In total, about 7,000 meters are in use across the SFID's 5 divisions. According to a release, the new meters provide several benefits:
- Improve the accuracy of bills – the meter reading data goes straight into the billing system with no additional handling.
- Enhance staff safety by eliminating meter readers exposure to potential injuries, as well as spider and snake bites, bee stings and traffic accidents.
- Reduces meter reading and billing labor that can be reallocated to maintenance and other more productive activities.
- Provide early leak detection by allowing customers to view their water use through an online customer portal.
The automated meter program comes in the midst of one of California's worst drought in a millennia. While mandatory conservation targets were removed earlier this year, the long-term future certainty of California's water availability remains in question.