“Beer City USA” enhances customer service and builds for the future
As the Grand River flows, so does the beer in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Nicknamed “Beer City USA,” Grand Rapids boasts more than 80 breweries and a thriving entrepreneurial community. This innovative atmosphere inspires city service leaders to constantly ask, “What more can we do?” For the city on the river that runs into Lake Michigan, the answer aptly begins – but doesn’t end – with water.
When Grand Rapids’ water metering infrastructure started to show its age, the city’s water utility didn’t hesitate to plan for the future. It began a meter replacement program – one that would enhance its vision for a smart city built on data and connectivity. A longtime customer of Sensus, a Xylem brand, the City of Grand Rapids knew just who to turn to for a smart utility network.
“With data at every point, we can see how water moves through our system and proactively address services for customers,” said Nicole Pasch, the City’s acting assistant environmental services manager.
Grand Rapids’ upgrade of 80,000 endpoints includes iPERL® residential water meters, OMNI™ commercial meters and connecting to customer-owned sewer meters. The utility also is looking to install ally™ residential meters for additional pressure information at some accounts. The Sensus FlexNet® communication network, an advanced two-way system offering secure, reliable data transmission, will drive fast, accurate meter data collection.
“The ability to connect assets allows us to increase efficiency and build sustainably for the long-term, eliminating extra investments in towers or other hardware redundancies that might exist with separate utility networks,” Pasch said. “By freeing up expenses, we’ll invest those resources back into programs that make a positive impact on the community.”
With 10,000 iPERL water meters deployed and counting, Grand Rapids also is exploring new ways to leverage the enhanced connectivity of the FlexNet system. The City is in the provisional review phase of upgrading its 18,000 streetlights with LED lighting and using the Sensus VantagePoint® Lighting Control paired with its network. City staff will receive information about the location of fixtures, light quality and system outages.
“As we continue to gather data and add new applications, we can refine our operations in a way that moves us closer to our goal of becoming a fully integrated utility,” Pasch said.
Sensus helps a wide range of public service providers—from utilities to cities to industrial complexes and campuses—do more with their infrastructure to improve quality of life in their communities. We enable our customers to reach farther through the application of technology and data-driven insights that deliver efficiency and responsiveness. We partner with them to anticipate and respond to evolving business needs with innovation in sensing and communications technologies, data analytics and services. For more information, visit sensus.com.
Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology company committed to developing innovative technology solutions to the world’s water challenges. The Company’s products and services move, treat, analyze, monitor and return water to the environment in public utility, industrial, residential and commercial building services settings. Xylem also provides a leading portfolio of smart metering, network technologies and advanced infrastructure analytics solutions for water, electric and gas utilities. The Company’s approximately 17,000 employees bring broad applications expertise with a strong focus on identifying comprehensive, sustainable solutions. Headquartered in Rye Brook, New York, with 2018 revenue of $5.2B, Xylem does business in more than 150 countries through a number of market-leading product brands.
The name Xylem is derived from classical Greek and is the tissue that transports water in plants, highlighting the engineering efficiency of our water-centric business by linking it with the best water transportation of all – that which occurs in nature. For more information, visit www.xylem.com.
About The City Of Grand Rapids
The city of Grand Rapids is a diverse and culturally rich community of 200,000 residents located along the banks of the Grand River, 30 miles east of Lake Michigan. Grand Rapids is the second-largest city in Michigan. It serves as the county seat of Kent County and is the economic engine for the western part of the state. Grand Rapids provides a full range of services to residents, businesses and visitors. The city has been recognized nationally for its quality of life and is considered one of the 25 best places to live in the U.S. It also has been touted among the best cities to start a career, raise a family and retire, among many others. Stay connected with City news, events and information at grandrapidsmi.us.