Looking to modernize its outdated water meter reading system, the City of Walla Walla partnered with Ameresco to replace nearly 11,000 water meters with solid-state, high-accuracy meters. The new system can automatically report usage data via radio frequency (RF) and a cellular network to help detect and monitor irregularities in real-time. This City-wide upgrade eliminated the need for manual meter reading and reduced unbilled water amounts.
“The team at Ameresco helped us design and procure a system that would allow us to quickly realize increased revenue. In addition to eliminating manual readings, and the associated vehicle miles and carbon emissions, the City has seen a significant increase in revenues from water consumption. Existing department staff have all been retained and are trained to monitor the new electronic system.”
– Frank Nicholson, PE
Principal Engineer, City of Walla Walla
Annual Water Revenue Increase
Unbilled Water Identified
The City-wide project was completed on time and under budget and has provided City staff with an exact equipment inventory for future maintenance. This system monitors consumption in real time, detects customer-side leaks, accurately measures and bills water use, and can identify where leaks are occurring on water mains. The system has also enabled community engagement with a water conservation campaign by providing facts and tips on water usage and conservation through weekly updates in partnership with Walla Walla Community College and the local newspaper.
- Real-time consumption monitoring
- Increased revenue from accurate customer usage data
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions from meter-reader vehicles
- Improved water use efficiency and awareness
Ameresco partnered with the City of Walla Walla to audit and assess their current water infrastructure needs. A comprehensive evaluation confirmed that the City was losing nearly 30% of their potential revenue to leaks and unmetered use. Advanced metering can be used to help detect and locate leaks by monitoring irregularities in real time. This new automated system has greatly reduced losses and has increased the City’s revenue from water customer billings.
- Installed 10,769 water meters across the City
- Constructed two steel lattice towers for RF antennas
- Battery-operated devices transmit data, via low-frequency radio signal