Utility begins pilot study for AMI upgrade

Dare County, NC, is performing a pilot study on 290 of the county's 18,000 water meters using a new automated metering infrastructure system. The study will examine performance of evolution™ AMI, a system offered by Elster AMCO Water, part of Elster Group. The pilot study will take place over 12 months beginning in June 2008.

Dare County, NC, is performing a pilot study on 290 of the county's 18,000 water meters using a new automated metering infrastructure system. The study will examine performance of evolution™ AMI, a system offered by Elster AMCO Water, part of Elster Group. The pilot study will take place over 12 months beginning in June 2008.

Dare County selected the evolution AMI because it is a complete end-to-end water AMI solution specifically designed for water utilities.

A large, environmentally conscious utility located on North Carolina's Outer Banks, Dare County was seeking a metering solution that would help the county achieve improved meter efficiency through remote monitoring of leaks and billing management.

"After reviewing other systems, we chose evolution AMI because of its intelligent two-way communication-based system and enhanced features that will allow us to remotely decrease water pressure in the event water conservation is required or shut off meters without having to deploy field personnel," said Ken Flatt, Dare County's Utilities Director. "We will also be able to generate data on our customer's water usage with evoTrak, the evolution in-home user displays that provide a real-time picture of our customer's water consumption."

The system will also benefit Dare County during emergency situations such as hurricanes, which may present the need to remotely shut off meters to houses endangered by hurricane storm surges.

"Advanced metering solutions and efficient water management are essential to water utilities and the customers they serve," said Roman Thomassin, president of Elster AMCO Water. "Utilities such as Dare County are demanding water metering solutions that are highly accurate and technologically advanced to intelligently use and efficiently manage their water resources, and Elster AMCO Water is meeting that demand with evolution AMI."

Features offered by the system include the ability to set time-based rates, remote valve actuation, and real-time notification of leaks, tampering, and backflow, all of which will help Dare County achieve operational efficiency and manage and conserve water resources.

"We will be better able to understand our peak demand periods, allowing us to better manage our distribution network and push back the need for production capital improvements to meet the ever increasing water demands during high consumption periods. The system will also reduce our costs by remotely monitoring leaks and managing our billing systems," Flatt said.

"A successful pilot study will greatly assist us in securing the funding to replace our remaining water meters for our remaining customers," he said.

Elster AMCO Water is an industry leader in the development and implementation of innovative metering solutions and systems for the water utility industry.

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