City Losing 47% Revenue Due to Old Water Meters – VIDEOOctober 20th, 2011 by Mandy Moss
Based on 25 randomly selected old meters pulled from different areas around Monticello and sent to Austin, TX to Fluid Meters for testing, it was determined that the old meters are costing the city quite a large sum of money each month.
The old meters tested at only 53.58% accuracy, and many of them dated back to the 1960s. This means that residents are consuming 47% more water than they are being billed for. The new meters that were put in place of the 25 old meters that were pulled, have been tested at 98.5% accuracy. This increase in accurately determining how much water consumers are using, will equal an increase in revenue for the city.
The new meters are run on AMI, or Automated Meter Infrastructure. This feature allows most of the work to be done directly from City Hall, as opposed to the routine way of sending a worker to a meter site to conduct shut offs or to reopen a closed line.
This “smart” system also has numerous alerts for both the city and individual consumers, such as alerting the city to a leak and getting workers to within 3 feet of the damaged pipe, tamper alerts, contamination into the water system, and even allows homeowners to put in place their own “soft disconnect” when away from home for vacation or other longer term outings. With the soft disconnect feature, a homeowner would receive an update via cell phone if any water was being used in their home, alerting them to possible break-ins or anyone being in the home that isn’t approved.
Tony Ardillo with SIEMENS Industries spoke to the city about installing the new meters with their help, using performance contracting.
Mr. Ardillo stated, “If we say we’re going to increase your revenue by $200,000 with your new meters, if we meet or exceed that, then we’re all good. If we don’t, then we write a check [to the city for the difference], fix the problem, and go on from there.”
Mayor Maxwell had an example of the city’s current pipes brought in to show to the council and audience, asking everyone to pay special attention to the “asbestos concrete pipe” that had burst. He said, “Your drinking water flows through that.” “One day somebody’s going to have to do something about it, instead of standing around looking at it.”
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