The City of Raymondville, Texas, has appointed Schneider Electric to address the city’s critical infrastructure requirements and to implement a city-wide water meter upgrade.
Raymondville provides water for a population base of approximately 11,000 people within its service area. Currently, all 2,791 meters within the system are manually read by meter readers once every month.
This labour intensive process can result in bills with estimated charges, not actual charges, when the meters can’t be accessed due to parked cars and other obstructions.
Additionally, human error during meter reading may cause billing problems and requires significant effort in meter re-reads. It also doesn’t allow for water leaks to be quickly detected, which can result in more expensive monthly bills.
Accurate meter operation, reading and billing is essential. For sites using large volumes of water, even small errors in measurement can add up to significant financial losses, said Schneider.
The city has embarked on an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) encompassing advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). The project is expected to increase the city’s water revenue by nine per cent, with no new taxes or additional fees to residents.
Throughout the life of the project, these improvements are calculated to generate some $4m in revenue for the city, enough to fully fund the project as well as leave additional net savings to be used for other city needs, projects or initiatives.
“The City of Raymondville pursued the project as part of a long-term economic growth and sustainability plan,” said Eleazar Garcia, city manager. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve infrastructure and operational efficiency to provide the best value for our residents while preparing for future growth.”
Other key benefits of this project include: water loss mitigation, improved performance and efficiency, improved billing accuracy, reduced costs in meter reading and field visits, better outage and leakage information and response and guaranteed performance and savings.
In addition, the new advanced meter system will provide the community daily access to see their water usage in their homes and businesses through a web-based customer portal. Overall, the project will have a substantial environmental and economic impact on the local community.
“Maintaining public works without placing additional tax burden on residents is a common issue faced by many cities around the country,” added Lizzy Putegnat, account executive, Schneider Electric.
“We are excited to partner with a proactive, forward-thinking city like Raymondville to help address critical infrastructure improvements that will allow the city to focus more time and resources on serving their residents, while providing a source of revenue to support the community.”
Implementation of the new water meters will commence in September and reach full implementation by December 2017