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Sep 29

CVWD evaluates new system that pinpoints water use

Posted on September 29, 2020 at 2:11 PM by Diane Carmony

CVWD is testing new water meter technology that could save water and improve customer service, billing accuracy and employee safety.

 Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) includes remote transmitting devices attached to meters that send consumption data up to every 15 minutes to a cloud-based online portal that customers and CVWD can access. 

The pilot project includes 300 test meters in Indian Ridge County Club and Palmira and Lantana Estates neighborhoods.  

“The response from customers is very positive. They are finding real time information helpful in gauging their water use and seeing where there could be issues,” says Jessica Angulo, Customer Service Representative.

The District is testing three different devices, one hundred from each of three different vendors to see which units perform best under harsh desert conditions.  The technology is similar among each of the vendors with differences in how the information transmits -- radio waves and/or cellular signals -- and in the utility and customer portals that allow access to consumption data.

“Problems with irrigation controllers or leaks can be seen almost immediately, which will lead to less water waste and potentially fewer customer appeals asking for a reduction in a particularly high bill due to a leak,” says Adam McWey, Management Analyst and pilot project manager.

“Billing cycles can be set for a specific number of days allowing for a better comparison of water use from month-to-month. Other benefits include improved billing processes and proactive customer service.”

CVWD received a $100,000 grant from the Bureau of Reclamation to fund the project. The pilot will run for one year ending September 2021. After the pilot, the equipment returns to the vendors and the District will survey customers about their experiences with AMI.

CVWD staff will review the data from the 300 households to evaluate the costs and benefits of AMI to determine if the District should consider installing this equipment permanently districtwide.




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