Administrator, 919-537-4267 or gfeller@owasa.org