Meadows Place Water Utility Case Study
Meadows Place Water Utility Upgrades to ORION® Fixed Network (SE) System and Recordall® Meters from Badger Meter
In January 2014, the city of Meadows Place, Texas, became the first city in Fort Bend County to fully convert to an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) fixed-network system. At the same time, the city also implemented a complete meter change-out for its 1,600 customers. Both projects represent large initiatives for the self-proclaimed “little city” with a population of 4,600 citizens.
While Meadows Place may be the first, its intention was always to be the best public works provider for its citizens.
“We are trying to be the city of the future. We want to attract families who want to raise their children in a place of beauty and still feel like they are being good stewards of the earth. Water plays a very important role in this,” says Meadows Place Mayor Charles Jessup. “If you want to be that city, you must invest in that future today. And that’s exactly what we did by partnering with Badger Meter.”
Adds Jessup, “As water becomes a more valuable resource, both as a commodity itself and monetarily, the demand for proper management increases exponentially. Being a small city, it is an economy of scale and a little change affects us more dramatically than a larger city. We felt that if we were going to do our jobs right and look after the people of Meadows Place in a cost-effective manner, we needed to do something different. This system allowed us to get on that path and live up to our saying: Meadows Place--Your Place for Life.”
Recordall meters, the starting point to a more reliable water delivery system
At the core of the upgrade are the Recordall Disc Series meters. Their accuracy, proven design and durability were all strong differentiators in the eyes of city leadership.
“When we decided to do a complete meter change out, we wanted to be 100% confident in our decision. Prior to installation, we benchmarked these meters and were thrilled with the results. They have a long life, are cost-effective, and allow us to be as accurate as possible for billing and measurement purposes,” says McGraw.
Increased efficiency–from first read, to final bill
For a utility short on human capital, the transition to a two-way fixed network provided a welcome change to the monthly meter reading and billing routine.
“The ORION Fixed Network (SE) system sold us in many ways. A job that used to take three people and five to seven days to accomplish, now only takes us one hour from start to finish. With just the push of a button, we get all of our reads in 10 minutes. Our bills are now read and processed the same day,” says Jessup.
Adds Jessup, “The efficiency of this system as compared to dealing with the challenges of on-site meter reading in times of rain, floods and other conditions is second to none. This solves all of those problems.”
Improved customer service, empowered citizens
After a brief training period, the utility was up and running with its new Advanced Metering Analytics software. And the customer analytics tools, real-time data reporting and leak detection capabilities are already making a difference.
“We’ve considerably improved our customer service with very little effort. If a customer calls with a complaint, we are able to send them a graph or chart to show them exactly what we’re looking at,” says McGraw. “When we pinpoint how the water was used and where, it changes their entire outlook and attitude.”
“Along with access to real-time consumption data, we’re also providing our citizens with the ability to use a phone or other handheld device to pay bills. It’s exciting for them to be a part of this; we’ve empowered them,” explains Jessup.
Another key element of the software is its ability to proactively detect leaks, a key feature for both the city and the waterconscious subsidence district.
21st century technology propels the city of the future
Beyond the technicalities of hardware and software, at the end of the day for Meadows Place, it’s all about creating a place where people want to live.
“What sets Meadows Place apart is our ability to adapt to 21st Century technology, while maintaining a sense of peace and pleasantry. The only way we can do that is through maximum utilization of our resources. This new system absolutely allows us to do that so we can be proactive and offer amenities a lot of small cities don’t have because we have tapped into advanced metering technology,” says Jessup.
He continues, “As we look ahead, we want to attract young professionals. Through this and other efforts including a major water reclamation project, we are reinvesting in our city in order to bring in people that will bring life, vigor and vitality. We’re living proof that, no matter what your size, it can be done.
Meadows Place Solution
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