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46 percent of all the City's water meters are 15 years old, nearing their 20-year life span

PMG PHOTO: SAM STITES - Assistant Public Works Director Rachel Sykes demonstrates a new water tap project at an event earlier this year. Sykes led the initiative to implement smart meters for the City's water customers.

The Lake Oswego City Council took another step toward completing its long list of goals for 2019 last week by voting unanimously to implement a new smart water meter program that will benefit both the City and its water customers.

Smart meters, or advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), send information via secured radio frequency to data-collecting equipment placed throughout the city, which is then passed on to software that will allow customers to access their usage via a portal. Within this portal, customers will be able to set up alerts or notifications based on usage, leaks, tampering and other activity of their meter.

There is no rate increase included with the AMI technology initiative.

The City will install 11,700 new meters and antennas over the next three years.

According to Sykes, AMI provides many benefits to the City, the top being the elimination of a $95,000 contract for manual meter reading services.

Other benefits include consistent and transparent utility billing, efficiencies gained for City staff through the use of technology to boost productivity allowing the City to become more lean operationally, as well as making water conservation goals and efforts more informed by the AMI system, meaning that more effective solutions can be developed and implemented based on real data.

COURTESY CITY OF LAKE OSWEGO - A diagram explains how smart meters communicate with data collection equipment in the field and at the City.

The $2.4 million contract with Neptune Technology Group will cover the purchase of the 11,700 new meters and antennas, training of City staff, support services for three years, radio frequency study of the city and purchase of data collection equipment to installed in seven locations across the city.

In year one, the City will install meters in the neighborhoods of Westlake and Mountain Park, moving clockwise around Oswego Lake over the course of the following two years.

According to Sykes' report, 46 percent of all the meters in Lake Oswego are 15 years or older, of which their total expected life is 20 years.

Councilors had only a few simple questions for Sykes and Water Superintendent Joel Kuhnke, such as battery life of the meters — 20 years — and how much the City would save using this technology.

According to Sykes, the cost of the project was carved out of the $4 million in savings the city is seeing form the LO-Tigard Water Partnership project coming in under budget.

COURTESY CITY OF LAKE OSWEGO  - Advanced metering infrastructure in Lake Oswego would begin with the replacement of 11,700 water meters across the city with new smart meters attached with antennas.


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