Ithaca, N.Y., water utility goes from estimated billing to detecting leaks overnight
It took only a few days for Bolton Point Water System of Ithaca, N.Y., to see the results of its new Sensus smart water technology. As data started flooding in, it noticed that one home went from using no water to running 100 gal per hour over the course of three days. That is 7,400 gal of lost water, which is enough to fill an average-sized pool. The problem was that the property does not have a pool and the homeowner was out of town.
“When we couldn’t reach the customer by phone, we sent an operator to check on things,” said Steve Riddle, distribution manager for Bolton Point Water System. “Turns out, while the owners were away, a hose was turned on and left running in the yard. Without the new technology to alert us, who knows how much more water would have been wasted or how high their bill would have gone?”
Only a few months ago, Bolton Point relied on customers to read their own meters, write down their water usage on postcards and mail them back to the utility. Ten to 15% of customers failed to send in their cards, so bills were estimated based on previous use. That made it difficult to get a full picture of water usage.
“We needed an end-to-end solution and partners we could count on,” Riddle said. “Sensus had the answer, and our other partners at Saks and HD Supply helped us seamlessly deploy a system where we saw results on day one.”
Thanks to Bolton Point’s new technology, its more than 7,000 customers can enjoy abundant water without being flooded by leaks or high water bills.