Should You Specify Solid-State Technology in your Next Meter Changeout?

Everything you always wanted to know about solid-state water meters (but were afraid to ask).

“The water meter is our cash register. It ultimately pays for everything we do.” declares Davey Douglas, Muhlenberg County Water District’s Superintendent. “Over time, mechanical meters wear. A lot of time, our customers are using water at a low-flow rate.  Our meters weren’t picking that up. Even on the high-flow, the residential iPERL can register as high as 35 gallons per minute. The accuracy on the low, medium and high is there.”

The water meter is our cash register. It ultimately pays for everything we do.

MCWD prioritized durability and long-service life in their meter selection. Douglas explains, “We all know mechanical meters have moving parts that wear out. The iPERL has no moving parts. We really liked that.” Another key consideration for MWCD was the warranty. “With the iPERL, you’ve got a 20 year warranty on the battery.”

Installing an iPERL unit

Installing an iPERL unit

Adding, “A big issue in the winter is meter bottoms bursting. A lot of times the meter bottoms, if there’s not a lot of water passing through the meter would burst. In the winter months, we might have 50 or 60 meters burst.” MCWD believes that the new meters should eliminate this issue.

The transition from MCWD’s current manual read approach to their new drive-by AMR solution is proceeding well. With the old system, the MCWD created 21 different routes, and deployed a crew of four meter readers. The manual reads took between ten and fifteen work days to complete. Weather is a key variable in the time required to complete the route. MCWD decided to roll-out the new meters evenly throughout their established 21 routes. So far, around 1000 have been installed. The new system is living up to its promise.  “In the areas we’ve done so far, at the highest elevations, we were picking up meters two miles away. We read about 200 meters in two minutes. That’s how awesome the reception is,” Douglas stated.

Water meter consumption data will be logged hourly, which will help the district’s customer service staff correlate high usage events. This is invaluable when a customer questions a bill amount, forgetting a time of exceptional water usage.