SMART METERING: Panama City, Fla. Selects Sensus AquaSense for Flow Detection, Zero-Lead Meters

The 36,000 residents in Panama City, Fla. will benefit from smart water network technologies now being installed throughout the city. A long-time Sensus customer, Panama City is upgrading its water distribution system to incorporate the AquaSense solution, which includes the Sensus FlexNet communications network. The city will also replace nearly 25,000 existing water meters with zero-lead Sensus iPERL residential and OMNI commercial meters. Panama City is expected to complete its deployment by the end of 2012.

Panama City chose the AquaSense solution after a water audit revealed 20 percent of its water was not accounted for, with its water meters contributing 12 to 15 percent of that loss. AquaSense implementation will enable better tracking and accounting for this lost water.

Water loss reflects a significant concern for utilities across the country. A recent Sensus survey showed flow measurement capability as the most important factor in evaluating a water management system. Results of that survey were gathered at the American Water Works Association?s (AWWA) ACE12 event.

?The AquaSense portfolio, including the FlexNet utility communications network, smart water meters and software, is known for its flow measurement capabilities, which is a great benefit to Panama City and utilities across the nation,? said Doug McCall, marketing director at Sensus. ?Using our Remanent Field Technology, iPERL residential water meters enable greater accuracy, even at low flows.?

In addition to reducing the amount of unaccounted for water, Panama City selected AquaSense to improve customer service and operational efficiency and keep up with regulatory requirements by installing zero-lead water meters.

?We wanted efficiency, data accountability and customer credibility,? said Ron Morgan, utilities director at Panama City. ?Sensus is out front on technologies and solutions to achieve all of our goals. The power of Sensus technologies also enabled us to save money by only requiring two base stations to send and receive meter information.?

As a current Sensus customer, Panama City was also able to save the time of changing out the entire system since its system was already standardized for Sensus.

City of Bentonville Selects Mueller Systems for AMI, Meter Replacement

The City of Bentonville, Ark. will upgrade its water and electric systems with a state-of-the-art advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) network and water and electric smart meters from Mueller Systems. Bentonville provides water and electric services to more than 35,000 people throughout its service area, which covers approximately 21 square miles.

The city will implement the Mi.Net Mueller Infrastructure Network for Utilities ? Mueller Systems? advanced two-way AMI network ? and replace all of its water and electric meters with Mueller Systems? Hersey water meters and solid-state electric meters from Landis+Gyr. Bentonville will integrate the Mi.Net System with its existing billing software and link all water and electric meters throughout its service area as they are replaced.

?We are committed to improving the customer service, conservation and management capabilities of our water and electric system,? said Gary Wilson, billing and collections manager for the City of Bentonville. ?Mueller Systems was the only company that was able to offer a complete solution for our water and electric system that would integrate with our existing billing system and provide immediate outage notification and leak alerts, real time modeling data for our Engineering Department and the ability to more efficiently track water loss.???

The Mi.Net System enables utilities to improve operational efficiencies and customer service by fully automating the meter reading-to-billing process and linking meters, distribution sites and control devices in a single data network. The Mi.Net System features on-demand meter readings, e-mail alerts and alarms based upon near real-time information as well as the ability for utilities to better manage their water and electric resources through on-going access to custom data and information. The solid-state electric meters from Landis+Gyr feature the Mi.Node E ? radio transmitter from Mueller Systems that facilitates two-way communications between the meters and the Mi.Net System.

?The City of Bentonville is a large water and electric utility that needs help improving customer service, reducing water loss and improving operational efficiency through a solution that also integrates with its existing billing system,? said Hassan Ali, vice president and general manager of Mueller Systems. ?By partnering with the city, we expect to enable it to access the accurate, real time data that large, combined utilities need to improve operations while also demonstrating the versatility of our solutions when it comes to meeting the unique requirements of existing systems.?

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