AMI Modernization Project

Please use this page to find out information about the ongoing AMI Water Meter
Modernization Project. 

Vanguard is currently working on Cycle 3 Thursday/Friday and will resume work in Cycle 4 on Monday  the 19th.


Introduction Letter


Meters Installed: 31 of 6032

Water Metering Modernization Project  


The City of Opelousas is excited to announce our Water Metering Modernization Project. This meter technology upgrade includes advanced metering infrastructure, also known as smart meters. All customers will receive a new smart water meter, which wirelessly delivers usage information directly to the utility for billing and operations. Smart meters will also improve meter reading efficiency and accuracy and can help detect continuous consumption quicker to help you save water. 


The Water Metering Modernization Project is part of the City’s initiative to continue to provide excellence in customer service. Installing smart meters will help the City modernize its metering infrastructure, provide improved response time to customers, and allow for new services in the future. 


Project Benefits 


Enhanced Customer Service 

Near-real time meter readings and updates from smart meters will allow the City to troubleshoot service issues sooner and resolve customer inquiries quicker. In the future, customers could have the ability to monitor their water usage online. 


Proactive Alerts 

Customers will have the ability to set up for conditions such as continuous consumption and high usage. 


Efficiency & Sustainability 

Smart meters will help the City to operate more efficiently by reducing the amount of vehicle trips to customer homes and businesses. The project also contributes to local sustainability initiatives by helping the city to utilize its water resources more wisely.  


Meter Technology Upgrade  


  • You will receive postcard notification via mail prior to the City’s authorized installation contractor, Vanguard Utility Services (Vanguard), upgrading meters in your area 


  • There is no need to schedule an appointment in advance or be present for the meter technology upgrade unless the door hanger left by Vanguard instructs you to do so. 


  • Vanguard meter technicians will attempt to introduce themselves prior to beginning the upgrade. 


  • Each technician will be dressed in uniform, have signage on their vehicle, and possess a valid photo ID.  


  • You may experience a brief interruption of water service for approximately 15-30 minutes.  


  • Vanguard meter technicians will leave a door hanger behind with information on the work performed. If the technician was unable to complete the installation, the door hanger will include instructions on how to reschedule your meter technology upgrade.   


  • We recommend running your faucet for a few minutes or so if you notice your water is cloudy or air is in the line 


Frequently Asked Questions 


  1. Why is the City of Opelousas performing this meter technology upgrade? 

Water meters can become less accurate as they age. Water meters have a useful life expectancy of approximately 15 years, after which accuracy tends decline. The new smart meters give the City the tools to provide more accurate bills and better service to its customers. 


  1. When can I expect to receive my new smart meter? 

The City’s installation contractor, Vanguard Utility Systems, will upgrade approximately 6,000 meters throughout the City, beginning in December 2022.  


  1. Will I be notified prior to the upgrade? 

Absolutely. You will receive notification by mail shortly before Vanguard will be in your area. The meter technician will also knock on the premise door to notify the customer at the time of the meter upgrade.  


  1. Who will upgrade my meter? 

The City’s installation contractor, Vanguard Utility Services, will upgrade all meters. Meter technicians will be in uniform and carry an identification card with the technician’s photo and name indicating that they are a contractor for the City of Opelousas; they will also have signs on their vehicles. 


  1. Do I need to be present for the meter upgrade? 

No, your meter is located outside your home and no appointment will be required.  For businesses or special needs an appointment may need to be scheduled.   


  2. Will the water flow be interrupted during the meter upgrade? 

You may experience a brief service disruption during the meter upgrade. Installation of the smart meter will cause your water to be interrupted briefly (15-30 minutes) while the old meter is replaced with the new meter. We understand that some businesses and industries cannot be interrupted easily. We will work with business owners to minimize any impact on operations. We recommend running your faucet for a few minutes or so if you notice your water is cloudy or air is in the line.  


  1. How will I know if my meter was upgraded? 

Meter technicians will leave a door hanger behind indicating that they successfully upgraded your meter. If the meter technician was unable to complete the upgrade, the door hanger will include instructions on how to reschedule.   


  1. Will I have to pay for the Water Metering Modernization Project? 

All customers will receive a meter upgrade at no additional cost. The City has carefully planned for this program.  


  1. Will you still need to read my meter?  
    City staff may periodically visit customer premises for routine maintenance activities. However, we anticipate meter reading will take place remotely with few exceptions. 


  1. Who can I contact for more information? 

Please contact the water department at 337-948-2520 if you have questions about the Water Metering Modernization Project or need any additional information. 


  1. Can I opt out of receiving a new meter?  

Replacing aging infrastructure with the latest technology is part of our responsibility to customers. This means we must upgrade equipment periodically to continuously provide excellent service. Therefore, the City is not offering the option to opt-out of the upgrade. 


Optional Questions 


  1. Will my water bill increase? 

As previously mentioned, meters tend to lose accuracy and report less than they should as they age over time. Depending on the age and accuracy of your existing meter, your bill could change with the installation of your new smart meter. 


  1. How will the City use my information from the meter? 

The new meters record your usage information, encrypt it and wirelessly deliver it to the utility. Readings will be used for billing purposes and to analyze and improve system performance. No personally identifiable customer information such as names or addresses is stored, nor is it accessible by the meters or meter reading software.  


  1. Are the new meters safe?  

The meters the City selected exceed health and safety standards set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The energy emitted by these new meters is much less than other common devices such as cell phones, microwaves, baby monitors, laptops and Wi-Fi routers. In fact, a person standing two feet from an active smart meter is exposed to up to 1,100 times fewer RF waves than a person speaking on a cell phone. 

For additional details on smart meter energy exposure visit: 


  1. Will my billing period change? 

There are no current plans to change the date that the bill is rendered. 


  1. What if there is a leak at the meter or any problems after the meter is upgraded? 

Please call (337)345-4146. 


  1. How many installers will be coming to my house to perform the change out? One.  


  1. What happens if the meter technician damages my pipes? 

The technician will do a thorough inspection of the valves and pipes to make sure there are no pre-existing conditions that would prevent him from conducting the installation. In the event a valve or the pipes are compromised during the installation, Vanguard will make any repairs necessary to return the plumbing to the initial condition. 


  1. What happens if the meter technician cannot change out the meter because the shutoff valves do not work? 

In the event there is a pre-existing condition that prevents the meter technicians from changing the meter such as a bad valve the homeowner will be advised of the necessary steps to follow. In some cases, if the inlet valve is not working, the City may be able to shut the water off from the curb and the meter may possibly be changed even though the valve doesn’t work. 

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