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Residents > Water and Garbage Service > AMI - Smart Meters

AMI - Smart Meters

AMI – SMART METERS

Beginning in March 2024, the Town of Topsail Beach will initiate a comprehensive water meter replacement program that will upgrade or replace approximately 1,500 meters with an automatic meter reading (AMI) system also known as Smart Meters. The purpose of this effort is to upgrade the Town’s water distribution system with an electronic reading capability and to replace meters that have served beyond their estimated useful lives. The target meter population includes all commercial and residential meters. The estimated time of completion for the entire project is December 2024. The following is an overview of the project including public outreach, benefits of the program, and frequently asked questions. 

Upcoming/Current Stage of Project:

04/03/2024: The survey crew from USG Systems (the Topsail Beach AMI (smart meter) contractors) have started their preliminary site survey to locate and identify all Town meters. The Town would like to inform property owners that starting tomorrow, Thursday, April 4th, there is a possibility that the survey crew may trim back hedges within the encroachment of the work area in the Right-of-Way if there is any obstruction near the water meter. If it is necessary to remove larger obstructions within the work area, homeowners will be notified in advance.

03/22/2024: The survey crew from USG Systems (the Topsail Beach AMI contractors) will begin their preliminary site survey to locate and identify all Town meters beginning March 26th.  The survey is expected to last approximately 4 weeks.  The crew will be in the right of way and looking into meter boxes to compile a full list of meter sizes and conditions of meter boxes to be replaced.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact Topsail Beach Town Hall at (910) 328-5841.

Overview:

The new system will allow meters to be read from cellular collectors mounted to infrastructure across the town. Water meters are the devices used to measure the amount of water delivered to our customers. Replacing old meters will ensure that the Town of Topsail Beach can accurately track both individual usage for billing purposes, and monitor and evaluate community demands. 

Public Outreach:

All impacted customers will be notified in advance.

Commercial Accounts:

All commercial accounts will be contacted in advance.

Benefits:

• Improve the efficiency of meter reading and water billing

• Increase the quality of customer service

• Save staff time

• Prevent recording errors

• Minimize the need for personnel to go on the property

• Ability to detect if a leak is occurring in your plumbing system

Your patience throughout this important project is appreciated. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this project, please feel free to contact Town of Topsail Beach at 910-328-5841. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are the new meters the same as the ones being replaced?

A: Meters will be replaced with automated ones that transmit the meter readings to a data collector or mobile device. These automated meters eliminate the need to obtain readings directly from the meter and therefore improve the efficiency and lower the cost of the meter reading program.
 

Q: Why do meters need to be replaced?

A: As with any measuring device, meters can become less accurate as they age. Water meters have a useful life of 12 to 15 years after which the accuracy may diminish.
 

Q: Who will install the new meters?

A: The contractors will replace approximately 1,500 water meters throughout the Town of Topsail Beach beginning toward the end of summer and fall 2024.
 

Q: Will my service be interrupted during the installation?

A: Yes, there will be a temporary service interruption while the meter is replaced – typically, about 15 to 30 minutes. 


Q: Do I need to be home for the meter replacement work?

A: No, you don’t need to be home.
 

Q: How much will the meter cost me?

A:  There is no charge for the new meter.
 

Q:  Will my water bill increase?

A: As meters age, they tend to run slower and may not measure all the water going through them. Depending on the age and accuracy of your existing meter, you may experience a higher bill due to the accuracy of your new meter. The new meters will simply record consumption more accurately.