Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by Kristan Rokkjær
Consider the cost of installation when installing water meters at every single endpoint in your distribution network. Aside from the installation, you must handle the logistics of ensuring that there is someone home to let in the installer… and when there is not, handle the rebooking.
- So when you go through the trouble of replacing your water meters, make sure you choose one that gives you additional value.
Here are 6 valuable things that you might not have considered using your water meters for.
1) Put a temperature sensor in every house
Smart water meters measure the water and ambient temperature. Knowing the temperature in each endpoint lets you evaluate the risk of frost burst, warn your customers and avoid costly consequential damage and water loss. The temperature can also tell you about areas in the distribution network where stagnating water result in higher water temperatures and increased risk of bacteria growth
2) Bring down the insurance cost of your customers
Monitoring the consumption pattern through continuous measurements enable a smart water meter to warn about leakage in the house. The invisible leakages that occur in hidden installations tend to result in very costly damages and repairs.
Nearly one in five claims made on building- and content insurance is for damage caused by leaks. Therefore, many insurance companies offer policy reductions if a smart water meter that monitors for leakage is installed.
3) Catch backflows before they pollute the entire network
Pollution in the distribution network can derive from various sources. One of them are backflows from home and industrial installations. Even though many utilities install back-flow preventers, there is a risk of malfunction. Smart water meters warn you about backflows of water. Many think of this function as a means to ensure that the meter is installed in the correct flow direction, but the value of discovering polluting backflows early can be huge. Not only due to the health issues it imposes on the customers, but also due to the fact that the cost of terminating the cause of the pollution and the area that needs to be flushed can be diminished.
4) Bring down water loss
The basis for trying to improve anything is knowing what goes on. This is also valid for working with water loss. Traditionally, the water loss level is evaluated once a year, when the customers send in their meter readings. In the meantime, the water loss level is accessed based on different techniques using information from main meters.
Smart meters not only provide accurate measurements, but the digitally transmitted values eradicate misreading’s and ensure simultaneous readings. That means that you can have confidence in the results you measure, but also see the effect of improvements immediately after they have been made.
5) Engage with your consumers
Communication is the basis for all smart meters. This enables them to be remotely read and the data can be used for various purposes. The data makes it possible for the utility to become proactive towards the customers instead of reactive.
That completely changes the perception of the utility:
- From someone who sends a big bill when you have used too much water to someone who warns you about excessive consumption, before you get the bill.
- From someone you call to get the water closed when you basement is full of water due to a leak to someone that calls to warn you about a potential leak, before it destroys your basement.
6) Detect Tamper and Theft
With a smart water meter, it is tough to be a water thief. In contrast to traditional mechanical meters, the smart water meter will detect if someone tries to reverse the counter by changing the direction of flow in the meter. The meter will even measure the amount of water reversed, to be used for later settlement.
The electronic measurement principle also makes it impossible to do mechanical tampering with the measurement and a tamper detection function will immediately warn the utility in case of any attempt to access the electronics inside the meter.