Turning off water service for non-payment is one of the hardest parts of the job for utility workers. It can also be dangerous as agitated consumers can become verbally and sometimes physically abusive seeing their water service shut off. A new remotely-controlled meter helps remove workers from the chance of physical confrontation.
Introduced a couple of years ago by Mueller Systems, the AMR/AMI subsidiary of Mueller Water Products, the remote disconnect meter can now be controlled via an app on a remote device. This means that the utility doesn’t have to have Mueller’s MyNet AMI system in place to adopt the meters.
As Jackie Lemmerhirt, Vice President of Product Management with Mueller Systems, explains in this Water Online Radio interview, “You can service an emergency situation remotely by turning off the meter if there is an emergency at a customer site. Sometimes they are put in harm's way when they go out to the field, and by being able to do more of these things remotely, it's safer for the utility field crew.”
There are real benefits to the customer too. “If they are disconnected for non-payment and they come in and pay their bill,” Lemmerhirt says, “the field crew can drive out to the property and from the ease of their vehicle without even stopping, they can turn the service back on. The time delay that used to be there is gone.”
For more on remote meter disconnects, click on the audio player below: