US utility district planning rollout of smart water meters

In the US, the Baldwin County Water and Sewer Department is developing a framework under which it will deploy some 8,700 automated smart water meters for its customers.

Last week, the Baldwin County Commission set aside a $2,500 budget which the county’s utility division will use in designing automated meter reading infrastructure programme.

Currently, the Baldwin County Water and Sewer Department is deploying a pilot in which some 100 automated water meters have been installed for residential consumers.

The pilot is aimed at determining how an automated meter reading system can be used to modernise the county’s ageing water distribution infrastructure. The County wants to understand how the system can help improve management of the water distribution, improve billing process and reduce non-revenue water.

According to a report issued by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division in 2015, of every 671 million gallons of water supplied by the Baldwin County Water and Sewer Department, 219 million gallons are lost to leaks, overflow, inaccurate billing and theft.

Matt Smith, a senior engineer with Carter and Sloope, a designer of municipal water systems, said studies conducted over the past three years on Baldwin County Water and Sewer Department’s system indicate that the company’s non-revenue water is 37%.

On average consumers within the company’s distribution network consume 40.5 million gallons of water per month.

Smith said: “I would say that 25 to 30% is probably average, and 25 is a good goal to be at.

“This 37% is not absurdly high, but it would be one that I would say [Baldwin County Water Superintendant Jason Kidd] has as a priority to get down.”

Adoption and use of automated water meters

Meanwhile, in the US state of Ohio, Glenville town is set to deploy an automated meter reading infrastructure for its water division.

According to the Daily Gazette, the automated meter reading infrastructure programme will require an investment of up to $1.8 million to equip residential and commercial water consumers with smart meters. Read more…


Image Credit: 123rf.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.