Automated Water Meters Provide Accuracy and Leak Detection
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Ogden City Water Utility is continuing to press forward with a meter-change out program that is designed to replace old, out-dated meters with new, more accurate meters. The new meters have the capability of providing the user with detailed water usage which is helpful when trying to conserve and also in detecting leaks between the meter and the home, or in the home itself.
A popular question asked of the water utility staff is “Did I really use this much water?”. In a time when every penny counts, this is a very valid question. In order to answer this question correctly and possibly identify cost saving repairs, the Ogden City Water Utility is investing large amounts of capital to ensure that meters are reading accurately.
As part of the recently adopted rate study, roughly $1.5 million dollars have been set aside for both FY2013 and FY2014 to upgrade meters. Manual read meters will be upgraded to radio read meters. Radio read meters lessen the likelihood that human error will result in an incorrect bill. Customers can thus be assured that their water bills are accurate.
Radio read meters also provide detailed information about water usage. The newest radio read meters record usage from day to day and hour to hour. This is helpful in determining if there is a leak on a customer’s system. The usage data also helps customer’s identify the affect that lawn watering has on their bills. This information helps water users save money and conserve water simultaneously.
Radio read meters are also able to identify backflow events. A backflow occurs when water flows from the customers system to the public system. This type of event can be harmful to the public, if the water pushed into the public system is harmful. Although these events are rare and harmful events even less likely, they can occur. Being able to identify and thereby prevent these events helps keep the water system safe and secure.
There are roughly 24,587 open water accounts in Ogden City. 14,013 accounts had radio read meter at the beginning of July 2012 (about 56% of the total accounts). The Water Utility anticipates installing another 6,200 meters this fiscal year, upping the percentage of residents on radio read meters to 83%. At the end of next year we hope to have installed radio read meters for all open accounts.
The Ogden City Water Utility is striving to improve its customer service. These new radio read meters will help do that. A safer water supply and more accurate billing are important to our customers and important to us. For more information regarding the Automated Meter Installation Program please contact the Water Utility Office at 801-629-8321.