Imagine seeing your water use on your phone and using that information to make informed choices about your water use. During recent meetings with our local city water managers, CSU learned that several Washington County cities are evaluating and implementing Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)—giving individuals and businesses this power!
AMI is a smart water metering technology that transmits water use data directly between the point of consumption, the consumer, and the water utility. The data is collected at the meter, transmitted to a radio or cell tower, and then uploaded to an online portal that is accessible to the consumer. AMI provides real-time water use data, which improves accuracy, eliminates manual meter reading, quickly identifies leaks, and gives water consumption knowledge and power directly to the consumer. AMI can save 6-12% of residential and commercial water.
Washington City is the “leader of the pack” in Washington County, with over 13,000 connections on AMI. During a recent meeting with Conserve Southwest Utah, the Assistant Director of Public Works, Lester Dalton, showed us the incredible AMI dashboard visualizing hourly water use for all 13,000 connections. If you live in Washington City, AMI is now live and available on a mobile phone app.
Santa Clara City upgraded to AMI when they installed new power and water meters several years ago, but the consumer does not have access to their water consumption data. However, Dustin Mouritsen, Public Works Director, and his team use the data to better manage their water supply, e.g., high usage notifications or leak detection and repair.
Hurricane City requires AMI in new construction. To date, the Hurricane City Water Department has installed AMI on over 50% of their connections, with an online portal for customers to see their usage. Hurricane plans to reach 100% of their culinary and secondary water use connections and has a ~$2 million grant for secondary water metering from the Utah Division of Water Resources to help facilitate this plan.
St. George City requires AMI installation on new construction and is now rolling it out to their 36,000 existing connections at an installation rate of about 1,000 connections each month. Scott Taylor, St. George Water Services Director, projected the AMI program to be completed within three years. The city received $3 million from the Bureau of Reclamation to install 32,500 AMI meters and the total cost of the project is anticipated at $9 million. St. George City expects an 8-10% annual water savings from their AMI program.
Ivins City continues to discuss how to pay for AMI, as well as when/how/if they will implement it. They applied for grants, but were not awarded any funds. Ivins has close to $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, which could be used for AMI or for strengthening other infrastructure. Chuck Gillette, Ivins Public Works Director, sees many advantages for leak detection with an AMI system, as this is one of the most common calls they receive. Ivins will also have a new Conservation Plan by the end of 2023.
Want to see how much water you use? Call your city’s water department to find out more about AMI.