US utility plans $6m water meters upgrade project


According to the Chapelboro, OWASA said the project will include the installation of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) solution including small radio transmitters on water meters.

The radio transmitter will allow OWASA remote and accurate meter data collection.

Todd Taylor, general manager of operations at OWASA said: the system “…eliminates the need for someone to drive or walk the community to collect this information monthly, as we do now” to about two-thirds of the over 21,000 meters in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Taylor added:  “Our staff would have access to these hourly reads and be able to proactively let customers know when water use patterns change.”

Implementation of the water meters project, which is set to be approved by OWASA board of directors in a hearing set to be held on 24 March, will allow consumers to access their water usage online as well as information on how to use water sustainably.

Smart water systems in the US

The news follows late January’s announcement by US smart water tech provider Electro Scan, that its solution has been included in the University of California’s waste water collection manual.

The manual ‘Operation and Maintenance of Waste Water Collection Systems’ released in December 2015 is utilised by operators, managers and consulting engineers in the management of water worldwide, according to a company statement.

“Our manual was originally designed to allow for self-paced instruction where operators worked at their own speed,” said Ken Kerri, former Director of the Office of Water Programs, California State University.

Today, the Office of Water Programs is a nonprofit organisation operated by University Enterprises, California State University, providing distance learning programs for the operation and maintenance of drinking water and waste water facilities.

ElectroScan claimed its low voltage technology identifies and quantifies leakage amounts in gallons per minute where defects are not identified by certified closed-circuit television operators or by using other inspection techniques.

Electro Scanning Inspection also provides wet-weather condition assessment information and can be used by utilities to locate sources of sanitary sewer overflows and find defects in newly repaired or relined pipes.

The edition is the seventh edition of the guide, which was originally published in 1976.