Chicago Plans Radio Read AMR System

The City of Chicago has contracted with Badger Meter to automate the city’s meter reading process using the company’s radio read system.

The City of Chicago has contracted with Badger Meter to automate the city’s meter reading process using the company’s radio read system. The project is part of the Chicago Department of Water Management’s long-term initiative to manage its water resources, which are provided by Lake Michigan.

Once implemented, the new Orion Radio Frequency system will allow Chicago’s Department of Water Management employees to drive down streets on a monthly basis and collect data broadcast from each meter’s transmitter. The system will provide information that will alert the city to specific accounts with potential leaks, tamper conditions and meters that do not show usage. The city will use the information to troubleshoot potential problems and help improve customer service for its 162,000 metered-service water customers.

The current system requires workers to obtain readings manually. The radio-read system will improve reading accuracy and efficiency by allowing readings to be captured 24 hours a day and eliminate the human error associated with manual meter reading systems.

The new system will also provide Chicago with a system that can grow with the city’s needs and provide a level of connectivity and flexibility to meet its current and future reading requirements.

As part of its evaluation process, Chicago required that the AMR technology selected provide connectivity to all of the water meters that are currently installed in its distribution system. As a long-time Badger customer, the city has a large population of installed Badger® Recordall® Series Disc, Turbo and Compound Meters. These meters, along with a small number of competitive meters, will be converted to the Orion AMR system as part of the project.

As AMR technology continues to change, the new system will have the flexibility to evolve with Chicago’s AMR requirements. Utilities installing an AMR system need a solution that will allow them to take advantage of future changes in technology as they occur. Orion’s flexible transmitter design allows utilities to collect reading data using a handheld, mobile reading system as well as many other hybrid reading systems

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