Jun 22, 2010

Mueller Systems Introduces New ‘Smart Hydrant’

New Hydrant Collects, Stores and Sends Water Usage Data

Mueller Systems has announced a new “smart” fire hydrant called Mi.Hydrant, which uses radio transceivers built into fire hydrant caps to communicate water usage-related data to help utilities improve efficiencies and customer service. Mi.Hydrant systems can proactively identify and resolve critical issues around operational efficiency, water conservation and workforce productivity before they affect service, the company said.

Mi.Hydrant is part of the Mi.Net Mueller Infrastructure for Utilities advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system from Mueller Systems, which is part of Mueller Water Products Inc.

Mi.Hydrant is an enclosed transceiver that replaces the pumper cap of existing fire hydrants, blending aesthetically and operationally into the existing water infrastructure. The device first collects and stores water infrastructure data in its own internal memory. Then, both on demand and at scheduled intervals, it transmits data to the Mi.Net Mueller “Infrastructure Network for Utilities” AMI system. Mi.Hydrant thus extends a 900 MHz public broadband, multi-path network for billing, metering and intelligent management of data and water.

Because many municipal codes require fire hydrant placement every 500 ft, utilities can take advantage of the cost savings of using what they already have. The Mi.Hydrant has a range of two-to-three times that distance, creating important communications links that can be built, or that can be part of a communications grid from the meter to utility distribution communications and back again. It provides a complete, end-to-end, two-way “smart water” network for AMR and AMI, the company said. Utilities can reduce equipment and labor costs and can eliminate the need to navigate the procedures, politics and logistics of locating and installing additional structures on which to place communication devices, the company said.

The FCC-compliant Mi.Hydrant features open architecture, so it can be used with hydrants from Mueller Co. or other brands. This empowers utilities to transition in a scaled, cost-effective manner, according to Mueller Systems.