Mar 04, 2010

West Virginia American Water ‘Green’ Project Awarded Stimulus Funding

Project involves installation of advanced metering infrastructure system

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has selected West Virginia American Water as the recipient of $3.85 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act economic stimulus funding.

The money will be used for a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved “green” project involving the installation of an advanced metering infrastructure system. The hope is that this pilot project, which will serve approximately 12,000 customers in Fayette County, can eventually be expanded throughout West Virginia American Water’s service territory.

The AMI system will transmit water consumption data collected at customer meters to the company’s computer network daily via radio frequency. Employees can then evaluate the data not only for billing purposes, but also to uncover irregularities such as a water leak on a customer’s property. This will allow the customer to be quickly notified so that he or she can get the leak fixed--reducing both the amount of wasted water and the potential property damage.

The system will also have the capability of detecting leaks along the utility’s water mains through the use of acoustic monitors. If the data transmitted to company employees indicates a leak, a crew can be dispatched to fix it. Finding leaks before they surface will not only save water, but will also reduce damage caused by erosion.

This system will benefit not only West Virginia American Water and its customers, but will also have a positive effect on the environment because the resulting water conservation will reduce energy consumption and pollution, American Water said.

“Speaking on behalf of the residents of Fayette County, we are honored that our county has been chosen to host such an innovative project,” said Fayette County Commission President Ken Eskew. “This new technology will help to conserve water, cut down on pollutants to our environment, and ultimately improve the lives of our citizens in a variety of ways.”