News Flash

Water Resources

Posted on: April 18, 2018

Cost-saving customer portal now available

Portal

Many City Water Resources Department customers may not be aware that they can easily track their water usage. A new video demonstrates how customers can easily login and begin using an online or mobile customer service portal. Customers can watch the short YouTube video produced by CityTV at https://youtu.be/LUZcIaohcbg.

Customers can visit the City of Murfreesboro website at www.cityofMurfreesborotn.gov then under A to Z access the Water Resources Department webpage. Locate the “Account Access” page and find the AMI “Customer Portal Account” link. The link shows customers how to register and login to the water usage portal.

“Once logged into the portal, the customer will see a screen with daily and monthly water usage,” said Adam Todd, Meter Engineer with the Water Resources Department. “For example, we have many commercial customers and rental property owners who are eager to take advantage of the system for “goal setting.” It tracks and notifies the customer when usage is close to maximum or over the prescribed usage goal.”

In 2016-17, the Murfreesboro Water Resources Department upgraded all water meters to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of accurate meter readings. US Bronco, a remote meter reading installation service contractor partnered with ITron and United Systems to install the new wireless meters. The meter replacement program, known as Advanced Meter Reading Infrastructure (AMI), utilizes radio frequency technology to resourceful use of energy and water. More than 26,000 new meters were installed citywide. The new system has radically changed meter reading.

“Prior to this everything we read was manually read and a meter reader had to come in-person to your house every month and read the meters,” said Randy McCullough, director of the Water Resources Department Meter Reading Field Services. “Now we’re reading everything through new wireless technology. Each meter has a repeater that transmits the information directly to the Water Resources Department.”

The Encoder Receiver Transmitter (E.R.T.) is the brain of the operation. It transmits all the information to Meter Reading Field Services which allows the City to provide the user-friendly, online information to the customer through a portal.

“We transitioned from manual reading for many years to a whole new world,” added Todd, “Where before we were only capturing readings once a month, we’re now able to capture 24-hour interval readings. It not only helps the City but also helps the customer.”

“AMI enhances customer service with early leak notification and makes water management more efficient,” said Darren Gore, director of Murfreesboro Water Resources Department. “The new technology also reduces human error of manually read water meters.”

Tracking daily usage on a chart allows the customer to determine what may have happened on any given day. Perhaps a supply line is broken and spiked usage or a leak is occurring somewhere in the customer’s plumbing system. Outdoor watering during the summer months will naturally cause usage to rise.

One tool allows customers to compare monthly 2017 usage to 2018. Accounts can be added and billing managed in the same account, particularly useful for commercial customers.

“We’re able to monitor more of what is happening at the customer location to determine when the leak occurred and whether the leak or water usage spike is occurring all day or simply spikes at certain times, said Todd. “Perhaps somebody left an indoor faucet or outdoor water hose running. We can tell you how long the water line was running and how many gallons of water were used. We have many more options for the customer to alert them faster than the utility provider.”

With e-mail or phone number provided, the system can alert customers of 24-hour usage. Customer Service representatives are available at the Water Resources Department to answer questions or assist with the AMI process.

For more information, contact the Water Resources Department at 615-848-3209. For additional information on Itron, a world-leading technology and services company, visit www.itron.com.

For City News online, visit www.Murfreesborotn.gov.

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