Eastern Municipal Water District honored with 2017 Sensus Reach Customer Service Award

By on November 13, 2017

Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) has been honored with the 2017 Sensus Reach Customer Service Award for its installation of smart-metering technology which has benefited thousands of customers throughout its service area. EMWD received this distinction in late October at a Dallas, TX advanced metering technology conference for utility customers – water, gas and electricity – throughout the United States.

“EMWD is appreciative of Sensus for this honor,” EMWD Board President David Slawson said. “Our organizations have worked together to use available technology to assist our customers in reducing water waste. The overwhelmingly positive customer feedback has affirmed how valuable this program is to our ratepayers.”

The district had initiated a meter upgrade program earlier this year and were replacing some 1,000 meters per month. This was expanded in late August when EMWD expedited the and began upgrading more than 5,000 water meters per month to new Smart Meters. EMWD anticipates that every meter within EMWD’s 555-square mile service area will be a smart meter by mid-2019.

The new smart meters send hourly usage reports to EMWD personnel and can help identify if there is a potential leak at a property through prolonged water usage. The new meters have become a vital tool for water savings and increased operational efficiency.

Since February 2016, EMWD has pro-actively notified more than 12,000 customers of potential water leaks. More than 95 percent of customers took corrective action and no longer show continuous water usage patterns. Customers are notified through their preferred method of communication – email, text, or phone call.

EMWD is also directly benefiting from the new meters. Transitioning to the new automated meter has allowed EMWD to avoid driving nearly 170,000 miles per year to manually read meters. It helps save in fuel costs, reduces the need for fleet vehicles dedicated solely toward meter-reading activities and reduces EMWD’s carbon footprint.

Eventually the new meter technology will allow customers to use a portal to monitor their usage in real time. This will include projecting monthly water bills and individually identifying if there are potential leaks at their properties.

As the installation of new smart meters was hastened in August, EMWD Board President Slawson said, “It is important that we use available technology to our advantage by providing our customers the tools necessary to better understand their water use,” EMWD President David Slawson said. “In addition to creating a more efficient model, we want to ensure that we are proactively assisting customers in identifying potential leaks. Doing so will help our customers save both water and money.”