Combined water and natural gas advanced metering analytics (AMA) system to be installed in Garretson, SD


Anna Uhl,
Municipal Finance
Garretson, SD and Milwaukee, WI, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — March 4, 2013 – In the coming months, the city of Garretson, SD will be implementing upgrades to its utility meter reading infrastructure with the deployment of a combined water and natural gas advanced metering analytics (AMA) solution from Badger Meter.

The ORION® SE (smart endpoint) solution, which enables meters to automatically transmit readings to a central location throughout the day, will replace the city’s existing walk-by/drive-by automatic meter reading (AMR) system. Coupled with ReadCenter® Analytics software, it will provide more timely and efficient readings and information that will help the city proactively manage its utility operations.

The city’s current AMR system has been in place for over 13 years and is read on a once a month basis. The radio portion of the system was projected for 10 years of use and has outlasted its expected lifecycle. Designed specifically for water and gas applications, the new solution will not only save on meter reading time, it will provide real time information to help with monitoring and managing use and maintenance.

“This cost effective, forward looking solution will put us at the forefront of metering technology, providing improved efficiency, accuracy and the real-time information and reports to better manage our utility systems,” said Anna Uhl, municipal finance officer. “It also provides some great benefits for our customers such as early leak detection and more detailed billing information.”

Once deployed, each ORION SE endpoint will synchronize communication with the gateway transceiver at one of three locations to process reading data. Transceiver locations will include Garretson’s City Hall, its water reservoir and a third location on the southwest side of town. A handheld reader will be used as a back-up reading device and to read gas meters outside of the listening area of the city boundaries.

After the data is collected, it will be aggregated at a central server and analyzed using ReadCenter Analytics software, which converts raw metering data into meaningful decision-making information and utility system management reports, as well as meter reads for billing purposes. The system captures and provides the right information at the right time, helping utilities to respond quickly to customers, answer questions and resolve billing disputes.
At a utility customer level, the new system will also pinpoint areas of continuous use, which signals potential leaks. Customers can be notified, so they can make necessary repairs. At a system level, it will enable the city to monitor the amount of water it purchases from the rural water system, versus the amount it sells to customers. This will help the city to detect lost water and potential system leaks or issues that need repair. Other system features include tampering alarms, no usage alarms, register errors, and more.

Installation of both the water and gas endpoints is already under way.