OCEANSIDE — The City Council approved a more than $20 million advanced water metering system project that will help the city accurately account for consumed water and recover water delivery costs.
Previously in 2016, the council adopted the Urban Water Management Plan and the Water Conservation Master Plan, both of which listed Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) as an integral project that would help the city comply with state requirements, increase water conservation and improve service efficiency.
AMI systems measure, collect and analyze water usage through automated meters, communication networks and data management systems that enable two-way communication between utilities and customers.
The council approved a public works agreement with Ferguson Enterprises, LLC in the amount of $15,815,255 for an AMI system and installation services at its Aug. 19 meeting. Additionally, Council approved several other professional services agreements for the project that include:
- $1,455,180 for UtiliWorks Consulting, LLC for program and construction management services
- $86,110 for Honeycutt Consulting Group, LLC for network consulting services
- $137,505 for Ferguson Enterprises, LLC for three years of software service
- Another $150,000 for three years of maintenance of network equipment
- $188,486 for N. Harris Computer Corporation dba Smartworks for meter data management system software license and three years of support services
- Another $40,068 for N. Harris Computer Corporation for three years of software hosting services.
The council also approved a purchase order in an amount not to exceed $500,000 to Core & Main, LP for the purchase of large water meters.
The total cost of the project is more than $20 million.
To fund the project, staff applied for WaterSMART: Water and Energy Efficiency Projects Grant Funding through the Bureau of Reclamation for Fiscal Year 2019-20 for the AMI project. The project was selected to receive a $1.5 million in July 2019, and another $1.5 million in February of this year after applying for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Staff is currently preparing a third application for the grant funding for the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 in the same amount of $1.5 million.
The city also recently issued Water Revenue Bonds in the amount of $30 million as a low-cost funding source for the project.
The council first rejected the AMI contracts in June 17 in a 3-2 vote, but a secondary motion was approved for staff to bring back the item at a later date after the council was provided additional information about the project. The council unanimously approved the contracts on Aug. 19.
The AMI project will occur in several phases over the next few years.
Phase 1 will include more than 21,500 automated meters installed by November 2022, Phase 2 will include more than 11,000 additional automated meters by February 2023 and Phase 3 will include more than 11,000 additional meters by the end of 2023.
According to staff, the benefits of an AMI system include enhanced customer awareness of hourly and daily water use, timely leak detection, reduced water consumption, increased water-use efficiency, increased access to tracking tools for state-mandated water conservation efforts and improved billing processes.
Additional benefits include increased personnel safety.
Currently, City Meter Services staff manually read 44,500 meters monthly by walking 100 routes, averaging 8-10 miles of walking per day. With the AMI system, staff won’t have to walk city streets and repeatedly lift meter covers.