Chicago village deploys advanced metering infrastructure network with Aclara

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The village of Oak Lawn, in the US city of Chicago (Illinois) is finalising its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) project aimed at enhancing the operations and performance of the water distribution network.

The village partnered with solutions firm Aclara to install a connected network of advanced water meters and a leak detection system.

Some 17,000 smart water meters have been installed to ensure accurate meter reading and billing.

Jeff Sebek, director of public works at Oak Lan, said this: “…[It’s] a milestone project for Oak Lawn. The implementation of Aclara’s AMI network will help us streamline our operations and equip us with the tools to improve and grow our infrastructure and deliver water more efficiently.”

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The new metering infrastructure replaces an automated meter reading network which was expensive to operate, prone to errors, and increased the village’s carbon footprint due to the drive-ins utility personnel made in reading water meters.

The 82 acoustic correlating loggers installed will help the utility to detect underground water leaks that are difficult to identify. This will help reduce non-revenue water and enhance water conservation.

When completed, this solution will be the largest such deployment in the Western Hemisphere, according to the statement.

Sebek, added: “Non-revenue water, which is water loss through distribution network leakage, is of paramount importance for Oak Lawn to reduce.  We expect that the Aclara solution will be a game-changer for the Village of Oak Lawn to bring both our apparent and real water losses number down.”

Data on consumer water usage and the status of the distribution network will be managed and analysed using Aclara’s software. This will enable consumers to be provided with real-time data regarding their water consumption, which they can use to optimise usage and reduce water bills. The capability is expected to help the village utility to improve customer services.

The Village purchases water from the city of Chicago and resells it to 12 towns.