How do smart water meters work?

Smart meters collect data at regular intervals and transmit it, usually via radio, to a central location. The methods for doing so vary.

Long Beach’s system collects data every five minutes and communicates via cellphone tower between midnight and 6 a.m. Glendale’s system collects data every hour and delivers it during off-peak hours to wireless units that the city installed on power poles.

Most systems have a user interface that allows customers as well as agencies to log on to a website and view their usage information.