Washington State municipality puts a cork in non-revenue water with Sensus

Jan. 31, 2020
Smart utility network helps Walla Walla reduce leaks and improve customer service.

RALEIGH, NC, JAN 31, 2020 -- From its roots as one of the oldest towns in Washington, the City of Walla Walla has aged like a fine wine. Surrounded by vast vineyards from 120 different wineries, the area is well-known for its rich history. Unlike wine, however, the aging process has hurt some of its infrastructure—including 200 miles of water pipelines.

“As our pipes failed and water meters aged, we began to see a 30 percent annual water loss—which is significant given that we distribute about three billion gallons of water each year,” said City of Walla Walla Water Distribution Supervisor Adrian Sutor. “We needed a solution to help us better track and maintain our water resources.”

The city decided a major upgrade was needed to enhance its metering system and curb unintended water loss. They chose to deploy a smart utility network from Sensus, a Xylem brand, to improve accuracy and leak detection while unlocking capabilities to advance their distribution system.

Walla Walla deployed Sensus iPERL® residential water meters and OMNI™ commercial meters to service the city’s 11,000 water accounts. Paired with the two-way FlexNet® communication network for near real-time remote monitoring, the city gained better control over its system and made tangible improvements to customer service.

“We detected more than 2,000 leaks in the first year of deployment and promptly alerted each customer of any issues which greatly improved our customer service,” said Sutor.

The city also deployed Sensus ally® water meters with the Sensus® Smart Gateway Sensor Interface for advanced pressure monitoring and management across residential accounts. Providing timely data insights on pressure, temperature, levels and switches, the system gave technicians confidence in a full-system profile.

“By reducing water loss and cutting down the carbon footprint associated with truck rolls, we were well on our way to becoming more sustainable as a utility,” said Sutor.

“The City of Walla Walla exemplifies the power of technology and data to address the water infrastructure challenges our country is facing,” said Colin Sabol, President, Measurement and Control Solutions at Xylem. “As much of Washington faces drought conditions, Walla Walla is taking a proactive stance to ensure a more water secure future for us all.”