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Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas
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Fastest Automatic Water Meter Reading Application at Diverse Utilities and Terrains Across Texas

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This paper describes technology evaluation, selection, implementation, and post construction community relations in a project initially considered impossible, considering the diversity across the …

This paper describes technology evaluation, selection, implementation, and post construction community relations in a project initially considered impossible, considering the diversity across the depth of Texas. However, the staff effectively scaled all barriers in the information technology, radio frequency, and water utility construction industry. The success of this project is attributable to the integration of operators, engineers, and information technologists in a high-tech environment. They came together to compete a Texas deep high-tech automatic meter reading (AMR) technology project in an unprecedented record time by selecting the best return on investment (ROI) at the lowest life-cycle cost to transition diverse utilities from manual to automatic meter reading”. Daniel Christodoss, PhD, PE. www.enprovise.net or www.cleanwater4.us call: 817-894-1357

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  • Here’s a profile of TX Utilties in relation to distribution of our systems and the $s we spend annually on manual meter reading. Hazards are high and challenges abound from hill country in the regions of Austin, San Antonio and Granbury to low meter density neighborhoods in hard to access backyard alleys all across the DFW and Houston regions. We spend about $1 million annually on the meter reading program, but there are hazards and challenges that could trend to a higher value.
  • We require our meter readers to risk their lives by having to walk through overgrown vegetation which is a habitat for wild animals. This is an incident that occurred just a few weeks back in Granbury and represents a typical problem we face daily, all across Texas.
  • We require our meter readers to risk their lives by having to walk through overgrown vegetation which is a habitat for wild animals. This is an incident that occurred just a few weeks back in Granbury and represents a typical problem we face daily, all across Texas.
  • Here’s a profile of TX Utilties in relation to distribution of our systems and the $s we spend annually on manual meter reading. Hazards are high and challenges abound from hill country in the regions of Austin, San Antonio and Granbury to low meter density neighborhoods in hard to access backyard alleys all across the DFW and Houston regions. We spend about $1 million annually on the meter reading program, but there are hazards and challenges that could trend to a higher value.
  • Here’s a profile of TX Utilties in relation to distribution of our systems and the $s we spend annually on manual meter reading. Hazards are high and challenges abound from hill country in the regions of Austin, San Antonio and Granbury to low meter density neighborhoods in hard to access backyard alleys all across the DFW and Houston regions. We spend about $1 million annually on the meter reading program, but there are hazards and challenges that could trend to a higher value.
  • We require our meter readers to risk their lives by having to walk through overgrown vegetation which is a habitat for wild animals. This is an incident that occurred just a few weeks back in Granbury and represents a typical problem we face daily, all across Texas.
  • We require our meter readers to risk their lives by having to walk through overgrown vegetation which is a habitat for wild animals. This is an incident that occurred just a few weeks back in Granbury and represents a typical problem we face daily, all across Texas.
  • We’ll show the spread of our water and wastewater systems across TX and highlight the challenges we face currently in our manual meter reading program with a photograph of a typical biological hazard which our meter readers face routinely. Next we’ll talk about the first step in our automatic meter reading project, evaluating the vendors and various technologies to address our current challenges. Update on vendor technical presentations, a short discussion of how the various technologies work and technology issues or limitations we have to address before implementation. We have generated a list of our preferred AMR features. Finally we’ll show our schedule which includes an RFP and Pilot prior to vendor selection.
  • Highlighted in this slide are some of the AMR features we would like to see in the selected technology. Itron and Datamatic are the only ones that have all the features reflected on this slide. Next we will highlight our schedule.
  • We have been open to fully automated as well as partially automated technologies because in reality we may find that the fixed network is not compatible with all of our systems spread out throughout the state. Our systems are diverse. Some with significant changes in elevation in the hill country region and some with low meter density in a rural environment. Therefore, a combination of technologies may be more feasible than a one size fits all approach.
  • We have been open to fully automated as well as partially automated technologies because in reality we may find that the fixed network is not compatible with all of our systems spread out throughout the state. Our systems are diverse. Some with significant changes in elevation in the hill country region and some with low meter density in a rural environment. Therefore, a combination of technologies may be more feasible than a one size fits all approach.
  • In our transition to automatic meter reading, we want to: Get accurate consumption data across the typical flow ranges. Install completely automated fixed networks to eliminate travel for meter reading, and Select technology that provides the best return on investment
  • In our transition to automatic meter reading, we want to: Get accurate consumption data across the typical flow ranges. Install completely automated fixed networks to eliminate travel for meter reading, and Select technology that provides the best return on investment
  • Transcript

    • 1. From Manual toAutomated Meter Reading (AMR)2011 Implementation of a High-TechAutomatic Water Meter ReadingApplication in Unprecedented RecordTime at Diversified Water UtilitiesAcross Texas Daniel Christodoss, Ph.D., P.E.Asset Manager and Texas Utilities East Design & Construction Manager Water Sustainability Session I Presentation at the 15TH Annual Energy Utility and Environmental Conference, Phoenix, AZ, Jan 30 TO Feb 1 2012
    • 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 Sherman Utilities Map• 38,319 Manual Meters• 3.5 Billion Gallons of WaterMetered Annually• $18M revenue from waterconsumption• Annual Meter Reader Salary$800,000 (22 meter readers)•Data Entry Operators AnnualSalary $250,000 (5 operators)•Transportation $117,000 (9vehicles)•CHALLENGES: •Topography •Distance •Alleys/backyards •Hazards
    • 5. Meter Reading Hazards @ TXUG (OTSH) Biohazard along meter routeMeterReader
    • 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 doesnt 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 Sherman Utilities Map• 38,319 Manual Meters• 3.5 Billion Gallons of WaterMetered Annually• $18M revenue from waterconsumption• Annual Meter Reader Salary$800,000 (22 meter readers)•Data Entry Operators AnnualSalary $250,000 (5 operators)•Transportation $117,000 (9vehicles)•CHALLENGES: •Topography •Distance •Alleys/backyards •Hazards
    • 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 Sherman Utilities Map• 38,319 Manual Meters• 3.5 Billion Gallons of WaterMetered Annually• $18M revenue from waterconsumption• Annual Meter Reader Salary$800,000 (22 meter readers)•Data Entry Operators AnnualSalary $250,000 (5 operators)•Transportation $117,000 (9vehicles)•CHALLENGES: •Topography •Distance •Alleys/backyards •Hazards
    • 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) Biohazard along meter routeMeterReader
    • 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 doesnt 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 MetersQuick Remote Safe Accurate Automated 1 hrConsumption History + Vandal & Leak Alerts ANTENNARADIO BATTERIES IMPELLER
    • 17. RF used for everything else, why not for AMRTechnologies 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 Guglielmo Marconi Modern aviation built the 1st Radio Wireless Internet access Transmitter in 1895 Radio waves are electromagnetic, part of the light spectrum and travel at a speed of 186,282 miles per second—the speed of light
    • 18. Automatic Meters (win-win situation)Promotes Water Conservation & Remote Secure Data Acquisition Remote Access 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 EvaluatedFour 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. Reading Submerged Conditions
    • 24. Reading Submerged Conditions
    • 25. Technologies EvaluatedFour 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 MetersEvaluation 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. Reading Submerged Conditions
    • 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. 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
    • 36. Updated Contact Information Daniel Christodoss is currently at Enprovise Solutions, Inc. and can be reached at (817) 894-1357 or by email at danielc@enprovise.net Web Address1: www.enprovise.net Web Address2: www.cleanwater4.us Web Address3: www.prowebserv.com Thanks and have a great day!

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