Suffolk County Water Authority

Automated Meter Reading FAQs


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Automated Meter Reading FAQs

What is AMR?
AMR stands for Automated Meter Reading (sometimes referred to as Mobile Automated Meter Reading). It is a method of using communication technology to read meters without having to access a customer's property.

How does it work?
There are several ways to read a water meter remotely. We've chosen a system that uses a small radio transmitter in the meter. That reading will then be sent via the transmitter to a receiver in a vehicle that’s being driven through your neighborhood.

How does AMR benefit customers?

  • Improved customer service.
  • Minimized need to access customer property to read meters.
  • No need for customers to read water meters because of access issues.
  • Reduction in estimated bills.
  • Reduction in operational costs, thereby allowing Suffolk County Water Authority to keep your water rates well below the national average.
  • Better for the environment by having fewer vehicles in your neighborhood for a shorter period of time.

Is this new system really needed?
Suffolk County Water Authority strives to provide the best possible customer service, high reliability and low rates. AMR will help us achieve these goals.

Is my account information secure?
Yes, only meter consumption readings; meter and module numbers are transmitted. Personal customer information is not loaded into the transmitter and therefore, will not be transmitted.

How will 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 number is compared to your account record to ensure a match.

Will the radio frequency interfere with my television or phones?
No, the AMR frequency is very different and will not interfere.

Are there health concerns about this type of transmitter?
No, the AMR transmitter falls into the low frequency, non-ionizing electromagnetic field range. The power output is approximately 10 milliwatts (one thousandth of one watt).

Does someone need to come into my home to change the meter?
As Suffolk County Water Authority changes water meters, personnel will need access to meters in basements, utility rooms, behind locked fences, garages, etc. We will gladly work with you to arrange a convenient appointment time. An adult (minimum of 18 years old) must be present while we work inside the premises).

Will I need to be home when you install the AMR device?
If we visit your home and have trouble gaining access to the meter, we will leave a door tag requesting that you contact us to set up an appointment.

What time of day will the AMR meter change out take place?
Most of the meter change outs will take place between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Saturday appointments will be available if truly necessary.

I had a tag on my door asking me to call to schedule an appointment. Why do I need to do that?
If you had a door tag asking you to call us, most likely we were unable to gain access to the meter.

Will Suffolk County Water Authority need to turn off my service?
Momentary water service interruptions will occur to change out the meter.

When multiple meter changes are performed, such as at shopping centers, apartment complexes or office complexes, will the service be interrupted to all meters at once?
Each installation can vary as to how we can shut water off to the meters to make the changeover. At locations with multiple meters we will do our best to keep any service interruptions as brief as possible.

How will I know the person at my door is working on the AMR project?
Suffolk County Water Authority has contracted the services of ASPLUNDH Corporation to assist in the AMR upgrade program. Asplundh employees will be wearing clothing with the Asplundh logo and will carry photo identification indicating they are under contract with Suffolk County Water Authority. In addition, their vehicles will be identified with the company name under contract with Suffolk County Water Authority.

If you ever have any questions about the identity of someone who claims to be working on the AMR program, please call 1-800-883-4432.