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Badger Meter: smart water products and solutions for the complete water cycle

Building upon strong leadership in smart metering, the company’s growth brings water quality and pressure management tools together so customers can better manage assets, achieve customer satisfaction and enhance revenue capture.

Badger Meter has been an innovator in flow measurement for more than 115 years, serving water utilities, municipalities, and commercial and industrial customers worldwide with an emphasis on metering, measurement, AMI and Network as a Service (NaaS). The company has recently added s::can, ATi, and Syrinix to the family, building its portfolio of smart water solutions and moving beyond the meter.

Published in SWM Bimonthly 19 - September 2023
SWM Bimonthly 19

“Today's water meter is collecting far more information than just a monthly read for utilities. That level of operational data should not live in a silo within a billing department but be leveraged for much greater operational insights,” said Matt Stuyvenberg, Vice President of Software and Water Quality at Badger Meter.

With end-to-end solutions ranging from mechanical, ultrasonic and electromagnetic flow meters, to proven meter-reading technologies and powerful analytics software, intelligent measurement is at the heart of the company’s full range of water quality, distribution and analytical monitoring capabilities, bolstered by reliable communications via a cellular network. 

Beyond meter to cash

Products include the E-Series® Ultrasonic meters for residential and commercial smart water meter applications. These meters use solid-state technology in a compact, totally encapsulated, weatherproof and UV-resistant housing, and feature an easy-to-read, 9-digit LCD display. Coupled with ORION® Cellular endpoints, which use existing cellular infrastructure to efficiently and securely transmit two-way communication of meter reading data, utility operators can access more information than ever at their fingertips. This data lives in BEACON® Software as a Service (SaaS) to provide visibility, control and optimized information for utilities of all sizes.

Badger Meter has added s::can, ATi, and Syrinix to the family, building its portfolio of smart water solutions and moving beyond the meter

When combined with information from sensors throughout the water system, the data collected provides robust pressure management, leak detection and alerts, network condition assessment and enhanced operational insights for customers. 

While this data may be most valuable to utility operators, certain notifications and critical alerts can also be sent directly to consumers through the EyeOnWater® consumer engagement tool, which allows consumers to view and manage their water use in near real-time. The app also allows consumers to communicate with customer service easily from their smartphone or other connected device.

Intelligence unlocked

Intelligent measurement is at the heart of the company’s full range of water quality, distribution and analytical monitoring capabilities

Now utility operators can also extract more insights from their network by monitoring pressure alongside their smart metering deployment. PIPEMINDER pressure monitors use advanced pressure signature algorithms and high-frequency pressure monitoring, enabling asset and operational improvement. Innovative network calming and transient analysis tools include pressure waveform classification, event source triangulation and smart event alarms to mitigate and reduce future leaks effectively and quickly.

Collected data is then compiled in RADAR, an intuitive platform that tracks trends over time so that utilities can prevent breaks and, ultimately, extend the life of potable distribution and wastewater collection networks. Monitors can be deployed at critical points throughout the network to provide tailored insights and moved or redeployed as needed for optimal asset monitoring. Customized alerts and insights deliver real-time information to reduce water loss and proactively calm networks.

“Future-proof strategies utilize smart technologies, enabling a shift from reactive practices to proactive solutions based on real-time data,” Stuyvenberg adds. 

Water quality When — and where — you need It

Today’s solutions even make it possible for distributed water quality monitoring to exist alongside metering and AMI systems for a holistic network view — no matter the size or location of the utility. Real-time, reagent-free pipe::scan and MetriNet solutions enable water quality to move out of the lab and into the critical points of the network.

For monitoring drinking water quality in pipes under pressure, pipe::scan modular sensor systems measure up to 10 parameters in one device: TOC, DOC, UV254, turbidity, colour, chlorine, pH/redox, conductivity, temperature and pressure — all without the maintenance, chemicals and bypass streams associated with traditional solutions. Water quality data can be securely sent to BEACON to be viewed alongside data transmitted from cellular endpoints in the network. Multiple pipe::scan units are the ideal solution to monitor drinking water at any point in the distribution network. In addition, the ability to interface with SCADA and other central databases via almost any protocol makes this information actionable for utilities of every size. 

Now utility operators can also extract more insights from their network by monitoring pressure alongside their smart metering deployment

An even lower-power, modular system for monitoring water quality at remote locations, MetriNet offers continuous data collection from anywhere in a distribution network. To provide insights where previously thought unattainable, smart digital sensor technology is leveraged for proactive water quality management.

“While monitoring stations won’t completely replace the lab, a network of low-powered, inline, online and reagent-free solutions can be deployed in the field at critical locations, shifting to more informed decision-making and providing evidence-based proof of water safety”, Stuyvenberg adds. “Why wait for days to collect, transport, analyse and receive your results when you can see the data in real time without missing events that spot checks may have missed?”

Reliable data delivers value

Badger Meter has been a leader in cellular offerings for meter reading communications since launching the first ORION® Cellular endpoints in 2013. Time and time again, the company has proven through satisfied customers that cellular is an ideal solution for data backhaul in water applications.

Combining a secure connection that is available everywhere without the need for utilities to maintain their own networks or infrastructure, cellular data backhaul allows customers to scale and deploy sensor networks reliably without concerns of oversaturating collectors as with other LPWAN technologies.

“As we look to move beyond AMI into a world of intelligent measurement, reliable communications and actionable data are key”, Stuyvenberg said. “This is not data for the sake of data collection. Our solutions turn data into insights, which is where the real value is realized.” 

Today’s solutions allow for distributed water quality monitoring to exist alongside metering and AMI systems for a holistic network view

Communication and software technologies enable users to benefit from robust digital solutions that turn data into actionable insights, leading to better outcomes and modifying the way data is collected, stored and used. This asset management data can be linked to GIS systems as well as metadata and other measurement parameters for a single view into a system. Dashboards, heat maps, custom alarms and reports can further reduce time spent looking for information.

For example, a PIPEMINDER pressure monitor installed at a single point (or deployed at several key areas) in a water distribution network provides instant notification of pressure transients in a system. The source is triangulated and confirmed via historical data housed in the RADAR platform; and configurable alarms alert utility workers of the location and severity of the incident so investigation can occur. District meter flow values, collected via E-Series Ultrasonic meters and transmitted through ORION Cellular endpoints, confirm a burst pipe. This information is sent securely to operators in the field or office, where it can be viewed on the BEACON platform. Water quality monitoring devices, like pipe::scan and MetriNet, confirm that residual chlorine and turbidity levels remain normal, so the water is safe to drink. A water utility may then send a notification via the EyeOnWater platform to homeowners in the affected area to communicate this information. Utility field crews can then repair or replace the burst pipe and ensure customer satisfaction and confidence in their utility, even in the case of a network disruption.

Right time, right place, right data

Smart water is a journey of intelligence. The data collected needs to be viewed at the right time, in the right place, and with the right data for the right population in order to be actionable and worthwhile. Likewise, tactical deployment of technology delivers the information decision-makers need today.

Badger Meter is working closer than ever before with customers and strategic partners to deliver the real value of smart water. At Badger Meter, we combine measurement, communications, data and analytics into customizable smart water solutions, which enable customers to be more efficient, effective and sustainable throughout the water ecosystem.

For more information, please visit badgermeter.com/smart-solutions