Investing in a smart meter solution is a step toward improving future quality of life
Investing in America’s water and wastewater infrastructure is an investment in America’s quality of life. There are obvious sustainability benefits. It is known that replacing deteriorating and leaking pipes reduces water loss and sewer spills. But did you know that if investments in the current state of our water systems increased, wages would rise, disposable income would increase, and jobs would be created? According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, we could create 800,000 new jobs, and household disposable income would rise by more than $2,000 in less than 20 years by closing America’s infrastructure investment gap.
The City of Ravenna, Ohio is investing in a $2.2 million smart water project. The city will work with manufacturer Master Meter and distributor Ferguson Waterworks to digitally transform its water system and fulfill Ravenna’s vision of 24/7 customer service for its 11,000 citizens while also reducing water loss. Approximately 6,500 new water meters featuring advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) technology will be installed across the city.
The City of Ravenna is early in its implementation. The project begins February 2021 and is scheduled to be complete by late summer 2021.
“The city looked to digitally transform our water system and prepare it not only for the challenges of tomorrow but deliver immediate world-class customer service to our citizens,” said Mike Reynolds, Utility Billing and Meter Supervisor for the City of Ravenna. “We chose Ferguson Waterworks, a proven value-added vendor partner to the city with a great record of accomplishment. We believe that Master Meter’s smart water technology is the ideal solution to meet our goals.”
Master Meter and Ferguson Waterworks encourage water utilities and municipalities to invest in smart water management systems and their residents’ future. Meter systems are an essential part of the water system and when coupled with connectivity capabilities that remotely capture data and streamline operations, achieve results in customer service, cost savings and labor outputs.
“We believe that everyone is a water manager, and we put the ability to manage water consumption in our customers’ hands,” said Ian MacLeod, Master Meter’s vice president of marketing. “At a time when customers are more tech-savvy and demand greater transparency, our portfolio of smart water technologies and engaging software make this a reality.”
The City of Ravenna, Master Meter and Ferguson will provide residents with a nationally recognized system. Additionally, residents will have access to the My Water Advisor Customer Portal to easily self-manage and answer most any water concerns. The City of Ravenna chose the Allegro AMI meter reading system, coupled with Harmony Meter Data Management software. Additionally, the meter of choice was the BLMJ multi-jet meter, a time-honored, gold standard in measurement technology. Professional Meters Inc. is the contractor selected to replace the aging water meters throughout the area.
Meters will be installed by zone, and residents will be notified via postcard how to schedule a meter replacement at their convenience. Installers will be screened daily, wear PPE, practice social distancing and provide identification. Installing smart meter infrastructure provides water customers peace of mind and convenient on-demand access to timely consumption information, automated leak alerts and powerful budgeting tools to help manage consumption and improve water stewardship.
The municipalities and water utilities that Master Meter and Ferguson assist report increased yearly savings through early water leakage detection and reduced energy consumption. Additionally, the cost-benefit analysis continues to show that switching to smart meters eventually results in savings that cover the initial expense.
Brandon Pontious, Business Development Manager for Ferguson Waterworks added, “We encourage any city or utility considering an upgrade in their water infrastructure to begin by asking themselves this one question: ‘When was the last time our meters were replaced?’ Meters are the perfect place to begin your infrastructure investment journey. By giving people the hands-on ability to see and make smart decisions about their water consumption, you’re giving them a window into why an investment such as a bond for water infrastructure improvements are necessary.”
The future for the City of Ravenna looks bright. Crews have already completed all primary data communications infrastructure installations. They have put their trust in Ferguson to manage the entire turn-key project. The City of Ravenna’s dream for increasing visibility into the city’s demand for water, while improving their citizens’ quality of life, began in late January 2021 when the first water meters were installed. Smart technology helps empower everyone whether at the utility office or city hall and in every home, to improve their understanding and relationship with water.
Ravenna is a city in Portage County, Ohio, located 15 miles east of Akron. It was formed from portions of Ravenna Township in the Connecticut Western Reserve. The population was 11,724 in the 2010 Census and estimated at 11,361 in 2019. It is the county seat of Portage County. Ravenna was founded in 1799, platted in 1808, and is named for the City of Ravenna, Italy. The city is part of the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area and the larger Cleveland–Akron–Canton Combined Statistical Area.