Richmond Water System Improvements and Water Meter Upgrades

The investment into Richmond’s water system infrastructure is vital to providing safe and reliable drinking water. The water infrastructure system is composed of multiple critical assets including wells, pumps, treatment plant, storage tanks/towers, pipes, valves and meters.  Investing in these vital components of the system ensures safe and reliable water to all of Richmond residents and businesses.  The City Council recently approved a contract with SUEZ Asset Management Program to maintain and upgrade components of these critical assets.  Suez will provide water tank and water well maintenance and repairs as well as replace existing water meters with a new AMI system.


The city has three wells that can provide up to 1.8 million gallons of water daily.  The City’s water source is from ground water.  Ground water is located deep underground in veins of water known as aquifers.  These three deep water wells each has a pump to pull raw water to the surface, which is then treated at the water plant and distributed to customers through approximately 65 miles of water lines.  SUEZ will perform annual maintenance and testing of the wells and pumps.  Rehabilitations are included in the contract with Suez and will be scheduled as needed based on the tests of the well capacity.

Storage Tanks/Water Towers

The City has three storage reservoirs holding 2,050,000 million gallons of water.  SUEZ will be performing upfront renovations to the Hill Street Standpipe and the Valley Drive Tower over the next two years.  The renovations will include the cleaning and painting of both the interiors and exteriors of the storage tanks and any needed repairs.  The Hill Street Standpipe is scheduled to be completed first, followed by the Valley Drive Tower.  Subsequently, SUEZ will be responsible for annual inspections, bi-annual washouts of the interiors, other maintenance and repairs as needed and repainting the interiors and exteriors at such time as needed for both storage tanks.


The upgrade to a new automated Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) will require replacement of approximately 2,700 aging water meters in the community.  The old meters that have traditionally been read by a drive-by reader and manually each month will be replaced with new meters that will communicate water usage data automatically using radio transmitters.  The new meters will improve reading accuracy and eliminate the need for usage estimates.

One of the benefits of having AMI is the ability to identify customer leaks.  AMI provides real-time usage reports and monitoring capabilities.  The new AMI system will alert City staff with high water usage potentials and staff will notify the customer.  This improves customer service and identifying the leaks earlier will save the customer money.  Recently, the City launched an online account management system that allows customers to compare their monthly usage.  For more information on this, visit the City’s website at

Additional details regarding AMI will be provided prior to the replacement of the meters, which will begin in early 2020.