News Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

New water meters showing signs of savings

CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad Municipal Water District’s (CMWD) implementation of a new type of water meter is showing signs of saving water and money.
The benefit of this contemporary electronic meter alerts employees at CMWD of a potential leak early on through data, which is streamed to their computer network.
CMWD put the new meters, manufactured by Hersey, into practice in 2008.
“There are currently 5,880 meters that have been retrofitted to the system,” said Mario Remillard, conservation coordinator for CMWD. “They are located in the Palomar Airport business park and in the southeast quadrant of the city.”
The new electronic meters and its software keep CMWD proactive. The water district frequently runs leak reports, which pinpoint possible leaks.
“We currently run reports on a weekly basis and notify the accounts that we feel have large leaks,” he said. “So far, we have helped customers save anywhere from 100 gallons of water to 200,000 gallons of water.”
Remillard pointed out that these gallon totals were estimated on how much water would have been wasted if it had not been detected by the fixed network system.
On the flipside, if a customer receives an unusually high water bill, CMWD can help out with water usage history analysis.
“A high percentage of customers find out that their irrigation timer is set too high and needs to be readjusted,” he said.
CMWD oversees 440 miles of pipeline, covers nearly 32.32 square miles of Carlsbad, and has 28,397 accounts. The retrofitting will be a step-by-step process.
In September, CMWD plans to install new meters in the Aviara area. The long-term plan is to have all the new meters installed on or by 2023.
One meter, costing anywhere from $125 to $540, covers a business or residence. Remillard said a commercial building with multiple offices would have one meter. And the same holds true for multi-family properties — one meter feeds all data information
“We attach what we call an endpoint to the meter register; this endpoint picks up the read data and interval data (leak information) off of the meter register,” Remillard said. “It is then transmitted to the fixed collectors which then send the information to the hosted site — the hosted site then puts the information together for us on a website.”
The new meters have made a world of difference with its electronic capabilities. The old meters have a flow indicator, Remillard said, and a field visit must be made to determine whether or not there is a leak.
“The new electronic meters automatically give hourly reads and hourly leak information,” he said.
The latest meter has been called a good fit for a water-wise Southern California. The system is an important tool when water conservation is a year-round endeavor.
“I feel that this new technology is a great way to help us save our customers money on their water bills and to save water overall,” Remillard said. “And the less water that needs to be purchased means less water needs to be imported from Northern California or Colorado preserving those environments — it’s a real domino effect.”