Copyright 2022 by Forsyth County, Georgia

Water-Intake

Water Meter Upgrade Project

New water meters are coming to Forsyth County!

With many of our existing water meters reaching the end of their useful life, the Forsyth County Department of Water & Sewer (FCDWS) is upgrading our entire system to Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) water meters that will help us better serve our more than 66,000 customers.

The AMI system reads meters remotely and gathers consumption information more frequently than your current older meter is doing today. This new technology empowers customers with near real-time water use information through an online portal so that you can better manage your water consumption and detect leaks more quickly. This will help customers to troubleshoot and quickly fix issues, potentially avoiding damage to your property and unexpected charges.

How will new meters impact Forsyth County Department of Water & Sewer (FCDWS) customers?

Between the summer of 2022 and the spring of 2024, FCDWS will be replacing older water meters throughout the County in phases. Approximately four weeks before your new meter is installed, you will receive a notification letter that you will be getting a new meter soon. The letter will include instructions to help you prepare for the installation. You do not need to be home when the new meter is installed.

If your neighbor receives a new meter but you don’t, you already have an AMI meter and won’t need a new one.

Should you have any questions about the meter upgrade program, please contact FCDWS Customer Service at 770-781-2160. For meter installation questions, please call M&E Construction at 833-626-3326.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AMI?

AMI stands for Advanced Metering Infrastructure. It is the upgraded meter system Forsyth County will be installing as part of our Meter Upgrade Project. The AMI system reads meters remotely, eliminating the need for trucks and field representatives to find and read meters on site.

These new meters are more reliable than existing older meters and will provide more frequent readings to FCDWS and customers.

Why is FCDWS changing our meters?

In 2006, Forsyth County installed an Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system that relies on trucks rolling by each customer meter once a month to gather water use information. Some meters still require a person to physically read their meter. With many of our existing water meters reaching the end of their useful life, FCDWS is upgrading to an AMI system that reads meters remotely, eliminating the need for trucks and field representatives to find and read meters on site. These upgraded meters will gather consumption information more frequently, helping FCDWS to better serve our customers and will give you the power to better manage you water use and costs.

How can I view my water use, and how can I save money with the new meters?

Eventually, customers will be able to view their water use through the WaterSmart online portal. This portal allows customers to view monthly, daily and hourly water use. It also gives customers the option to set up email or text alerts for high, abnormal or continuous use. These new features help customers save money by allowing you to track your water use and catch leaks early.

How will my account information be secured?

Online customer account information is protected by multiple security layers. In addition, the County uses detection and prevention systems to monitor activity and notify staff of suspicious activity on the server or network.

How significant does a leak need to be to be picked up by the new meters, and how will I be notified if I have a leak?

Leak notifications vary by property type. For a single-family home, customers will be notified by email or text message of continuous water use of 5 or more gallons per hour for a period of 24 hours. Other alerts can also be enabled, such as abnormally high or unplanned use notifications. Customers must register for the WaterSmart online portal in order to receive and customize these notifications. 

Can I view my water use information if I’m not the account holder?

Yes. Once the account holder creates their account on the WaterSmart portal they can allow access to others by adding a user. The account holder will need the other user’s email address to send them a portal invitation.

What is the life expectancy of a water meter, and why are you replacing meters that are older than three years?

The average life expectancy of a water meter is 15 years. Until now, we have replaced meters as we became aware of their malfunction, one by one. This has resulted in a population of meters ranging in age by as much as 30 years and with various brands and technologies. The reason we are replacing all meters installed before 2019 is so that our entire system is roughly the same age and type and because it’s much more cost efficient to replace meters in bulk rather than one by one. This will build consistency into the system. 

I just got a new meter last year. Why do I need a new one?

If your water meter was installed in 2019 or later, it will not be replaced. You will eventually be able to access all of the benefits of the new meters through the WaterSmart portal.

How long have AMI meters been around?

AMI meters have been installed and used across the nation for over three decades. There are currently more than 70 million AMI meters in use across the United States.

How can I prepare for the installation of my new meter?

Make sure the property-side service line from the meter into your property is in good condition so that it can withstand the meter replacement work; please fix any defective condition or leak before the meter replacement work can happen. Prune back any plant material that has grown over your current meter box.

Benefits of AMI

  • Faster leak or unusual water use detection
  • Access to more precise daily and monthly water usage data
  • Ability to compare water consumption and costs across multiple meter accounts
  • Ability to share leak alerts with others including landlords, property managers and tenant coordinators
  • Ability to track and manage water use to control costs

What to Expect

FCDWS has hired professional installers M&E Construction (M&E) to replace your current meter. M&E installers will be using vehicles with the M&E logo on the sides and will carry clear identification with them at all times. During installation:

  • Your water service will likely be interrupted for 15 to 30 minutes
  • The existing meter will be exchanged with a new meter
  • M&E will leave a door hanger on your door to let you know:
    • that they were there
    • if they changed the meter or not
    • if they didn’t change the meter, the reason why and how to timely correct the problem
    • to contact M&E Construction at 833-626-3326 if you have any questions