City of Titusville Water Resources Installs 300 Automated Meters During ‘Madness Competition’
City of Titusville Water Resources
BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – How do you change out 300 manual-read water meters with new radio-read meters in 3 days?
Simple, you hold a Meter Madness Competition.
City of Titusville Water Resources Field Operations Superintendent Jeff Wayner did just that.
Wayner created the competition five years ago as a way to change out a large number of meters in a short amount of time without overtime or additional personnel.
The competition also has the added benefits of providing cross-training and encouraging team-building, while being fun as staff from different areas of Field Operations team up to meet the challenge.
This year’s winning team, Eric Spears, Crew Leader II, and Mario Grant, Equipment Operator II, changed out 49 meters.
First, second, and third place teams were all announced at a division awards luncheon.
The first place team was awarded with a certificate, trophy and $50 gift card. The entire Field Operations division received t-shirts imprinted with the teams’ names and rankings.
Including the 300 meters changed out as part of this year’s Meter Madness, a total of 489 meters were changed out by Field Operations during September.
The new AMRs eliminated approximately 2 days of manual meter reading for that cycle.
MANUAL, AUTOMATED METER READING
The City of Titusville uses two different methods to read its water customers’ meters each month: manual readings and radio readings (known as AMR or Automated Meter Reading). The method used is dependent upon the type of meter.
The face of meters that must be read manually look like a cross between a clock and an old car odometer. In order to get a reading, a meter reader must physically visit each meter box, lift the lid, clean out any debris, and then input the consumption into a handheld device.
Using this method is very time intensive and can lead to inefficiencies due to physical barriers preventing access to the meter (such as a car parked on the meter box) or even human error such as transposing numbers while inputting readings.
Radio read meters, on the other hand, have a digital display and a small antenna. These meters can be read by the meter reader just driving down the street. The meter reader never has to touch the meter, itself, or even stop his vehicle. Using this method to capture readings greatly improves both efficiency and accuracy.
Using AMR, Titusville can collect not only consumption data, but also diagnostic and status data from water meters.
This information is then sent to a database for billing, troubleshooting, and analyses. Approximately 56 percent (12,100 meters) of Titusville’s water meters are AMR.
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