Navigating water management challenges for a rugged topography
Water districts that cover vast rural areas face distinct challenges when it comes to monitoring and managing infrastructure. Detecting and maintaining leaks becomes complex, with meters scattered over miles of isolated backroads and varied terrain. Iredell Water Corporation, a nonprofit organization that caters to the rural foothills of North Carolina's Piedmont region, is no stranger to these obstacles.
Formed in 1966 as a membership-owned cooperative, Iredell Water provides essential services to over 10,000 customers, 94% residential. But after decades of reliable operation, their aging AMR system was beginning to falter. Leaks went unnoticed as meter readings grew erratic. Crews wasted precious hours crisscrossing rural roads chasing false alarms. It became clear that a new solution was needed to restore reliability across Iredell's sweeping service area.
With pressure mounting, Iredell’s General Manager and CEO, Danny Sloan wanted to find a solution that was not only durable but also capable of mastering challenging rural topography. Their infrastructure was scattered, but a robust metering network could unify it into a singular nervous system.
To transform their system, some key questions had to be addressed: How could they get real-time insights into water usage? How could they quickly detect leaks and effectively handle water-related maintenance issues? Would it be possible to manage and monitor the far-reaching distances between water meters more efficiently?
Answering these questions and putting the right solutions into action will not only turn things around for Iredell Water but could also pave the way for other rural water districts wrestling with similar dilemmas.