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Water Infrastructure Improvement Program
About The Project

The City of Jackson contracted Siemens to help implement a comprehensive water infrastructure improvement program. The purpose of the project is to upgrade various components of the City’s water distribution system and to replace water meters improve the productivity of meter reading and therefore improve the accuracy of revenue generation.  

The water infrastructure improvement project was initiated by the City of Jackson because the then-current water and sewer infrastructure was losing approximately 40% of the water it produced, resulting in wasted resources as well as lost revenue for the City.

View the new Water Infrastructure Improvement Project Video here

The project involves managing the installation of more than 65,000 digital water meters, replacing the city’s billing software, repair or replacement of equipment at the two (2) water plants, and repair or replacement of water and sewer lines. There are four (4) key aspects of the program.

  1. Water Meter Replacement – The purpose of this effort is to upgrade the City’s water distribution system with an accurate electronic reading capability. The City’s prior water meters, which have served beyond their estimated useful lives in some cases, are being replaced throughout the city with an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system. This new system will enable the City to provide improved customer service capabilities through more efficient meter technology that works with the new water billing software.

STATUS: Installation will be completed in 2016.

  1. Water and Sewer Line Upgrades – These important improvements have enabled the City to stop using bypass pumps, which were expensive to run due to equipment and fuel costs and created noise issues in some areas. Recently completed work also addresses repair or replacement of sewer lines that were leaking or inadvertently allowing rainwater into the system.

STATUS: Completed in May, 2015.

  1. Modification of the City’s Two Water Treatment Plants – Once complete, the plants will have improved capability to continue providing high level water quality for the community and have increased capacity to handle the City’s water treatment needs.

STATUS: Work will be completed in September, 2015.

  1. Implementation of New Customer Care and Billing (CC&B) System – A modern billing system will provide the City with enhanced management tools and greatly improve the customer experience through improved efficiency of meter reading and water billing, eventual elimination of the need for estimated bills, reduced need for personnel to enter property, and the ability to detect a leak in plumbing systems. As implementation continues, customers will also be able to view water usage online, make online payment, and have the ability to consolidate irrigation and residential water bills.

STATUS: Initial roll-out of system will be completed August 30, 2015.

About The Benefits

The water infrastructure improvement project will benefit the City of Jackson and its residents in many ways.  Highlights include:

  • Enhanced Reliability & Efficiency: Water distribution system updates will provide residents with reliable and efficient access to water.
  • Better Use of Resources: The City will be able to better manage its resources and avoid waste from leaking pipes and meters.
  • Updated Technology: Replacing old water meters will ensure that the City of Jackson can accurately track both individual account usage for billing purposes, and also monitor and evaluate community water demands.  
  • Increased Capacity & Continued Quality: The City’s water treatment plants will have improved capability to continue providing high level water quality for the community and have increased capacity to handle the City’s water treatment needs.
  • More Efficient Billing: The new Customer Care and Billing system, when complete, will enable the City to provide residents of Jackson with improved customer service capabilities including internet access to account information, improved efficiency of meter reading and water billing, eventual elimination of the need for estimated bills, reduced need for personnel to enter property, and the ability to detect a leak in plumbing systems.
  • Improved Infrastructure: Important sewer line improvements have enabled the City to stop using bypass pumps, which were expensive to run due to equipment and fuel costs and created noise issues in some areas. Recently completed work also addresses repair or replacement of sewer lines that were leaking or inadvertently allowing rainwater into the system.
  • Economic Opportunity: A project of this magnitude requires a strong workforce to support during the implementation phase, which means there have been associated employment opportunities. Also, the employment opportunities have greatly impacted the local workforce. 
  • Environmental Improvements: Some of the work completed in this project will offset some of the mandates in the EPA Consent Decree for water and infrastructure improvements. By choosing the Performance Contracting model, the City has been able to pay for Federally-mandated critical repairs to sewer lines, without relying on property taxes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why did the City of Jackson need new meters?

Many of the City's old meters were not accurately measuring water consumption. The new meters will measure actual usage more accurately. The new billing system will allow residents to track and monitor their usage.

Will the new water meters cause leaks?

No, the new water meters will not cause leaks. The system will provide the City with the ability to detect a leak in customers’ plumbing systems. The new Customer Care & Billing software will be able to track normal usage patterns and will be able to determine abnormal usage patterns, which may indicate that there is a leak on the property.

Will water bills increase?

As meters age, they tend to run slower and may not measure all the water going through them. In some instances, the old meters were not reading information at all. Depending on the age and accuracy of a customer’s original meter, some may experience a higher bill due to the accuracy of your new meter. The new meters will simply record actual consumption more accurately.

Some citizens experience high water bills that do not yet have new meters, these high bills may be the result of a malfunction in the old billing system (which is 30+ years old), reconciliation of estimated billings or other system factors.

What quality control process has been put in place to ensure that no additional gallon meters are installed?

Siemens has enhanced its QA/QC process for water meter installation to ensure that no incorrect meters are installed.  This process consists of three distinct steps:

  1. Meters are received in the warehouse, opened onsite, and visually inspected. 
  2. At installation, installers inspect and take pictures of the meters (with the actual meter lid open, so dial is visible). As they did before, they also take pictures to indicate at which house/commercial building the meter is installed.
  3. The Siemens QA/QC subcontractor then again inspects the meter and follows up with a separate picture of the meter, with the lid open, showing the dial. 

If one set of these pictures is missing, either the installer or the QA/QC subcontractor has to go back out and verify, with a picture, that the correct type of meter was installed. This process differs from the original in that pictures are required to be taken of the actual meter dial (and not just of the meter box itself) to verify the correct type of meter is installed.

What will be the impact of the new billing system?

The new Customer Care and Billing system will enable the City to provide residents of Jackson with improved customer service capabilities, improved efficiency of meter reading and water billing, eventual elimination of the need for estimated bills, reduced need for personnel to enter property, and the ability to detect a leak in plumbing systems. As implementation continues, customers will also be able to view water usage online, make online payment, and have the ability to consolidate irrigation and residential water bills.

Will customers be asked for any sort of direct payment to the water meter installation team?

No City of Jackson worker or contractor in the field should ever request money from a resident in exchange for any service.  If you are approached by anyone making such a request, please contact the Jackson Police Department at 601-960-1234.

What do I do if I have questions or concerns about my bill?

Upon review of your water bill, if you believe that the amount owed could be inaccurate, please contact the City’s Water and Sewer Business Administration Office at 601-960-2000. Your bill will be reviewed and, if it is determined that an error was made in determining the charges, an adjustment will be made to your bill.

Where can I pay my bill online?

You will be able to pay your monthly water bill online at: www.jacksonms.gov/paymybill