City of Fairfield to Improve Performance and Service with Water Meter Modernization Project
will connect water meters with powerful analytics to a secure and uninterrupted network, giving The City the tools needed to optimize their processes and provide proactive customer service.
The City of Fairfield conducted a thorough evaluation of their aging water infrastructure and metering inefficiencies. Like many progressive cities and towns across Texas and the U.S., City of Fairfield decided to implement an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) or “smart” water meter system to accurately track water usage. The new smart water meters will replace mechanical meters that are old and failing. Once installed, the project is expected to eliminate unbilled water usage caused by inaccurate recording to improve billing accuracy. Customer benefits include early leak detection and high visibility of water consumption to help proactively manage water usage. An online customer portal will also be accessible from both desktop and mobile devices.
The self-funding project referred to as an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) smart meter project complies with a new, first-ever Ultrasonic and Electromagnetic water meter standard, ANSI/AWWA C715-18, issued by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) on October 1, 2018. The new AWWA standard supports the electromagnetic and ultrasonic water meter technologies that enable water utilities to reduce unaccounted water-loss and to consistently read water usage at a high level of accuracy. The Badger® ultrasonic water meters (up to 2") and MasterMeter® electromagnetic water meters (larger than 2") will be connected to the Badger Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA) system called BEACON, which utilizes cellular technology to capture interval meter data. Electronic metering provides information, such as the gallons/minute of water flow, reverse flow indication, and other operating data not typically available from traditional mechanical meters and registers. Electronic metering eliminates measurement errors due to sand, suspended particles and pressure fluctuations that can occur in older meters.
For the City of Fairfield AMI system, the technology will connect water meters with powerful analytics to a secure and uninterrupted network, giving The City the tools needed to optimize their processes and provide proactive customer service. Additionally, an online portal will allow customers, for the first time ever, to view, manage and track their water usage.
The City of Fairfield is financing the project through an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), enabled by Texas Local Government Code 302 that allows a public entity to pay for efficiency improvements within their existing operating budget. Savings are generated from the installation of new, modern, and energy efficient equipment including water meters and water infrastructure improvements. This flexible funding mechanism enables municipalities to utilize improved efficiency and operational gains and avoided capital costs to pay for critical infrastructure improvements. As a result, no up-front capital investment is required. Performance Services, the performance contractor for the project, will guarantee $121,556 in annual efficiency savings for the 15-year contract period.