Dec 03, 2007

Water Meter Replacement Garners Annual Savings

New water meters allow Woodstock, Va. to accurately measure use and improve town revenues

The town of Woodstock, Va., has completed a $1.2 million town-wide water meter replacement project, installing more than 1,800 new water meters with automatic meter reading (AMR) capability. The new meters will reduce read times and more accurately measure water usage, which should allow the town to receive more than $25,000 in additional revenue annually.

Woodstock officials recognized the need to upgrade water meter infrastructure a few years ago, but they lacked the staff resources to manage the process. The town contracted with TAC, an energy services, building automation and security company, to provide the personnel and project management expertise for the water meter change-out.

“The ability to accurately measure water usage not only allows our town to correctly bill customers for the water they actually use, but enables us to understand our water needs,” said Larry Bradford, town manager. “Now we have real data on town water consumption, so we can make forecasts and effectively manage our water resources to meet demand today and in the future.”

TAC completed the project in just six months, with minimal impact on town staff. This is compared to an estimated five to 10 years the town would need relying on its own limited resources. With the new meters installed, the read time was reduced from one week to four hours, and the meters will accurately measure water flow to provide for precise customer billing.

"Antiquated water meters are a major cause of lost revenues for municipal water utilities,” said Wes McDaniel, vice president of TAC Energy Solutions. “The investment in materials and time necessary to complete a meter upgrade often prevents cities from undertaking this type of project. TAC can do this service quickly and with minimal disruption to residents and businesses, so that a city can begin to realize the revenue from accurately billing customers for their water usage.”