Customer Service

Smart Metering, Unique Funding Advanced Customer Service, Conservation in Oregon

The small seashore metropolis of Seal Rock stretches up and down Highway one zero one along the Pacific coastline in Oregon. The city and surrounding areas of Seal Rock acquire water offerings from the Seal Rock Water District, which stretches greater than 10 miles north to south along the coast. With a static populace of approximately five,500, the wide variety of human beings served using the Seal Rock Water District swells to 8,000 in the summertime while visitors flock to the area, occupying homes that sit vacant over the winter. Approximately 40 percent of houses in Seal Rock are second houses, vacation houses or excursion leases.

Despite many houses sitting empty for months on giving up, the billing department at Seal Rock Water District stored receiving an alarming question from involved owners: “Why is my water bill so excessive this month? I’m now not even there!”

Seal Rock has made no mystery of its dedication to reducing non-critical water utilization. Their stroll-through, combination of contact-examine and radio-study meters have been mounted ten years in the past, and the District Board of Commissioners had made a good sized funding in supervisory manage and information acquisition (SCADA) era that gives the district with actual-time records at some stage in their whole device. The Seal Rock Water District changed into a step ahead with their water system in comparison to comparable districts. However, they still recognized an opportunity on the meter point to deal with customer worries faster and with greater accuracy.

By installing a complicated metering infrastructure (AMI) device, the district could take their water machine efforts up a notch that would allow their customers real-time signals for leaks and Seal Rock could realize long-term financial savings from getting rid of unaccounted for water utilization.

“Our discipline operations crew is familiar with the character of ways our water flows thru our water device, and with our present-day SCADA generation, we can tune and display system leaks,” said Seal Rock Water District General Manager Adam Denlinger. “It’s once the water hits the meter that we wished additional generation. AMI allowed us to take the next step to offer to our clients with their water use and the way it’s affecting their bill.”

Denlinger is going on to provide an explanation for another crucial cause Seal Rock wanted to dramatically lower the amount of unaccounted water within the district: “Ensuring we are the usage of water correctly is the most crucial of vital offerings. At the heart of every day lifestyles is water, and we want to protect it for our customers and future generations.”

“Although we see 50-plus in. Of rain a year, Oregon isn’t proof against water shortages. We rely upon our water assets and conserving water is crucial to us.”

“Our topography at the Oregon coast is not flat and is on the whole surrounded through seashores,” stated Denlinger. “It’s tough to transmit facts to towers due to the terrain, and Ferguson had the right answer with FlexNet to assist us to achieve the effects we wanted. They also worked with us to ensure we had a powerful machine within our existing budget.”

The Challenges

The Seal Rock Water District had demanding situations that had to be addressed with the right AMI device:

Community demands. Many of Seal Rock’s belongings proprietors stay some other place the general public of the year and their houses sit vacantly. Leaks might frequently move on for as much as a month before it changed into detected.
Aging infrastructure. Seal Rock’s meter device becomes ten years antique and nearing the quit of its useful life, and studying accuracy becomes progressively declining.
Limited meter analyzing sources. A complete-time equal worker was required to read meters over the path of 5 to six days. Illness and climate should affect their capability to complete reads adequately and on-time.
It is challenging environmental factors. Much of Seal Rock is sandy, making it hard to pinpoint the precise vicinity of a leak.
Lost revenue. Approximately 27-30 percent of Seal Rock’s water was unaccounted for due to failed leak detection and mainline leaks, ensuing in lost revenue.
State mandates. The Oregon Water Resources Department calls for water suppliers to lessen non-important water utilization (together with leakage).

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