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Identify and Address Water Loss Using Your Billing System Data

Updated: 4 days ago



By leveraging the power of your billing system data, you can effectively identify and address water loss within your utility. Accurate data capture, validation, and analysis techniques are essential in pinpointing sources of water loss and taking proactive steps towards conservation and revenue recovery.


In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of accurate data capture, validation, and analysis techniques to pinpoint sources of water loss and take proactive steps towards conservation and revenue recovery.


Data Analysis Findings:


Let's dive into a real-world case study that demonstrates the power of data analysis. Raybern Consulting recently worked with a Utility to identify water loss using their billing system data. The Utility calculated water loss by determining the percentage gap between the total water produced and the total water consumed.


Raybern obtained a comprehensive data report from the Utility's billing system, including account details, meter IDs, radio transmitter IDs, meter sizes, and billing history. By comparing this data with the consumption reports generated by their AMI System, we identified discrepancies and potential inaccuracies in the billing system data:


1. Incomplete Consumption Reports: The consumption reports failed to capture consumption data for all accounts receiving water service, leading to inaccuracies in calculating the total water consumed.


2. Inconsistent Meter Multipliers and Sizing: The application of billing system multipliers and meter sizing was inconsistent across accounts, potentially leading to inaccuracies in consumption calculations.


3. Meter Programming and Rollover Handling: Inconsistent meter programming and handling of meter rollovers further contributed to data discrepancies.


4. Suspicious Read/Usage History: Raybern Consulting discovered accounts with suspicious read/usage history, inconsistencies between the billing system and meter reading system, and suspect multipliers.


Taking Action:


Identifying water loss is just the first step. Once you have identified sources of water loss using your billing system data, it's essential to take proactive steps towards conservation and revenue recovery. Here are some actions you can consider:


1. Address Data Inaccuracies: Resolve inconsistencies in meter multipliers, sizing, and programming to ensure accurate consumption calculations.


2. Investigate Suspect Accounts: Delve into accounts with suspicious read/usage history and inconsistencies between the billing system and meter reading system to identify potential equipment issues.


3. Implement Leak Detection Techniques: Leverage your billing system data to implement advanced leak detection techniques, such as analyzing hourly consumption patterns or identifying accounts with consistently high usage.


4. Educate Customers: Raise awareness among customers about water conservation and provide resources to help them detect and address leaks on their premises.

Maintaining Synchronization between Billing and Meter Reading Systems:

To unlock the full potential of your billing system data, it's crucial to ensure synchronization between your billing system and AMR or AMI meter reading system. Three main methods can help you achieve this synchronization:


1. Manual File Exchanges: This method involves manually importing/exporting files between the two systems to keep the databases current. 


2. Customer Interface: A custom interface can be developed to trigger the data exchange between the two systems. This method may require additional development by either the meter reading or the billing system vendor(s).


3. API Integration: By utilizing open APIs (Application Programming Interface), you can establish seamless data exchanges between your billing system and meter reading system. This method is efficient and requires minimal additional development work.


Water loss poses significant challenges for utilities, impacting both conservation efforts and revenue generation. However, by harnessing the power of your billing system data, you can effectively identify and address water loss within your utility.

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