The ICRWUA is proud to annouce the move to an updated meterng system that will be a radio read system. This system will allow us to not only move to a digital read, but also a system that offers advanced leak detection and alerts to help us elminate accidently wasting water in our community. The accurracy of this system, along wth the software, offers us an invaluable source of information as we navigate the current dry spell and beyond. This upgrade in technology will greatly enhance our Water Conservation Goals.
We have chosen to partner with Frontline Waterworks & Master Meters to install a 3G Mobile Automated System. Their experience and high standard of performance as providers of advanced digital water metering, data delivery, and Utility Intelligence software are the primary reasons.
Phase 1 of the change-out in meters was accomplished in May as 100 meters were replaced on the West side of Williamson Valley Road. Phase 2 begins in June and will entail replacing Commercial Meters, another 200 meters (on the West side of Williamson Valley Road) and the purchase of a mobile computer to read and program the meters as well as training. If all goes as planned, training should be complete by the end of August and the final Phase that will install the final 320 meters on the East side of Williamson by the end of the year.
The main advantage of these meters to the community is not that they are radio read, although they will greatly reduce mis-reads, re-reads and billing errors. Rather, it is the accurracy and the alert capabilities. Looking at them in your meter box at the street, one will still see the usual analog dial measuring the flow of water. When it comes time to read the meter, not only is the amount of usage transmitted, but also a system of alerts that will tell us if the meter has been running for hours without stopping (leak detection). The ICRWUA is discussing the idea of regular drive bys just to capture the alerts and maximize the ability to prevent small leaks from becoming bigger ones. The system will also be able to read a back-flow, preventing water theft.
A system with those capabilities does come with some cost. In this particular case, the payback comes from the accurrracy of the meters. Not only is the community going to be able to save water by preventing unknown waste, but the accuraccy of the meters should result in a 3% increase in water read and billed. At 2017 revenue levels, that puts the payback at 10 years, which also equals the warranty period of the new units.
New water meters equals a recalibration and a tighter water system that is responsive to leaks on both sides of the meter.