North Carolina utility selects Sensus for smart utility network

Along a well-travelled stretch of Winston-Salem’s Peters Creek Parkway in North Carolina, local motorists and visitors can’t miss the colorful, 50-ft-tall otter. Stretching 290 ft across the ground-level water tank, the artwork is a nod to both the local water supply and the North American River Otter that is indigenous to the Yadkin River.

It’s only natural that Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities, headquartered in the “City of Arts and Innovation,” provides an artistic welcome message for everyone. As for innovation, the utility has partnered with Sensus, a Xylem brand, for a smart utility network. The meter upgrade and network enhancements will accurately measure water consumption and rapidly detect leaks.

“Our WaterSavvy advanced meter program will provide both us and our customers with real-time data on water usage,” said Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities Director Courtney Driver. “This meter upgrade will enhance our services and empower our customers to better manage how much water they use.”

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Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities will deploy of mix of approximately 130,000 residential and commercial water meters including iPERL, ally and OMNI over the next three years. Benefits of the deployment include:

  • Automated meter monitoring and advanced leak detection;
  • Access to real-time data; and
  • Efficient use of staff time and reduced truck rolls for service calls.

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities on their smart utility journey,” said Mike McGann, vice president, Sensus Americas, Global Engineering & Assessment Services. “Our solution will provide the right data at the right time to optimize water system operations, reduce maintenance costs and improve sustainability.”

The 20-year partnership includes Network as a Service (NaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings, which allows Sensus to maintain and perform software upgrades as necessary so the utility can focus on what it does best — reliable delivery of high-quality drinking water.

Mike Koivisto, the utility deputy director, believes this modernization will significantly impact management of their water distribution system and it fits well with the organization’s commitment to protecting resources and the environment. “Sensus analytics will provide superior water-loss monitoring tools that will enable our staff and customers to be smart with every drop,” said Koivisto, who also serves as the WaterSavvy program manager.

The initial deployment will begin in September and the upgrade should be completed within the next three years.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities provides high-quality water, wastewater and solid waste services through responsible use of resources, reliable delivery and stewardship of the environment. Administrative offices are located in Winston-Salem City Hall with management by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utility Commission, formed by a joint consolidation agreement in 1976.

Sensus, a Xylem brand, helps a wide range of public service providers — from utilities to cities to industrial complexes and campuses — do more with their infrastructure to improve quality of life in their communities. Learn more at and follow @SensusGlobal on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

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