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Aaron McGarvey

Portfolio and Case Studies

Decreasing Non-Revenue Water and Reducing Customer Complaints

Case Study - Detection and Removal of Malfunctioning Residential Water Meters

USE CASE: Drinking Water Distribution System


Water meters are like the odometer on your car - they're only supposed to go in one direction. Unless you're an AMI system, most water utility bills are still calculated by subtracting the "odometer" value at the end of the month from the value at the beginning of the month. This monthly consumption then goes through a process called "meter-to-cash": a volumetric amount of consumption is translated into a dollar amount and sent to the customer as a bill.

But what happens when that consumption value is negative? Occasionally, meters with mechanical dials malfunction: imagine one day the thousands-place on your car odometer suddenly skips from one to nine. Then, at some point in the future, it "skips" back. You can imagine the experience of the customer that is billed $0 one month (meter skips backwards) only to be billed $300 the following month because their meter is faulty. Decreasing the frequency and occurence of these issues is of paramount importance to the utility.

OUTCOME: Decreased NRW through identification and removal of malfunctioning meters

Generally speaking, if a water utility ever confronted this issue, Aaron was capable of devising a sampling plan that could allow the utility to identify which meters may be sticking and prioritize them for replacement.