Town of Urbanna reduces water loss
Town of Urbanna had a non-revenue water challenge to solve while simultaneously managing new state regulations. To help in both areas, the town chose Kamstrup Water Metering’s flowIQ® smart water meters and drive-by meter reading system.
New regulations spark data gathering
Town of Urbanna is located on the Virginia coast in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Within this watershed is the Potomac aquifer, in which the state of Virginia has put in place new groundwater withdrawal limits to improve water conservation in the area. Three parameters of the new regulation as they relate to this case story include: (1) groundwater users must have a water conservation and management plan, (2) public water systems with a radio-read meter reading system receive a 10% increase from historical withdrawal amounts, and (3) users can face a $25,000 per day penalty for over-withdrawing. To ensure Town of Urbanna complied, they first conducted a water accountability study to better understand their water system and areas for water loss reduction.
Discovering the water loss
Results from the water accountability study showed the town had several million gallons of non-revenue water per year. This was due to several meter-specific issues: the main meter was not calibrated, residential meters were under-registering due to old age (most were more than 50 years old) and several properties were unmetered. “It was clear we needed to get new meters,” said Ms. Holly Gailey, Town Administrator for Town of Urbanna.
Finding the right meter solution
After taking seven bids, it came down to two solutions, one of which was Kamstrup. After comparing the capabilities and pricing, the decision was clear to go with Kamstrup. “It’s exciting for us to get a remote meter reading system, because efficiency has really gone up,” said Gailey. In addition to improved efficiency, a remote meter reading system also allows for a 10% withdrawal increase, which is helpful to ensure the town does not incur the expensive penalty for over-withdrawing from the Potomac aquifer.
“With the new withdrawal regulations, we need to have a water conservation and management plan in place,” says Gailey. And Kamstrup flowIQ® meters are a major part of that. “Now we detect leaks and bursts and stop water loss faster. We are able to take a proactive approach to water conservation for the town. Also, our data is compatible with our SCADA system, so if we pump and bill 100 million gallons, we can compare the data and ensure we don’t have any water loss in the system.”