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From Manual to Automated Meter Reading (AMR) Water Sustainability Session I Presentation at the 15 TH Annual Energy Utility and Environmental Conference,

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Presentation on theme: "From Manual to Automated Meter Reading (AMR) Water Sustainability Session I Presentation at the 15 TH Annual Energy Utility and Environmental Conference,"— Presentation transcript:

1 From Manual to Automated Meter Reading (AMR) Water Sustainability Session I Presentation at the 15 TH Annual Energy Utility and Environmental Conference, Phoenix, AZ, Jan 30 TO Feb 1 2012 Daniel Christodoss, Ph.D., P.E. Asset Manager and Texas Utilities East Design & Construction Manager

2 Presentation Outline Diversified Water Utilities & Why AMR? Hazards to Meter Reader Manual Meter Drawbacks Automatic RF Meters AMR Benefits & Desired Features Vendor Evaluation and Objective Project Tracking & Completion

3 Texas Utilities-Southwest Water Company 106 Water and 15 Wastewater plants (conventional and membrane) 27 MGD Groundwater: 249 wells & 7 MGD Surfacewater ~ 40,000 customers Plants near: San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Tyler, Livingston, Sherman and Tenkiller, OK 33 Counties: Prairies and Lakes, Piney Woods, Gulf Coast, South Texas Plains and Hill Country

4 Diversified Utilities Map 38,319 Manual Meters 3.5 Billion Gallons of Water Metered Annually $18M revenue from water consumption Annual Meter Reader Salary $800,000 (22 meter readers) Data Entry Operators Annual Salary $250,000 (5 operators) Transportation $117,000 (9 vehicles) CHALLENGES: Topography Distance Alleys/backyards Hazards Sherman

5 Meter Reading Hazards @ TXUG (OTSH) Meter Reader Biohazard along meter route

6 Meter Reading Hazards @ TXUG (OTSH) Dogs, Electric Fences, Guns…. Attempted Robbery and Shooting of a meter reader in Lakeland, FL: Aug, 2009 Homeowner opened fire on meter reader, Dallas, TX: 2009 The Rottweiler doesn't bite!

7 Manual Metering Drawbacks Laborious (back injuries, trips, falls) Transcription Errors Biological and Physical Hazards High O&M (labor, gas, disputes) No consumption history Cannot detect customer leaks Water Theft Undeterred High meter reader turnover

8 Texas Utilities-Southwest Water Company 106 Water and 15 Wastewater plants (conventional and membrane) 27 MGD Groundwater: 249 wells & 7 MGD Surfacewater ~ 40,000 customers Plants near: San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Tyler, Livingston, Sherman and Tenkiller, OK 33 Counties: Prairies and Lakes, Piney Woods, Gulf Coast, South Texas Plains and Hill Country

9 Diversified Utilities Map 38,319 Manual Meters 3.5 Billion Gallons of Water Metered Annually $18M revenue from water consumption Annual Meter Reader Salary $800,000 (22 meter readers) Data Entry Operators Annual Salary $250,000 (5 operators) Transportation $117,000 (9 vehicles) CHALLENGES: Topography Distance Alleys/backyards Hazards Sherman

10 Texas Utilities-Southwest Water Company 106 Water and 15 Wastewater plants (conventional and membrane) 27 MGD Groundwater: 249 wells & 7 MGD Surfacewater ~ 40,000 customers Plants near: San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Tyler, Livingston, Sherman and Tenkiller, OK 33 Counties: Prairies and Lakes, Piney Woods, Gulf Coast, South Texas Plains and Hill Country

11 Diversified Utilities Map 38,319 Manual Meters 3.5 Billion Gallons of Water Metered Annually $18M revenue from water consumption Annual Meter Reader Salary $800,000 (22 meter readers) Data Entry Operators Annual Salary $250,000 (5 operators) Transportation $117,000 (9 vehicles) CHALLENGES: Topography Distance Alleys/backyards Hazards Sherman

12 Manual Metering Drawbacks Laborious (back injuries, trips, falls) Transcription Errors Biological and Physical Hazards High O&M (labor, gas, disputes) No consumption history Cannot detect customer leaks Water Theft Undeterred High meter reader turnover

13 Meter Reading Hazards @ TXUG (OTSH) Meter Reader Biohazard along meter route

14 Meter Reading Hazards @ TXUG (OTSH) Dogs, Electric Fences, Guns…. Attempted Robbery and Shooting of a meter reader in Lakeland, FL: Aug, 2009 Homeowner opened fire on meter reader, Dallas, TX: 2009 The Rottweiler doesn't bite!

