"The quality and density of the data we are able to collect wirelessly from the meters are, quite simply, incomparably better than the equivalent provided by the mechanical meters."
Hermann Schon, operations manager
Wasserzweckverband Warndt in Saarland reports on a successful pilot project with wireless water meters
For a pilot project at the beginning of 2014, Wasserzweckverband Warndt in Saarland installed 300 Kamstrup electronic water meters with wireless reading. The experience has been a success and operations manager Hermann Schon foresees that the meters will also be installed at other locations.
The new electronic water meters replace mechanical meters, and in doing so serve both to optimise operation at the waterworks and to provide the consumers with a better service.
The major difference to the previous situation is that the meters are now read wirelessly, thus reducing the meter reading to 1½ hours. The old meters were read on site by holiday workers - a very laborious process, which also provided only a very rough image of the water consumption.
The electronic water meters now enable monthly consumption in individual households to be compared with the production figures, thereby giving much more accurate sales figures - and the all-year statistics are particularly useful for the half-yearly report.
Stephanie Bruckart, responsible for consumption-based billing and meter reading, explains: "The electronic water meters offer us many new advantages with regard to digitising the entire waterworks operation. For example, the data logger in the meter enables us to detect leaks. The quality and density of the data that we are able to collect wirelessly from the meters are, quite simply, incomparably better than the equivalent provided by the mechanical meters."
Hermann Schon, operations manager
In general, electronic data capture means significant savings on administrative costs for Wasserzweckverband Warndt. The metering data in electronic format can be fed directly into the billing system. And according to operations management, its customers, the water consumers, also truly appreciate the new technology: "Just in the first few months, two cases of unusually high water consumption were detected in homes and we were able to quickly repair the pipe breaks. If these had only been discovered during the annual
reading, the water charges for the affected families would have been higher," says Hermann Schon. Based on the initial experience, he concludes: "In this sense, there are many non-financial, or at least incalculable, advantages provided by the electronic meters which we must also take into account. In fact, because of the ultrasonic measuring technology, the new meters only need to be replaced every 15 years, instead of every 6 years as is currently the case, and that alone will have
a positive effect on the balance sheet in the future. However, here and now, we are delighted that we can take monthly readings and indeed with much less effort than before. As a result, we immediately gain a very accurate picture from the consumer standpoint, which gives our customer service a good foundation and, at the same time, helps us to maintain the pipeline network in an optimum condition. Consequently, we can continue to guarantee a reliable water supply."
Customer: Wasserzweckverband Warndt
A total of 17,000 customers with 6,000 house connections
Pilot project with 300 electronic water meters and wireless reading.
Time frame: Installation completed in March 2014.