Located in central Florida, the City of Auburndale is a thriving and steadily growing community that boasts great spaces to live, work and play. Auburndale’s Public Utilities Department, which serves approximately 11,700 residential and 1,100 commercial water customers, is continually working to provide the best water to residents.
In 2016, the Public Utilities Department saw a need to upgrade aging infrastructure across its water system. The city’s water meters and endpoints had provided many years of reliable service, and it was an opportune time to investigate how more advanced technology could benefit the utility and its customers.
To start the process, utility department leaders initially met with the manufacturer of their current water meters, Badger Meter, to discuss options. Badger Meter and the City of Auburndale had worked together since 2005, and the water utility team was currently using the company’s ORION® Classic (CE) endpoints and automated meter reading (AMR) system.
“After speaking with Badger Meter’s team, we knew that our next system needed to be an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system,” said Ryan Williamson, deputy finance director for the City of Auburndale. “AMI technology offered us a chance to reduce time in the field spent reading meters manually, and the automation would allow us to efficiently monitor the system so we could devote more time to other utility and customer service projects.”
Identifying a Solution
To explore new technology options, Williamson and other Public Utilities Department leaders spoke with numerous metering manufacturers over the course of four to five months. They ultimately chose a managed solution from Badger Meter, combining the BEACON® Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA) software suite with proven ORION® Cellular endpoints to deliver a simple, yet powerful, end-to-end solution.
“Compared to its competitors, Badger Meter offered the most cost-effective solution, which was a main selling point. Plus, Badger Meter technologies does not require infrastructure and continued maintenance. Everything is self-contained within the meter pit and the endpoints use existing cellular networks,” added Williamson.
A Rapid, Successful Deployment
The Public Utilities Department began its installation of BEACON AMA, ORION Cellular endpoints and new Recordall® Model 25 Disc Series meters, which combines the accuracy of positive displacement meters with the reliability and economy of nutating disc technology.
Several new E-Series® Ultrasonic meters in 1.5- and 2-inch sizes also were implemented for small and mid-sized businesses. The E-Series Ultrasonic meters deliver improved reliability and greater extended low flow accuracy.
Enhancing Customer Support
With its new technologies installed, the City of Auburndale is beginning to see how BEACON AMA and ORION Cellular endpoints, along with the Recordall Model 25 meters, are catching leaks more quickly and providing up-to-date data, which is especially helpful when managing customer service issues.
As part of the BEACON AMA solution, the City of Auburndale also has access to the EyeOnWater® consumer engagement portal, enabling customers to take a hands-on approach to monitoring their water usage.
Editor's Note: Scranton Gillette Communications and the SGC Water Group are not liable for the accuracy, efficacy and validity of the claims made in this piece. The views expressed in this content do not reflect the position of the editorial teams of Water & Wastes Digest, Water Quality Products and Storm Water Solutions.