SFID’s new metering system provides benefits for customers, district

Old SFID water meters have been replaced with automated meters.
(Courtesy SFID)

The Santa Fe Irrigation District recently completed the final phase of its effort to replace the district’s manual read meters with an automated metering system, aiming to provide customers and the district with a better way to track water usage. SFID is the second water district in the region to have all of its meters converted to an automated meter system.

“The completion of the AMI program is a huge benefit to the district and our customers,” said SFID Board President Michael Hogan in a news release. “This new infrastructure will allow for more accurate water use data for the district and customers, which will be helpful during the current dry conditions and for future implementation of statewide water use efficiency measures.”

Automated metering infrastructure (AMI) uses radio transmitters in the meter box to send regular reads to a collector in the area, which then sends information to the district for tracking and billing.

With AMI, customers will be able to review historical water use and detailed consumption data as well as set leak and usage alerts.

For SFID, the installation will reduce staff time necessary to read meters and data, increase safety for staff and optimize operations and customer service resources.

SFID’s six-phase program began in 2016 and included the replacement of approximately 7,500 manual read meters, along with the installation of equipment and the necessary software. The project cost $5.1 million and came in approximately $800,000 below budget.

“Our district is proud to be a leader in implementing this fixed base metering program and look forward to the development of a new customer portal to add to the benefit for our customers,” Hogan said.

SFID now plans to develop an improved customer portal for customers to view and analyze their water use data. The goal for the improved portal will be for customers to be able to track their water use, identify areas to reduce use and for the district to have additional data to identify leaks and provide data to the state during the implementation of Senate Bill 606 and Assembly Bill 1668, addressing water use efficiency.

SFID also plans to roll out additional information on water use efficiency rebates, incentives, and classes to help customers understand their water use and ensure efficiency during the current drought and into the future.