Automated Meter Reading

What Is Automated Meter Reading?

Automated Meter Reading (AMR) is the highly efficient, drive-by technology Columbus Water Works uses to read your water meter.

How does Automated Meter Reading (AMR) work?

A meter reader will drive through your neighborhood each month. When the vehicle or meter reader gets near your meter, the meter information is transmitted to a digital device that is in the vehicle or held by the meter reader.

Why change to monthly Automated Meter Reading?

Automated Meter Reading (AMR) is a better way to measure your water usage. In the past, your meter was read manually every two months and the usage was split over the following two months of billing. With AMR, your meter will be read monthly and you’ll be billed for the previous 30 days – just like your power or gas bill. AMR will simplify and improve the billing process and help save money, energy and water.

Will my bill be higher?

Yes, but only for one month. On your April or May bill, you’ll have a slightly higher bill as you ‘catch up’ on your billing. Remember, your meter used to be read every two months and the usage was split over the following two months billing, so you are catching up to a 30-day cycle.

How will I know that my reading is accurate?

These state-of-the-art water meters have electronic registers, which verifies the meter reading before it is sent to the transmitting unit. This electronic reading is more accurate than manually reading the meter. All the meters are tested before installation to ensure they work correctly.

How will I know that you have read my meter and not someone else’s?

Each Automated Meter has a unique identification number, which is transmitted along with the meter reading. The unique number is compared to your account record to ensure a match.

NATALIE SMITH
Customer Service Representative II
24 Years

The Columbus Water Works is upgrading the Customer Information System to better serve you.
The first upgrade – Automated Meter Reading – begins in April with additional upgrades being phased in over the next few years.

Billing

CAMERON DURHAM
Customer Service Representative I
3 years

Will my bill be higher?

Yes, but only for one month. On your April or May bill, you’ll have a higher bill as you ‘catch up’ on your billing. Remember, your meter used to be read every two months and the usage was split over the following two months billing, so you are catching up to a 30-day cycle.

Will my monthly bill be due the same time each month?

Yes. Your monthly bill will still be due 14 days after your billing date.

Can I pay my bill the same way?

Yes. You can pay with a credit card or e-check online and over the phone using ETAP, in person, by Night Drop Box, by automatic bank draft or by mailing it in.

If I pay with an Automatic Draft Payment (EFT), when will my account be drafted?

Your online payment through Automatic Draft will not change and will continue to work with monthly billings.

If I have a question about my bill, whom should I contact?

Contact Customer Service at (706) 649-3400 for all billing and service questions.

Will the AMR cause a rate increase?

No. There will not be a rate increase due to AMR reading and billing.

How was I supposed to know about this new billing?

Every CWW customer was notified directly through three bill inserts (March, April and May) and a direct mail postcard. In addition, the Automated Meter Reading upgrade was advertised through local television, radio and newspaper.

Automated Meter Reading (AMR) will simplify and improve your water service and help you save money, energy and water by:

  • Helping detect leaks and other plumbing issues much more quickly, helping you save money with early detection.
  • Improving customer service by providing real-time data on water usage.
  • Providing more frequent and timely information about your water usage, letting you adjust your water habits.

I didn’t know about this so I can’t pay it all in one month. What should I do?

If you can’t pay all the ‘catch-up’ part of your bill, you can arrange for an extension payment plan by speaking with a Customer Service Representative. Call our Customer Service department at (706) 649-3400 and a Customer Service Representative will be happy to work with you.

You normally will only transfer service from one address to the other if the account is at a zero balance, do I have to pay it all now to transfer?

You may transfer service without paying the full balance of your new April/May bill during the transition time of bi-monthly to monthly meter reading by agreeing to the payment plan set by CWW.

Are payment agreements still an option if I cannot meet the payment due date?

Yes. Payment agreements are available to customers who require additional time to pay their monthly bill. Call our Customer Service department at (706) 649-3400 to arrange.

Will there be a late fee if I don’t pay my bill by the due date?

You will not be charged a late fee if the bill is not paid by the due date. However, if your service is interrupted due to a previous balance that is past due prior to the new Monthly Read billing, full payment of past due and current balances, and a $50.00 delinquent fee will be required to restore service.

How will going to monthly reading affect the dollar amount of my bill; will it increase or decrease?

There will not be a change in the dollar amount of your bill, other than your catch-up in April or May bill, because what you used in 60 days was billed in two equal parts between two bills. Now, what you use in 30 days will be billed to you in one bill.

Can I get on budget billing now that the meter will be read every month?

No. Automated Meter Reading is the first phase of the upgrade of Columbus Water Works Customer Information system. Budget billing will become available in the near future.

What do I do if I am on bank draft and my account is set up to automatically draft payment for this larger-than-normal bill due to going from bi-monthly to monthly billing?

Payment agreements are available to customers who require additional time to pay their monthly bill including those customers using automatic draft payments. Call our Customer Service department at (706) 649-3400 to make arrangements prior to the due date of the payment.

KORI GLASS
Customer Service Representative I
5 years

Still have a question about your bill?

Call us anytime! (706) 649-3400

Service and Installation

ZACK WILLIAMS
Meter Maintenance Tech II
24 years

Why do I need a new meter?

Some existing meters do not work with the Automated Meter Reading System and will need to be replaced. With Automated Meter Reading, your meter will either be replaced or retrofitted.

My meter works fine; does it have to be upgraded?

Yes. In order to take advantage of the new technology, efficiencies, and cost-savings that the AMR system will provide, all water meters in Columbus will be upgraded.

If I notice a problem after installation or if I notice a leak, whom should I contact?

Columbus Water Works will make every effort to dispatch service personnel as quickly as possible to determine the problem and to take appropriate action. Call our Customer Service department at (706) 649-3400 if you notice a problem.

How long will this new AMR water meters work?

The AMR capable meter has a life expectancy of 15 years. The Columbus Water Works will perform periodic inspection and maintenance of the devices to ensure that they are operating properly.

What powers the AMR radio transmitter?

The radio is battery-powered. The expected life of the battery is 15 years, which coincides with the expected life of a residential water meter.

The installation of automated meters will simplify and improve your water service and help you save money, energy and water.

Thank you for your patience as Columbus Water Works upgrades to improve what we do for you.

Please click the button below to return to the Columbus Water Works website or
call (706) 649-3400 for more information.

Columbus Water Works