Known as “Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno, Nevada is famous for its casinos. However, the city’s water utility isn’t gambling on outdated systems to deliver around-the-clock service to residents. As a community-owned water provider with more than 400,000 customers across Reno and the greater Washoe County region, Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) decided to double down on smart water technology and enhance functionality with automated meter data collection.
As TMWA’s coverage area expanded in recent years, their manual process for obtaining meter data became cumbersome. The water authority decided to upgrade their infrastructure and initiate a meter replacement program to improve efficiency and advance customer service. Through an in-depth ‘request for proposal’ process, they chose to deploy a smart utility network from Sensus, a Xylem brand, to implement real-time remote monitoring and management.
“After testing different network architectures and speaking with current Sensus customers, it was clear that this was the best solution,” said Director of Distribution Maintenance & Generation Pat Nielson. “The system will allow us to achieve outstanding read rates across our water meters with less infrastructure, meaning fewer base stations and access points needed than with other systems.”
TMWA will deploy the FlexNet® communication network with smart meters across approximately 110,000 endpoints to enable automated meter monitoring and advanced leak detection. With access to real-time data, they can reduce truck rolls for meter reads and use staff time more efficiently. The system will also enhance TMWA’s water conservation program, allowing the team to proactively identify leaks and educate customers about their usage.
“Thanks to the flexibility of our smart utility network, we can roll things out in a much more methodical way,” added Nielson. “We’ll be able to use our system to advance in a way that makes a lasting impact for our customers and strengthens our role as responsible stewards of our region’s water resources.”
TMWA will conduct meter change-outs on a schedule that fits the needs of the utility and their water customers. The project should be completed within the next three to five years.