Right now, in your basement or in your backyard, there’s that one spigot that won’t completely shut off. And you’re paying more for water service than you have to as a result.
If that sounds familiar, you don’t live in Bayonne, NJ where United Water, has installed over 10,500 new and smarter meters for 90 percent of the city’s residents and businesses. The data from the new meters enables our dedicated customer service team to show and tell homeowners and the Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority (BMUA) how much water they’re using each day.
With real-time data from the new advanced meters, United Water can detect water leaks and quickly inform the customer of the need to take action to prevent a bill spike or worse – property damage that may result from a broken pipe.
Meter readers no longer have to walk from door to door resulting in an increased sense of security for homeowners – and we, as a company, no longer have to inconvenience homeowners who would otherwise have to wait at home for a meter-reading appointment.
“We receive regular compliments from customers about the professionalism and follow-through of our employees,” said Chris Riat, United Water senior director of contract operations. “In one instance our customer service supervisor had contacted a resident regarding a possible leak that he was able to identify utilizing the new smart meter technology. Our employees then went to the customer’s home and identified and repaired the leak – likely saving her money on her next bill. She called us to let us know that she was thrilled with the immediate response and the way the situation was handled.”
In the past it would take 90 days or more—the length of the billing cycle—before patterns of wasted water might surface. Now, we run daily consumption reports and send out letters or make phone calls to customers if their usage seems abnormally high. We’ve detected leaks for 800 customers so far.
The program to up the intelligence of Bayonne’s meters is one of many infrastructure investment projects United Water will undertake in partnership with the BMUA as it operates the municipal system over the next 40 years and oversees $157 million in investment.
Beyond Bayonne, United Water is actively deploying AMI in service areas across the country as part of a $1 billion investment in its infrastructure assets over the next five years. As Bayonne has learned; similarly high levels of investment are available to those cities and towns who choose to partner with United Water, leveraging private capital to meet their investment needs.