Even small utilities can benefit from upgrading their meter systems


Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — November 30, 2007 – The two West Texas cities of Post and Stamford are upgrading their water meter data collecting from a manually read process directly to an RF (radio frequency) wireless fixed base system – the FlexNet system provided by Sensus Metering Systems.

The small municipalities will each implement only about 1,500 endpoints over their 4-mile (Post), and 6-mile (Stamford) territories. But according to Tom Galuska, Marketing Manager for Water & Gas AMI, utility officials in each area felt they needed to adopt a system like FlexNet because of its key attributes of customer service and low operating costs.

Post has to purchase its water, making it imperative to bill for every drop used by customers in order to remain fiscally responsible. It is just as important to identify leaks quickly.

“FlexNet will help us conserve water, which is a precious resource in our part of the country,” said Ric Walton, Post City Manager. “The system’s leak detection and hourly read features will help us fix problems quickly, eliminating unnecessary water waste.”

Unlike Post, Stamford produces its own water, making operational efficiency paramount. “We looked at manpower, lost water revenue and leak detection versus FlexNet’s costs, and it became apparent that the cost-benefit was there,” said Mark Routon, Stamford’s Director of Public Works. “Water is a scarce resource here, and we needed a system like FlexNet to make sure water leaks were caught quickly and water usage was billed for, one-hundred percent.”

FlexNet is an RF (radio frequency) wireless fixed base system. The single-tiered FlexNet architecture and FlexNet’s primary use license system that provides 2 watts of power, allows for greater transmitter range from minimal infrastructure, which in turn lowers operating costs. The ability to issue hourly reads also eliminates estimates for customers.

And Walton explained that another attractive feature of FlexNet is its ability to monitor usage at the meter/endpoint level. “In addition, with the growing oil and agricultural industry, manpower is also at a premium. This fixed base system can be implemented and maintained efficiently with our current staffing levels.”