In the US, the city of Napa has this week announced that it has added 16.000 radio transmitters to water meters to allow meter readers to collect usage information wirelessly while traveling past local homes and businesses.
The city said it will add equipment to directly relay information to a city database, allowing for automated billing and earlier alerts for leaky or broken pipes.
According to a Napa Valley Register.com publication, the city expects to complete upgrading of all its 25.200 water meters by 2018.
Commenting on the status of the project, which commenced in Q3 of 2015, Joy Eldredge, manager of the city Water Division said, "The upgrade’s eventual goal, however, is to create a constant flow of water-use records and tie that data seamlessly into the department’s computerized billing."
Eldredge added that Napa is evaluating billing softwares from various companies and should make its choice by April this year.
Smart water meters in the US
In other smart water meters' news, the village of Tinley Park in Illinois announced in December, 2015 its US$6.5 million plan to replace controversial smart water meters installed in resident’s homes in a previous AMI project.
The decision followed several incidents of residents being overcharged of their monthly bills due to malfunctioning of the meters.
Under the proposal, Tinley Park said it will borrow US$6.5 million to replace some 18.263 smart water meters as well as cover related expenses.
The project costing is about US$$396,000 a year and is estimated will take 18 to 24 months to replace all the meters.
Chicago Tribune reported that the smart water meters Tinley will replace supplied by Severn Trent and Elster with the Sensus iPerl currently being installed in at least 10 other suburbs to replace traditional mechanical meters.
Commenting on the proposal, Water Superintendent Tom Kopanski said, ‘The new meters will provide "a high level of accuracy" for their "entire expected life" and "across all flow ranges."
Mr Kopanski added that the new smart water meters to be installed will include more data and will allow customers to go online and download their consumption history — with hourly figures available for the previous 30 days.
The more robust data will allow residents to be contacted quickly if the information suggests a leak in their pipes.