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Automatic Drive-By Radio Read Meters

Automatic Drive-By Radio Read Meters and

Meter Replacement Project

The Town of Tunica initiated the Automatic Drive-By Radio Read Meter replacement in August 2016.  Most of the Town’s current meters are close to 20 or greater years old, broken and/or malfunctioning and are being read manually which is labor-intensive and less accurate.  The new automated meter reading program will install new, more accurate meters fitted with a radio device that will be read using drive-by reading technology.  Click here to read letter to water customers.

Is there a charge for this service?

No.  The meter and the remote are being replaced at no charge to the customer.

Why do I need a new meter?

The majority of the meters on the Town’s water system are close to 20 years or older.  Old meters run slow and do not measure all of the water going through them.  Broken and malfunctioning meters also contribute to inaccurate reports and loss of revenue.  The new meters will accurately report the daily consumption and provide the Town with more accurate usage report.

How does the new meter reading system work?

The new meters are fitted with a radio device and transmit readings and data using drive-by technology.

Will my water bill go up?

Older meters tend to run slower and therefore do not measure all the water going through them. The new water meter will accurately measure even the smallest amounts of water that the old meters were not capable of registering. All new meters are tested at the factory to ensure that they register properly. If you see a higher bill, it is not because your new meter is reading too high; it is because the old meter was running slow. The Town will not back bill customers because their old meter was running slow, but all customers with new meters will now pay for their actual usage.

Will the timing of my water bills change?

There will be no change to your monthly billing period at this time. Your first bill after the new meter is installed will show and bill you for the consumption on your old meter to the point it was removed. And, then, the new meter starting at zero to whatever it reads when we read for your billing cycle. Subsequent months will, as in the past, show usage and bill you for the active meter.

How do I know that you have my reading and not someone else’s?

Each radio frequency device has a unique identification number, which is transmitted along with the meter reading. The unique identification number is compared to your account record to ensure that there is a match.

How do you know that my reading is accurate?

These state of the art water meters have electronic registers which verifies the meter reading three times before it is sent to the transmitting unit. This reading is deemed more accurate than visually reading the meter.

Why are going to a new system?

To provide a more accurate recording of water consumption and a more cost effective way of transmitting that consumption data to the Water Department. In addition, this program will be more efficient and accurate as meter readers will no longer manually read each meter to get consumption data and will  increase our ability to respond to customer inquiries.  Also, leaks in the water system or in individual homes or businesses will be identified very quickly, and overall billing will become more efficient as well as monthly reporting.

How long with the meter installation take?

Under normal circumstances, the installation will take about 30 minutes.  The water will need to be turned off until the meter is changed.  Please be advised that there may be some trapped air or slight discoloration in the water line that may result from the change out.  This will clear up after running your water for a few minutes.  You may hear some noise as the air exits spigots and fixtures.  This is normal.

How will I know your installer works for you?

All installers will be in clearly marked vehicles, wear Vanguard Utility Service, Inc. shirts, and have ID badges.

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