The smart meters project includes the replacement of some 18,000 automated water meters with new advanced water meters.
The project will be deployed within the next six to nine months and will provide a two-way communication between the city’s water department and its customers.
The programme falls under the city’s efforts to improve its water efficiency and help its customers reduce their bills by providing them with access to their usage data in real-time.
Consumers will be able to access their daily, monthly and historical usage data and pay their bills online using a web-portal.
The new system will help the city reduce its non-revenue water through quick detection of water leakages.
Gary Lester, revenue manager at Rowlett, said the new AMI water meters “allows us to get the reads directly to our office instead of the current drive-by system. We will have more real-time reads.”
The system will reduce the city’s operational costs incurred through vehicle drive-by meter readings.
[quote] The advanced metering infrastructure will help the city increase the life span of its water distribution infrastructure through improved maintenance and near real-time management.
The project is being funded by the capital which the city raised from its previous water conservation projects.
Lester, added: “Our old system is about 11 years old now so the reading equipment itself has started to be unstable and the technology is becoming antiquated.
“With the [new system], if anything breaks, with the techs freed up we can usually get repairs done within 24 hours.”
Advanced water meters adoption
The news follows an announcement made in late August by the US town of Cranberry in Pennsylvania state that it received an approval to replace existing water meters with digital meters in a bid to improve its revenue collection.
The town will replace 7,800 analog meters with advanced water meters as from the first quarter of 2017. The project will include the replacement of all water meters installed before 2009. [Pennsylvania town okays shift to digital water meters]