Frequently Asked Questions

Water Meter / Transmitter Diagram

What is AMR?

AMR stands for Automated Meter Reading. The Waukegan Public Works Departmentis replacing existing water meters with new meters that utilize AMR technology to remotely read customer meters and relay the data to the City's Billing Office, providing timely and reliable reading without having to gain access to your property.

Why is my water meter being replaced?

Water meters must be replaced every 15 to 20 years. The City is investing in its infrastructure and upgrading technology to an Automated Meter Reading system that will provide enhanced customer service, including quicker detection of water leaks in the home and other benefits.

How does Automated Meter Reading (AMR) Work?

A small box, called a Meter Interface Unit (MIU), or transmitter, is installed on the interior of your house or business near your water meter. It is connected to your new water meter inside your home, and transmits a radio signal to a data collector, which is then transmitted to the City. Each meter has a unique identification number that ensures only your reading is assigned to your account. This system reduced the need for meter readers to manually gather meter readings.

How does installation work? 

  • Waukegan has hired Professional Meters, Inc. (PMI) to install your new water meter. PMI will schedule an appointment with you at a convenient time for you.
  • PMI personnel will need access to meters in basements, utility rooms, behind locked fences, garages, etc. An adult (minimum of 18 years old) must be present while we work inside the premises.
  • Please make sure that there are no obstructions around your meter that may hamper access to the meter.
  • Under normal circumstances, the installation will take approximately 30 minutes. Momentary water service interruptions will occur to change out the meter.
  • PMI employees will provide proper identification when installing your meters.

Will my water bill increase? 

Your water rate will not change as part of this project. You will be billed for your actual water used, so your bill could increase if your previous meter was underreporting your actual usage. The new metering system ensures fairness and equality for all customers by measuring and billing residents and businesses accurately.

How much will the system cost me?

There is no charge for the installation. Automated Meter Reading (AMR) is designed to help control costs by increasing meter reading accuracy and efficiency.

Does Automated Meter Reading (AMR) have any other benefits for me?

Yes. AMR improves accuracy. It will detect possible leaks faster and notify you of problems before they become serious, and costly. It also eliminates the need for manually reading meters, except for periodical maintenance or replacement of system components, when needed. This allows the City to be more efficient and save money by preventing recording errors, and minimizing wear and tear on city vehicles. The water meter replacement project also supports the City of Waukegan's sustainability.

Will the radio frequency interfere with my television or phones?

No, the radio transmission operates in compliance with FCC regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices.

Will my information be secure?

Yes, only meter consumption readings and meter numbers are transmitted. Personal customer information is not loaded into the transmitter and therefore, will not be transmitted.

How do I know that my reading is accurate?

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. This reading is deemed more accurate than visually reading the meter.

What If I have questions or concerns?

If you have questions about the project or your water service, contact Waukegan Public Works at (847) 599 - 2997. Professional Meters, Inc. (PMI) will schedule an appointment with you to replace your meter.