Local Washington authority slashes 30% water losses after smart meter rollout
The City of Walla Walla in Washington state in the US has detected and fixed 2,000 water leaks within 12 months after deploying a new smart metering system, the city has said.
The city, the county seat of Walla Walla County, and a significant wine-growing region, had seen annual water losses rise as high as 30 per cent because of leaks in the system. It deployed a smart utility network from Sensus, belonging to New York based water tech company Xylem, to improve accuracy and leak detection.
Adrian Sutor, water distribution supervisor for the City of Walla Walla, said: “As our pipes failed and water meters aged, we began to see a 30 per cent annual water loss – which is significant given we distribute about three billion gallons of water each year. We needed a solution to help us better track and maintain our water resources.”
Walla Walla has deployed residential and commercial meters from Sensus, connected via its two-way FlexNet private radio network, to service the city’s 11,000 water accounts. FlexNet uses dedicated radio spectrum in the 433 MHz and 868 MHz frequency bands.
The city has also deployed water meters with gateway-sensor interfaces for advanced pressure monitoring and management across residential accounts, to offer insights on pressure, temperature, and detail about levels and switches.
Sutor said: “We detected more than 2,000 leaks in the first year of deployment and promptly alerted each customer of any issues which greatly improved our customer service. By reducing water loss and cutting down the carbon footprint associated with truck rolls, we were well on our way to becoming more sustainable as a utility.”
Walla Walla is surrounded by vineyards from 120 different wineries. Colin Sabol, president for measurement and control solutions at Xylem, commented: “As much of Washington faces drought conditions, Walla Walla is taking a proactive stance to ensure a more water secure future for us all.”