Water and wastewater utilities are typically the largest energy consumers within municipalities — accounting for 30% to 40% of total energy consumed. Since water meters degrade over time, they may fail to provide accurate measurement readings and unrecorded water use. The result? Cities, towns, and counties across the U.S. may be losing as much as 25% of their billable water revenues. The damage caused by municipal water loss wastes money, causes extensive infrastructure damage, and depletes natural resources. SmartWatt’s comprehensive water efficiency programs help municipalities minimize water loss, reduce operational and maintenance expenses, and increase billable revenues — all while creating healthier, more sustainable communities.

Reduce Water Waste. Increase Billable Revenue.

Water meters serve many purposes for municipalities and utilities, including accessing demand, ensuring equity in billing, identifying distribution systems and customer leaks, and understanding customer consumption patterns.

Water meter accuracy is critically important since, in addition to providing the data needed for effective utility and resource management, they allow municipalities to bill customers fairly and accurately.

As with any mechanical device, water meters are subject to wear. Wear contributes to meter inaccuracies — with meters generally underestimating actual water consumption.

Municipalities that have a number of under-performing meters experience substantial billing shortfalls which, in turn, lead to unnecessary rate increases.

The Benefits of Implementing a Water Meter Replacement Program

  • A revenue increase without raising rates
  • A homogeneous  system that allows for ongoing statistically valid testing
  • Equity among the customer base – each customer pays for the water they receive
  • Long term warranties for the majority of the system meters
  • Ability to maintain and track warranties
  • A general clean-up of the water meter and billing system database

AMR Versus AMI

Automated meter reading is the communication technology water utilities use to automatically collect water consumption and status data from water meters.

  • Automated Metering Reading (AMR) systems can be either walk-by or drive-by. An endpoint is connected to the meter’s encoder register. The endpoint captures water flow and alarm data which is collected by utility personnel by walking or driving by with a data receiver in proximity to the device.
  • Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is an integrated system of water meters, communication networks and data management systems that enable two-way communication between meter endpoints and utilities. Unlike AMR, AMI doesn’t require utility personnel to collect the data. Instead, the system automatically transmits water consumption data directly to the utility at predetermined intervals (usually hourly.)

What's the Difference?

“Real” water losses occur when water physically escapes from the distribution system before reaching the consumer. Leaks, breaks, and storage tank overflows are the most common causes of real water loss.

“Apparent” water losses happen when water reaches the consumer, but the municipality cannot accurately bill for the amount used. Errors in the meter reading or billing process, improperly sized water meters, inaccurate water meters, and theft of service are the main sources of apparent water losses