Imagine having access to a radio frequency (RF)-based advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) network without the need to invest in additional network infrastructure equipment on communication towers. By sharing networks with electric utility providers, water utilities can take advantage of state-of-the-art data collection, increasing operational efficiency and reducing dependence on labor-intensive processes.
As smart technology proliferates throughout cities and utilities, it creates a pathway for others to join. For example, peer-to-peer communication technology allows water meters to communicate with meters from other utilities such as electric or gas, as well as other devices, such as intelligent street lighting. This allows data from a water meter to be transmitted via nearby networked devices which is then made available to the utility on a secure cloud-based data platform.
It’s called an AMI Mesh Network canopy, and as the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) discovered recently, it can improve not just the day-to-day operations of water distribution management but also the health and wellbeing of its customers.