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Two-way communications network links water meters to help improve customer service and reduce operational costs
The village of Mount Zion, Ill., has selected Mueller Systems, based in Cleveland, N.C., to provide an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) network that will help the city improve customer service and reduce operational costs associated with its water system.
A subsidiary of Mueller Water Products Inc., Mueller Systems offers AMI and automatic meter reading (AMR) systems along with a full line of residential, fire-line and commercial meters, and related products that optimize the delivery and use of water and energy.
Mueller Systems will provide Mount Zion with the Mi.Net Mueller Infrastructure Network for Utilities, an advanced two-way AMI network. The system enables utilities to improve operational efficiencies and customer service by fully automating the meter reading-to-billing process and linking meters, distribution sites and control devices to a single data network.
Benefits provided by the system include on-demand meter readings, e-mail alerts and alarms based upon near real-time information as well as the ability for utilities to better manage their water and electric resources through ongoing access to custom data and information.
The city will use the system to link more than 2,100 commercial and residential water meters in its service area, enabling the Public Works Department to monitor household water consumption from its office in real time.
Access to real-time water consumption data will help the city reduce operational costs associated with collecting monthly meter reads while allowing it to better help customers understand how their water usage behavior affects their monthly utility bills. Customer service representatives can also receive an on-demand reading from a meter while on the phone with a customer by sending a signal from the office to the meter to answer the customer's question or resolve a billing complaint.
The system provides 24/7 leak monitoring that automatically detects water leaks and alerts city workers who can promptly inform customers and dispatch service crews to make necessary repairs.
"Customer service and conservation are among [the city's] most pressing concerns," Mount Zion Public Works Director Grant Corum said. "The [product] provides us with an intelligent water system that will enable us to efficiently address these concerns while improving operational efficiencies in a way that improves cost savings and helps to ensure that our customers will continue to have access to safe, clean drinking water."