Water Meter Replacement and Service Renewals

Projects: Water Meter Replacement and Service Renewal
Client: DeKalb County - Water & Sewer Department
Location: DeKalb County, GA

Objective: This project was initiated to replace outdated or damaged water meters in addition to installing copper service line where necessary.

In 2005, Metals & Materials Engineers (MME) was awarded an annual contract for the installation and replacement of residential water meters and related components throughout DeKalb County.  Many of the existing water meters were out of calibration to the extent where they were not functional.  At the start of the program the inventory and tracking system that the county uses to account for their maintenance and upkeep was examined.  These and related conditions were slated for correction under this contract as well as re-orchestrating the County’s approach to polling data.  

The County’s current system of retrieving meter data was a direct-read (touch) system that functioned adequately, but required a work force of significant size to acquire timely data.  The system MME proposed revolves around the concept of Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) that functions on a radio frequency tuned to the receiver on a Monitoring Vehicle that traverses the area bi-monthly to collect water usage data for each address.  The AMR concept cuts the necessary workforce by as much as 50-80% and is just one of the benefits that contribute to lower water rates for County residents.  Such accessory benefits are:

1. Greater accuracy as polling occurs at least once per billing cycle, eliminating the need for utilizing “historical” estimates.
2. Reduces the error derived from the “human element” by digitizing the data acquisition process.
3. Increases County safety by eliminating the need for County employees to access residents’ properties to collect data each billing cycle. 
4. Greatly reduces the possibility of fraud as the technology is advanced and difficult to tamper with.

Utilizing a true contractor-municipality team approach, DeKalb County is working with our engineers to develop a much more advanced technical approach to meter data acquisition.