15 Benefits of AMR Quick (data acquired remotely during drive by-5 days vs 4 hrs) Meter data communicated by Radio Frequency no manual meter reading No need to access the meter box during routine drive by, except in unique situations Lower O&M (labor and disputes) 1 hr Consumption history can be extracted to respond to disputes Can detect customer leaks and help identify water theft Lower meter reader turnover Streamline high bill investigations

16 Automatic RF Meters ANTENNA BATTERIES RADIO IMPELLER Quick Remote Safe Accurate Automated 1 hr Consumption History + Vandal & Leak Alerts

17 RF used for everything else, why not for AMR Technologies that depend on radio waves: AM and FM radio broadcasts Cordless phones Garage door openers Radio-controlled toys Television broadcasts Cell phones GPS receivers Satellite communications Police radios Wireless clocks Radar and microwave ovens Communication and navigation satellites Modern aviation Wireless Internet access Radio waves are electromagnetic, part of the light spectrum and travel at a speed of 186,282 miles per secondthe speed of light Guglielmo Marconi built the 1 st Radio Transmitter in 1895

18 Automatic Meters ( win-win situation ) Remote Access Promotes Water Conservation & Remote Secure Data Acquisition 5.5 month consumption history stored in the meter for dispute resolution

19 Benefits of AMR Quick (data acquired remotely during drive by-5 days vs 4 hrs) Meter data communicated by Radio Frequency no manual meter reading No need to access the meter box during routine drive by, except in unique situations Lower O&M (labor and disputes) 1 hr Consumption history can be extracted to respond to disputes Can detect customer leaks and help identify water theft Lower meter reader turnover Streamline high bill investigations

20 Desired AMR Features Read remotely under submerged conditions Integrate continuous leak detection and retrievable consumption history Use vandal deterrent technologies in unlicensed frequency Be one-piece, integrated unit with no exposed wiring to look similar to a manual meter Fixed network AMI preferred, but Mobile AMR considered in analysis

21 Technologies Evaluated Four AMR Technologies 1.Walk-by with Handheld 2.Drive-by with Laptop 3.AMR: One way Fixed network 1.Periodic Data Transmission one way from Meter to SWWC 4.AMI: Two way Fixed network 1.Data-Reports Transmission to SWWC 2.SWWC commands to meter

22 Reading Submerged Conditions

23

24

25 Technologies Evaluated Four AMR Technologies 1.Walk-by with Handheld 2.Drive-by with Laptop 3.AMR: One way Fixed network 1.Periodic Data Transmission one way from Meter to SWWC 4.AMI: Two way Fixed network 1.Data-Reports Transmission to SWWC 2.SWWC commands to meter

26 Vendor Evaluation for Automatic RF Meters Evaluation Criteria to Rank 8 AMR Vendors: Compatibility with existing water meters Low flow accuracy Strength of transmission signal Encapsulated one-piece vandal deterrent module Financial Stability of the Company FCC License Material & Workmanship Deficiency + AWWA Accuracy Warranty Battery life expectancy Hourly 6 month Consumption history Data transmission in submerged conditions Last 15 year performance in Texas Meter register malfunction due to silt in water

27 AMR / AMI Project Objective: Find one vendor who can supply and install TX wide in 6 months, an accurate automatic water meter, and a reliable RF frequency network system, which provides the best return on Investment, for the lowest life-cycle cost

28 Evaluation Process Technology Research Preliminary Selection Vendor Technology Presentations Detailed Evaluation and Ranking Field visits to working systems/demos Meetings with clients Final Evaluation and Ranking RFP, Bid Review, Vendor Proposal Presentation, and Award

29 Reading Submerged Conditions

30

31 Leak Detection: Leak Starts

32 Leak Detection: Leak in Progress

33 Leak Detection: Leak Fixed

34 AWWA Meter Testing: 6 meter types 10 GPM 2 GPM ¼ GPM

35

36 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Chuck Profilet, P.E., Vice President and Managing Director Ed Taussig, Finance Director Ryan Quigley, Director of Operations Gary Rose, Director of Operations Doug Connor, District Manager David Garrett, IT Project Manager George Freitag, Rate Manager Shawn Sharkey, P.E. Project Engineer Janice Hayes, Community Relations Manager

37 Contact Information Please email daniel.christodoss@swwc.com or daniel.christodoss@swwc.com call (817) 894-1357 Thanks and have a great day!


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