US utilities install automated meters and privatise water billing


In the US, two rural utility companies have filed proposals with the Kentucky Public Service Commission to install automated water metering infrastructure.

The West Daviess County Water District wants to invest $900,000 in modernising its water infrastructure by installing radio transmitters on  5,300 existing smart water meters.

Meanwhile, the Southeast Daviess County Water District has raised $1.2 million in funding to upgrade 7,300 water meters with the radio transmitter technology.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission is set to complete reviewing the proposals by the end of January for installation of the radio transmitters to commence through to mid-2019.

The projects will help the two utilities to reduce expenses incurred by driving through neighbourhoods to collect consumer water usage data. The radio transmitters will directly send water usage data to utilities’ offices.

The new smart water metering system will enable consumers to set water efficiency targets, check their status online and receive notifications in the event they exceed the targets.

Smart water metering system and billing processes

In related news, the Haltom City Council in the US state of Texas is privatising its water billing processes.

The city council is handing over its consumer water usage data collection and processing to Fathom Water Management as from mid-January.

Fathom will open an office where consumers can pay their water bills.

The privatisation of the billing processes comes after Haltom City selected Fathom Water Management for the supply and installation of smart water meters and related technologies.

By installing smart water meters, the city council wants to reduce non-revenue expenses associated with human error in meter reading and data processing and theft on the consumer side.

The smart water metering system will ensure the city improves its revenue collection by eliminating estimated billing.

Rexy Phelps, assistant manager at Haltom City, said the smart water meters will help save $323,900 in operational costs a year.

“It’s just a no-brainer. It’s a smart way to do it. We’re going to be saving money in year one and two. But the savings long term will be even higher.”


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