Numerous considerations are in play for utility officials when choosing a data communication system. It is a substantial investment, with the eyes of regulatory agencies and customers watching intently.
In January 2014, the city of Meadows Place, Texas, became the first city in Fort Bend County to fully convert to an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) fixed-network system. At the same time, the city also implemented a complete meter change-out for its 1,600 customers. Both projects represent large initiatives for the self-proclaimed “little city” with a population of 4,600 citizens.
When the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) implemented a STAR® network system to read meters for its nine million customers, it never expected that the benefits of the system would extend beyond simple meter reading.
Berkeley County Water & Sanitation (BCWS) has moved from manual meter reads to remote readings that happen with the push of a button. The result? Massive amounts of data but no clear view into how to use it to benefit its more than 24,000 customers and better plan for tomorrow.
After analyzing annual water loss audits for the city of Dallas, GA, the team discovered significant issues around non-revenue water. In 2014, real and apparent water loss accounted for 31.3 million gallons — nearly 20 percent of the city’s total water supplied for the year — which meant lost revenue for the city.
Located in Daviess County, Indiana, Washington is a small city that is poised for growth. An expansion of the heavily traveled I-69 highway has added new connections to the region between Evansville and Indianapolis, improving access to jobs, education and healthcare.
Bethpage Water District’s (New York) outdated water metering system led to customer service concerns, such as a slow response time for detecting leaks and insufficient data for billing inquiries. By installing new meters and advanced metering analytics software, the district increased visibility into its operations, resulting in greater revenue and improved customer service.
The City of Pompano Beach is a growing city of more than 101,000 residents.
For many years, ultrasonic metering has been utilized for large scale liquid and gas measurement. However, it is a relatively new technology for small meter applications — particularly those designed for potable water.
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.
For the past 150 years, Sensus has brought water metrology products to market that have led the industry in technology, efﬁciency and accuracy. Today is no different as environmental regulations and sustainable technologies are key concerns for water utilities.
A common drive among inventors is the hope of building “a better mouse trap.” There may be products that satisfy their users every day, but are crying out for improvement. One company has found that opportunity in water meters, taking a technology that has worked in the industrial space and offering it for the first time for residential applications.
Water Meters|Automatic Meter Reading Systems|Fire Service Meters|Control Instrumentation
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.
Aclara, now part of the Hubbell Power Systems family of brands, is a world-class supplier of smart infrastructure solutions (SIS) and services to more than 800 water, gas, and electric utilities globally. Aclara SIS offerings include smart meters and other field devices, advanced metering infrastructure and software and services that enable utilities to predict and respond to conditions, leverage their distribution networks effectively, and engage with their 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.