Articles

Smart Water Meters Will Make Their Way to Walla Walla, Wash.

The city has decided to sell general obligation bonds to offset the acquisition of smart meters.

by Alfred Diaz, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, Wash. / June 10, 2016
Ryan McCauley

(TNS) -- When it comes to water meters, city residents will get smart.

A full Walla Walla, Wash., City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved selling $6.3 million in general obligation bonds to pay for a $5.8 million project to replace 10,893 utility customer meters with advance metering infrastructure — often referred to as smart meters.

The new smart meters establish a two-way radio frequency connection between customers and utility companies and allow almost instantaneous tracking by both to measure water use and loss, that latter of which is the driver for the project.

The city estimates it is losing just over 29 percent of its potable water, but the Washington State Department of Ecology goal for municipal water systems is no more than 10 percent loss.

The new meters will allow city crews to better detect the source of water leaks.

The project will take 16 to 20 months to complete and could start as early as this year.

©2016 Walla Walla Union-Bulletin (Walla Walla, Wash.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.