Toho Water Authority begins deployment of AMI to conserve resources and enhance customer service


Gary Moore,
President, Aclara
RF Systems Inc
Kissimmee, FL and Cleveland, OH, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 7, 2010 – The Toho Water Authority of Kissimmee, FL has chosen Aclara’s STAR® Network advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system for a phased deployment, beginning with a 5,100-meter pilot, the company has announced.

Toho is the largest provider of water, wastewater and reclaimed water services in Osceola County, with a total of 125,000 water meters.
Toho will use the AMI data collected from the system to enhance customer service as well as conserve resources by reducing water losses from leaks, inoperable meters, and theft. In addition, Toho expects to enhance its tiered water rate program using data it collects, allowing it to offer rates tailored to specific types of residential or commercial customers. It also will analyze the data and provide advice to customers on ways to conserve based on usage patterns.
“We believe the STAR Network system will significantly improve efficiencies in collecting meter readings and other data from water meters, enhancing Toho’s ability to accurately track consumption,” said Gary Moore, president of Aclara RF Systems Inc. “Even more importantly, our solution will provide significant consumption information to consumers, allowing them to actively conserve sustainable resources and lower bills.”
Meters in the Toho water system are located both in pits and above-ground. The STAR Network system meter transmitters, mounted to the underside of composite pit lids and connected to the underground meters, are hermetically sealed and are therefore less likely to malfunction due to high humidity or flooding in the pits. Furthermore, the system’s data collection units, mounted throughout the city, will be designed to withstand sustained, hurricane force winds of 150 miles per hour.
The STAR Network system employs licensed 450 to 470 MHz frequencies that penetrate materials better with less interference than higher frequency, unlicensed signals. In addition it collects meter readings hourly, transferring them on a utility defined schedule to ensure that utilities and their customers have the data they need to make smart decisions regarding resource use. Finally, the system provides flexibility to utilities with its support of multiple standards-based communication protocols and technologies.
To date more than 100 cities have deployed the STAR Network system.