SFPUC saves water, combats drought with advanced metering technologies

In an effort to combat drought and save water through hourly meter reading, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has installed the STAR network from Aclara.

Aug 13th, 2015

ST. LOUIS, MO, Aug. 13, 2015 -- In an effort to combat drought and save water through hourly meter reading, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has installed the STAR network from Aclara, a provider of smart infrastructure technologies. The data collected from the city's 180,000 meters by Aclara's two-way fixed network powers the utility's system for letting customers track usage online. The company also generates a report that allows the utility to identify customers who may have leaks inside their homes.

The utility reaches out to those who show up on the report by sending weekly postcards notifying them of a possible leak. It monitors the reports and notes which accounts have come off the list, assuming that they have responded to the utility's notice and fixed the leak. Future enhancements to the report may benefit commercial customers and those owning multifamily residences such as apartment buildings.

In addition to analyzing meter readings to identify potential leaks, most of Aclara's California customers are looking hard at installing its STAR ZoneScan system, which allows utilities to pinpoint underground leaks. The company has deployed the technology in a number of East Coast communities such as Sylacauga, Ala., which uses the system to find underground leaks that occur on hundreds of miles of galvanized service lines and cast-iron pipes.

The technology automates the collection, retrieval and analysis of acoustic data gathered throughout the water system. Its leak-intelligence devices -- highly sensitive acoustic data loggers -- are deployed at regular intervals on valves throughout the water-distribution network. The devices record vibrations in the quiet early hours when factors such as traffic that affect leak noise are minimized. The system transmits recorded sounds to the utility via Aclara's two-way fixed network, where the acoustic data is analyzed and automatically correlated to identify potential leak locations.

The leak-detection system provides critical information with only minimal operator involvement. Once the units are installed, operators can monitor the system and analyze results at the utility office. No manual or drive-by data collection is required. The system can be deployed stand-alone or added on to an existing STAR network AMI system.

See also:

"Video: Advanced metering's role in addressing aging infrastructure"

"Aclara announces election of new chief financial officer"

About Aclara

Aclara Technologies LLC is a world-class supplier of smart infrastructure technologies to water, gas, and electric utilities globally. Over 500 utilities in nine countries rely on proven Aclara solutions to connect with their customers. Aclara is owned by Sun Capital Partners. For more information, visit www.Aclara.com.

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