Operational efficiency and conservation are increasing in focus among water utilities across the United States, however, they are especially important to Calimesa, Calif.-based South Mesa Water Company. This is because South Mesa Water Co. relies solely on its local ground water resources to provide drinking water to residents throughout the City of Calimesa and the City of Yucaipa, as it has done for nearly 100 years.
A forward-thinking water utility, South Mesa Water Co. recog- nized that, in order to support future service demands, it would need to implement a technology that would help it to protect its precious water sources and improve operational efficiency and customer service. As a result, officials of South Mesa Water Co. began searching for an advanced automated meter read- ing (AMR) system that could be integrated with the new water meters it was adding throughout its service area as part of its meter replacement program.
South Mesa Water Co. turned to Mueller Systems, a leading provider of innovative water infrastructure products and ser- vices and technologically advanced metering systems for water, electric and gas systems.
It decided to implement Mueller Systems’ high performance AMR system, Hot RodTM. The components of the Hot Rod AMR system, which include the Hot RodTM Radio Transmitter Unit, Street MachineTM Mobile Data Collector, and EZ ReaderTM Software, work together to help utilities reduce the amount of time it takes to manually collect meter reads, more effectively manage water usage, and improve customer service.
Street Machine and EZ Reader Software—Hot Rod’s data management tools—automatically collect meter reads and instant data logging alarms as a meter reader drives along a selected route, while providing progress screens and route maps, which display collected readings and meters that still need to have their data collected. Meter locations are graphically represented on route maps by blue icons that disappear as soon as readings are col- lected. If a leak, reverse flow, no flow or tamper alarm is received, the corresponding icon will turn a different color, immediately prompting the meter reader to proactively approach customers about possible leaks or other service related issues.
Once the Hot Rod installation was complete, South Mesa Water Co. quickly saw results. According to South Mesa Water Co.’s general manager, Dave Armstrong, the amount of time needed to collect monthly meter readings was immediately reduced.