What about warranties?
All meter manufacturers warranty their meters, the industry standard is 10 years plus 10 years prorated. This is to protect water systems from manufacturing flaws and failing meters. However, as Miller puts it, the warranty only helps so much. “What’s the point of a 10 year warranty if I have to revisit my meters before that? I have better things to do than constantly reinstall meters.” During this period, when meters were failing, the manufacturer replaced the electromagnetic meters with positive displacement meters, because of a six-month delay in warrantied meters arriving to the utility.
After a few more months of dealing with failing meters, Miller decided to research other static meter options. His research led him to an ultrasonic smart meter—one that tended to the water system’s sore spot of failing meters. “It sounded too good to be true,” says Miller about the well-documented low failure rate of less than 0.5% with the Kamstrup ultrasonic water meter. “What sold me on this meter is that it’s made by robots, which is a big plus. If the meter is that good,” continues Miller, “then let’s do a pilot.” In March 2016, SLWSD began their pilot with 27 ultrasonic meters.