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     1717 5th St. Davis CA 95616

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Water Meter Upgrade Project

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OverviewMeter no background2

The City’s Water Meter Upgrade Project is a step toward a more modernized water metering system that will help us all as a community to better manage our water resources. The upgrades will include exchanging the current water meters for new meters with Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). AMI uses a low-powered communication device that’s added to your new water meter to transmit hourly water usage information over a secure network approximately four times per day. The Water Meter Upgrade Project is anticipated to begin in early 2018.

The City’s Water Meter Upgrade Project is Capitol Improvement Project #8187: Network Radio - Read Water Meters. Project Staff Reports to City Council: November 15, 2016 and November 18, 2014.

Upgraded Water Meters Coming to Davis

Benefits of the Water Meter Upgrade Project

  • Access to your water usage information. After your new AMI meter is installed, you have the option to register for the City’s new online water use portal, AquaHawk, to find out your water usage on a daily and hourly basis.
  • Reduction of water loss. Water leaks on the homeowner's side of the water meter can be identified and repaired more quickly by the homeowner.
  • Save money. Knowing your daily and hourly consumption history enables you to better understand and make informed decisions about your household water use and associated water bill.
  • Water Alerts. Set-up leak and other usage alerts so that they are automatically sent to you when continuous water flow is identified, which is often indicative of a water leak. This can save money and prevent property damage that often results when leaks run undetected.

AMI Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why do I need a new water meter?

A. The City will be initiating a proactive meter replacement program, to replace meters that have reached the end of their useful life.  The majority of existing meters in the City of Davis were installed in 1997 and should be replaced.

Q. How will my water meter be replaced? 

A. The current water meters will be replaced with new AMI meters in the existing meter boxes. The installation crew will assess the need for any repairs to the meter or surrounding infrastructure. A new meter box lid may be installed. The City and/or the City’s contractor may need to clear the area surrounding the meter box in order to allow access. Please trim plants and bushes and clear any obstructions from around the meter box prior to your meter install.

View Full List of AMI FAQs

AMI Radio Frequency Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are there any health hazards associated with the new technology?

A. No. The equipment operates at a low-power radio frequency, comparable to a cordless telephone. All equipment operates in compliance with state and federal communication standards. Water meters are typically installed away from the house so potential exposure is very limited; the communication device only turns on for a fraction of a second per day (totaling approximately 2 ½ minutes per year).

Q. How does the radio frequency of the AMI communications device compare to other common household devices?

A. Information on radio emissions from AMI water meters as compared to other common household radio sources was excerpted from the Automated Water Meter Program Radio Frequency Assessment conducted by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

RF Comparison Table

View Full List of AMI Radio Frequency FAQs

Schedule & Phase Map

Anticipated Water Meter Installation Route Map

PDF of Anticipated Schedule and Route Map

Customer Water Use Portal

The AquaHawk customer water use portal is now available to City of Davis water customers. The AquaHawk portal will allow our customers to view their hourly water usage and set and receive usage alerts. When registering for the first time, you will need your account number and service address.

Customer Water Use Portal

What to ExpectPMI van

Your new AMI meter will be installed by Professional Meters, Inc., (PMI), the installation vendor working on behalf of the City, or by City employees.  The installer will have identification that shows he or she is a representative of PMI or the City.  You do not need to be home if your water meter is outside and accessible. 


  • One to two months prior to installation, letters will be sent to all mailing and physical addresses of water meters to be replaced.
  • One to two weeks prior to installation, a post card will be mailed to the physical address of the meter to let you know that the contractor will be in your area to install your new water meter.
  • Appointments will be scheduled for customers on an as-needed basis.  This includes appointments for customers who have meters that are inaccessible to the installer. Please contact PMI at (866) 965-0657 to schedule an appointment.   

How You Can Help

Let family members or tenants know about the upcoming installation and provide safe access to the water meter, generally located in your driveway or near the sidewalk, by:

  • Clearing any obstructions from around the water meter, including trimming plants or bushes;
  • Unlocking any gates that would block installer access; and
  • Securing pets away from the water meter.

Day of Installation

  • On the day of installation, the installer will visit your meter box and exchange your current water meter for a new automated meter. The installation takes about 30 minutes to complete, during which the water will be shut off for about 15 minutes. When the work is complete, the installer will leave a door hanger which explains the procedure that took place, communicates any further action(s) needed by the customer if a meter was unable to be exchanged and provides instructions for flushing the water line prior to use.   
  • A new meter box lid may be installed.
  • Pre and post installation photographs will be taken.   


  • After installation of the AMI meter, you may still see the meter installation vendor or City employees in the area conducting quality assurance audits on the installations performed in your neighborhood.
  • Once your AMI meter is installed, your water usage will be read and transmitted via a secure radio transmission on an hourly basis instead of the current manual monthly meter reads.

Additional Information 

Stay Informed

The City is committed to minimizing impacts and keeping you informed about the project.  Below are resources and additional information regarding the construction associated with the Water Meter Upgrade Project:

  • To receive project alerts, sign up for:    
    • Nextdoor, a City partnered neighborhood communication tool that is designed to engage residents and enhance communication in neighborhoods.
    • Additional questions, contact Public Works at or (530) 757-5686.