15 NOVEMBER 2016
In California, the City of Big Bear Lake announced that its Department of Water is one year ahead of its advanced meter reading (AMR) project.
In a press statement, the city’s water division said it installed 6,000 radio-read water meters since the launch of its AMR meters project in 2014.
The city had projected to replace 15,580 analog meters with advanced models from 2014 through to 2020.
The AMR meters installed so far are helping the water utility to improve its revenue collections through accurate water billing.
In addition, the system is helping the city eliminate non-revenue water due to excessive water leakages.
In January alone, the city’s water division used the new system to identify and quickly respond to 49 water leakage incidents.
The AMR meters system is expected to continue helping the company reduce its operational costs incurred in implementing door to door meter readings.
The project will ensure the company reduces its carbon footprint by avoiding usage of motor vehicles in carrying out meter readings.
More, importantly, the remote system will ensure the utility is able to charge its customers accurate water bills in winter when meters are completely covered with snows and manual meter readers are not able to collect usage data.
The project falls under efforts by the city to improve water conservation ahead of the California drought.
AMI and AMR meters in the US
Whilst other water utility firms in the US are implementing advanced meter reading systems, some are replacing AMR systems with AMI technologies, which are more advanced and yield more benefits than AMR solutions.
For instance, in early August, the US city of Cedar Park in Texas state announced that it will kickstart its project to install smart water meters in September throughout to the first quarter of 2017.
The Texas city will replace its existing 22,000 water meters with the new smart meters to enhance its water billing as well as help consumers to save water and money.
The project will costs $5.19 million and will allow consumers to view their usage data via an online platform updated every four hours.
Lyle Grimes, a councilor in Cedar City, said the smart water meters “… not only allow more transparency on the city side but also on the customer side. It allows them so see their usage and make adjustments.” [US city plans to deploy smart water meters].
The project will replace the city’s remote radio-read system which meter readers used to collect meter data on a monthly basis as they drive by water meters.