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Reading into your Water Meter

Indio Water Authority (IWA) has always been committed to providing safe and reliable drinking water to the Indio Community. For the past decade or so, many California water purveyors continue to be impacted by drought and water shortages. Finding sustainable sources of water has become a challenge for many water agencies, and IWA is no exception.

IWA continues to implement many preventative and proactive measures to ensure the conservation of this precious resource, from community outreach and education, to leak repairs and system upgrades. However, accurate water metering is possibly the best way to account for proper water management, from source to end user.

Throughout the years, water metering has advanced from a simple instrument of measurement to a highly valuable tool we can use as part of a network of devices that provides a larger picture of IWA’s overall water system. Additionally, advance-metering infrastructure allows customers to access a user-friendly web-portal with real-time metrics of their individual use, as well as alert notifications, and data collection.

In the past, meter reading was a monthly event, if a water meter failed and stopped registering consumption, the troubleshooting process could take weeks before identifying the metering problem. Today, the Indio Water Authority operates and maintains a radio frequency based network that relies on 25 data collectors/gateways strategically located throughout the City. These 25 gateways have the capability to collect information from over 24,000 water meters. Information that has proven invaluable in leak detection, backflow events, and of course, monthly consumption.

Positive displacement (PD) meters have been the most common for residential applications. PD meters contain small mechanical parts, such as a nutating disc, within its chamber that rotates as water flows through the meter body. Recently though, IWA has begun to move into the next generation of meters. Ultrasonic meters will potentially become the water industry standard. The ultrasonic meters require no moving internal parts because they use a small sensor that measures flow to calculate water consumption. Ultrasonic meters allow for a higher level of sustained accuracy even in low flow applications, ensuring we are accountable for every drop of this scarce resource. Please visit the City of Indio/IWA website for useful water conservation tips.

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