BIRMINGHAM — In Water Technology’s February article, “Technology presents possible solutions to major water industry challenges,” Robert Wilson, a contributing author, writes about how implementing automated meter reading (AMR) and smart water metering (SWM) may be the answer to addressing the significant water-related challenges.

In the article, Wilson explains how three substantial challenges facing the U.S. water industry are aging and poor availability of managerial and plant workers, aging infrastructure and a need for a simplified rate approval process, according to respondents, from both private and public companies, in the WeiserMazars LLP 2014 U.S. Water Industry Outlook.

Wilson reports, “Of these three primary challenges, the value of [SWM and AMR] in addressing aging infrastructure and an aging, shrinking workforce has become increasingly clear as both private and public water utilities throughout the country continue to deploy these technologies.”

He continues by offering the following key benefits of SWM and AMR, both for the water system operator and the consumer:

  • Enhancement in leak detection and repair prioritization
  • Reduction in water theft through enhanced detection techniques
  • Enhanced workforce management, leading to a reallocation of staff from manual meter reading to more impactful areas of the operations
  • Improvements in customer service and satisfaction
  • Ability to provide off-cycle meter reading to support the movement of customers
  • Streamlined billing process, including the elimination of estimated billings and improvement in billing cycles from quarterly to monthly
  • Execute remote service disconnects if required and allowed by local statute
  • Better customer awareness and understanding of water usage, leading to increased conservation and reduction in bills
  • Remotely checking meter status leads to better workforce management.

You can find the February feature on AMR and SWM here.