Skip to main content

Smart Water Meters Installed for City of Bloomington Utilities Customers

City of Bloomington Utilities has completed a yearlong project to upgrade their metering infrastructure with smart meters. Whereas the previous generation of meters only allowed for a single monthly read, the new metering system allows for a read every hour of every day. This initiative is in response to our continuing efforts to provide our customers with the lowest cost of water while maintaining a high level of reliability and great customer service. A more modernized metering system will enable automated readings and will enhance our ability to respond to infrastructure issues more efficiently. Plus, you will have access to more detailed water usage information allowing you to make informed decisions on how to manage your water consumption and alert you to potential leaks. There will be no new rate increases or surcharges as a result of this project.

The Customer Portal allows City of Bloomington Utilities customers to monitor their water use, set alarms, and diagnose potential problems in their plumbing systems by seeing the hour by hour data that are available thanks to the new metering systems.

 

To set up your Customer Portal:

  • Go to the customer portal website:      https://my-blmgt.sensus-analytics.com
  • Click the "Need to set up a new account?" link
  • Accept the Terms and Conditions
  • Enter the email address you would like to link to your account
  • A confirmation email link will be sent to that email address
  • A new account form will be displayed, enter the name as it appears on your City of Bloomington Utilities bill and your Account Number. 
  • Create a Password for the new account and click submit to complete the signup
  • You will be redirected to the login screen and will enter your email and password to access your account

Here is a helpful "How-To" video

Click image below to learn more about Smart Water Meters in Bloomington:

Smart Water Meter Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions to help learn more about why we are making this change and how the technology can benefit you.

 

Why did the City of Bloomington Utilities install Smart Water Meters? Roughly 30% of the City’s water meters were read with a radio; the other 70% were manually read.

The previous meter reading program faced the following challenges:

  • Did not allow for timely detection of water leaks. Leaks that go unnoticed can cause expensive water bills and/or property damage.

  • Many of the meters were approaching the end of their useful life and needed to be replaced.

  • Manually reading water meters was physically demanding on CBU employees and required a fleet of trucks on the roads daily.

Smart water meters address all of these challenges.

 

What are Smart Water Meters and how do they work? Smart Water Meters collect water use information just as a manually read meter does. The fundamental advantage is they read every hour and transmit those reads wirelessly every 4 hours to CBU via base stations. CBU employees no longer need to visit homes and businesses to manually record information every month.

 

Why is there a plastic disk in my water meter lid?  The smart meters transmit their data to the base stations using an antenna which looks like a black plastic disk sitting on top of the meter lid. The antenna is waterproof and durable enough for someone to step on. These antenna have been damaged by lawnmowers and other customer activities, so please do be careful when operating equipment around them.

 

How can Smart Water Meters save money? A Smart Water Meter makes it easier for CBU to identify a leak and let the affected customer know about it much more quickly than was possible with manual meter reading. With manual meter reading, leaks could go undetected for weeks, leaving customers responsible for paying expensive bills and/or resulting in property damage. Smart Water Meters also make it easier for customers to track results of water conservation efforts. 

 

Will CBU customers be able to see their water usage online? Yes. Utilizing an online portal, CBU customers have the ability to view how much water they are using daily. They also are able to use this online portal to make adjustments in their water use habits as needed to save money. This portal is available now: https://my-blmgt.sensus-analytics.com/ 

 

What will my water consumption data be used for? Beyond billing and leak detection, the City of Bloomington Utilities will only use water consumption data to plan, maintain, and develop the city water system. Smart water meters will help the utility maintain a potable water system that is flexible, reliable, and able to meet customers’ needs.

 

How will the City of Bloomington Utilities protect my privacy? The City of Bloomington Utilities is committed to protecting the information of its customers. Smart Meters cannot be used as surveillance devices. Only the meter number, the amount of water used, and information about the proper functioning of the equipment is tallied and sent through the wireless network.   Personal information such as name, address, or account number is not stored in the smart water meter nor is it sent through the wireless network. The meter cannot read how many people used water, the types of fixtures using water, or whether the water went down into the drain into the sanitary sewer.

Additionally, technicians will not enter your home (unless you have a scheduled appointment for an inside meter), obtain your identification information, or have access to your online account.

 

Will my water-use information be secure? The smart water meter wireless network will have multiple layers of protection, similar to many online transactions. All transmitted information will be secure and protected through encryption within the network.

 

How much did this new system cost customers? How is it being paid for? There will be no new rate increases or surcharges as a result of this project. It is being funded with proceeds from a water rate increase that took effect in 2016.

 

Will Smart Water Meters cause my water bill to increase? Each new meter is tested and guaranteed to accurately record water consumption. All water meters ensure that our customers are billed for the water they use, but some of the oldest meters in the system may be slightly under recording a customer's water usage. If a customer’s old meter was under-recording, then that customer might see a bill increase with the new meter.

If you are concerned about an increase you see in your water bill, please contact our customer service department at utilities.cs@bloomington.in.gov so that we may address your concerns.

 

Are Smart Water Meters safe? Smart water meters communicate information similarly to other common wireless devices such as baby monitors, garage door openers, WiFi routers, and cell phones. However, smart water meters transmit at lower levels than most of these devices, are located farther away – typically outside the home, near the street – and only transmit consumption data for less than one second per day. All told, the result is much lower radio frequency exposure than from many common appliances and personal electronics that customers use in their homes throughout the day.  

 

How will Smart Water Meters benefit the environment? Smart water meters equals fewer meter-reading vehicles on the road, thus reducing the City of Bloomington Utilities’ carbon footprint. They will also reduce the amount of water loss, reducing the amount of water CBU needs to treat.

 

Where can I learn more about Smart Water Meters? Please check out our facebook page for updates and we also invite you to contact us if you would like more information at utilities.cs@bloomington.in.gov or (812) 349-3930.