Located in the San Joaquin Valley of Northern California, an area hit hard by recent droughts, the City of Merced’s Water System Division appreciates the value of water and successful water management. Strict water mandates, put into effect across California after the historic droughts of 2014 and 2015, along with continuing population growth, made the city’s need for flexible and efficient water management solutions more critical than ever.
Advancements targeting the challenges related to a flooded meter pit environment have occurred slowly over the years, with limited success.
Accurate and dependable water metering is more important than ever for today’s water utilities. Although utility managers are tasked with meeting tight budgets, it is imperative for utilities to invest in their water metering infrastructure. When making meter selection decisions, utilities must consider several factors. These include service size, application, and expected flow rates. There is no “one type fits all” application when it comes to meter technologies.
Public Utility District No. 1 of Skagit County (Skagit PUD) in Washington state was at a crossroads, facing a number of challenges related to its meter reading system. Because the utility was using a touch-read/visual-read system, it was highly dependent on its water meter readers’ acquired route knowledge. Two of the PUD’s three meter readers were planning to retire soon, and it would take at least a year to hire and train new employees to fill their experienced shoes. At the same time, the community was growing at a steady pace, and a significant number of its existing meters were reaching the end of their useful lifecycle.
The City of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, had been using a drive-by Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system to read all of its meters since 2010, but according to Rob Stark, utility supervisor for the City of Coeur d’Alene Water Department, it wasn’t realizing the full benefits with its existing system.
The biggest flood in decades roared through the Village of Johnson City, NY, one day in September 2011, and the water department lost everything, including their office, which was submerged in several feet of water. Working with Neptune Technology Group, Johnson City began installation of its new Neptune meters, along with E-Coder®)R900i™ combination solid state absolute encoder/RF meter interface units.
The city of Laredo, Texas, had been walking to read its 67,543 water meters – 59,138 residential and 8,405 commercial accounts – using a manual method that took up to ten staff on the streets nearly an entire month to read to meet a monthly billing schedule. With the dawn of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems, the City began their search for the right metering solution for the department’s needs.
Located in rural Kentucky, the small town of Wingo may seem like an unlikely candidate to become the first city in the state to employ a complete Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system. However, when it came time to upgrade its meter reading system, the city wanted a comprehensive water utility solution and chose the ORION Fixed Network (SE) system from Badger Meter.
With a 2,400 square mile service area and approximately 40,000 customers to serve in southeastern Illinois, EJ Water Cooperative was having difficulties scheduling the nearly 4,000-mile monthly drive to complete a meter reading cycle. The rising cost of their aging system and the need to reduce operating costs prompted the search for a new meter reading system.
Heber Springs, a resort town in northcentral Arkansas, had been experiencing various challenges for a number of years. The utility’s team was facing difficulties in finding qualified personnel to obtain accurate and timely meter readings, identifying leaks quickly due to inaccurate or old meters, and managing extra time spent on misreads and rechecking meter reads. Read the full case to determine how the utility realized that that Badger Meter’s solution would be more cost effective in the long-term compared with other major metering companies.
The majority of the water in the city of Simi Valley, California, is provided by Ventura County Waterworks District 8, serving approximately 26,000 metered connections — 22,000 of which are now read by Neptune’s R900® System.
Municipality arrives before the water bill to alert customers of unusual spikes in usage.
Considering the invaluable service provided to the society by the water companies, it is imperative to ensure their sustainability. To achieve this objective, these organizations must be allowed to fulfill their mission with effectiveness and efficiency. Information and communication technologies are especially important tools in this pursuit of enhanced performance.
The City of Clermont, Florida is located in Lake County 22 miles west of Orlando; and, like its neighbor, has an economy driven largely by tourism.
Water Meters|Automatic Meter Reading Systems|Fire Service Meters|Control Instrumentation
Maximize efficiencies. Enhance revenue. Improve customer service. Conserve precious natural resources. You can do it all with ARB® Utility Management Systems™ from Neptune. Since 1892, Neptune has provided utility metering systems that save time, money, and labor.
Mueller Water Products, Inc. manufactures and markets products and services that are used in the transmission and distribution of safe, clean drinking water and in water treatment facilities throughout North America.
Water Meter Manufacturer|National Chain of Distributors for Sales and Service|Award-Winning AMR Wireless RF Meters
Badger Meter is a leading manufacturer and marketer of flow measurement and control products, serving water utilities, municipalities and industrial customers worldwide. Measuring a variety of liquids, from potable water to oil and lubricants, to industrial processes, our products are known for their high degree of accuracy, long-lasting durability, and their ability to provide valuable and timely measurement information to our customers.
ABOUT AMR, AMI & METERING
Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) is a system and process used to remotely collect water meter data without the physical presence of personnel at the reading point. The system can be configured to read multiple meters at exactly the same point in time such as midnight or at the end of every month. Automatic Meter Readers (AMR) also known as SMART Meters afford suppliers with a cost effective solution to meter reading. Automatic meter readers use a real time wireless communication network to connect digital water meters with a central management system. Digital water meters use ultrasonic measurement technology to provide precise meter readings. AMR is a key driver of efficiency for water utilities by lowering costs by optimizing maintenance interventions and lowering reading operations. An effective AMR system can only work if the water meter has a pulse out where a radio transmitter will be attached to it. Multiple meter readings will then be transmitted to a device called the repeater. Using GPRS the readings will be transmitted to a server. The data can then be obtained from the server for use. AMR devices incorporate smart image recognition technology (OCR – Optical Character Recognition), BPL (Broadband Power line) as well as PLC (Power line Communications) technologies.
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) are the systems beyond simply the meters that allow utility professionals to not only collect and analyze water usage, but also communicate back to metering devices, either on request or on a schedule. These systems include electronic/digital hardware and software providing continuously available remote communications. A typical AMI solution equips the customer with advanced solid state, electronic AMR meters that collect time-based data. These meters have the ability to transmit the collected data through commonly available fixed networks such as Broadband over Power Line (BPL), Power Line Communications (PLC), Fixed Radio Frequency (RF) networks, and public networks (e.g., landline, cellular, paging). The meter data are received by the AMI host system and sent to the Meter Data Management System (MDMS) that manages data storage and analysis to provide the information in useful form to the utility.
Utilities are turning toward advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) systems as part of larger “Smart Grid” initiatives. AMI extends current advanced meter reading (AMR) technology by providing two way meter communications, allowing commands to be sent toward the home for multiple purposes, including “time-of-use” pricing information, demand-response actions, or remote service disconnects.