Jump to page content

 

 

 
Open for Registration

  
Grade I/II Water Test Prep (W)
Starts Jan 4-Montgomery
Learn More
  
ArcGIS Basic Training for Water & Wastewater (W/WW)
Jan 18-Loachapoka
Learn More
  
WW Process Monitoring and Control (WW)
Jan 18-Livingston
Learn More
  
Grade I/II Water Test Prep (W)
Starts Jan 22-Monroeville
Learn More
  
Water University
Utility Management Certification
(W/WW)
Learn More
  
Schedule your own
On-site CEH Training

Earn CEHs
  
Plan for future training with our Training Calendar
  
Visit us on Facebook!
 

 

Quality on Tap

 

 

  

Custom Search

  

 

Pay Online
Pay any ARWA invoice online. 
Try
Quick Pay!

Go to
Account Login

  

Learn more about getting online bill pay!
  

 

This web site is structured in compliance with the
Web Accessibility Initiative
of the
World Wide Web Consortium.
  

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Valid CSS!

  

 

An Emerging Maintenance Concern in the Water Industry

Robert White
 Rob White IV
South Alabama
Circuit Rider

meter cover

By: Rob White IV, Circuit Rider #3

My travels have afforded me the opportunity to witness firsthand an amazing trend in the water systems of rural Alabama. More and more systems are replacing their manual read meters with more advanced radio read metering technologies.

While these technologies are amazing, and I hope every system will soon have access to this wonderful technology, I am concerned about a problem arising from the simplicity in which the monthly tedium of reading each and every meter in your system can be accomplished. While manually reading meters is very time consuming and allows for a greater degree of error than its automatic counterpart, it does afford the water system's employees the opportunity to visit each and every meter in their system regularly, assuring that all service connections are in perfect order and allowing the employee to immediately issue any work orders for maintenance concerns. Given the complexity of operating a water system, I am concerned that once the necessity of visiting your water meters physically each month is removed, some basic and critical
maintenance requirements may be soon overlooked.

While radio read meters drastically improve a water system's ability to immediately address customer usage concerns as well as compile and maintain individual customer usage reports, they simply cannot replace having a trained eye audit the physical service connection on a periodic basis. The biggest concern would be that given enough time, ever-changing environmental situations could result in the loss of the knowledge of the location of the service connection! Also, as service professionals, we have an ongoing responsibility to ensure the safety of our customers and broken or missing meter box lids could result in customer injury and leave the system vulnerable to liability concerns. Another concern is that unchecked leaks on the system side of the service connection could result in the negation of any profits realized with more advanced and accurate meters.

I commend any water system who has taken the initiative to find the means to better serve their customers with more advanced technologies, but I urge these systems to stay vigilant in their operations. My greatest concern is that in moving forward, some
water systems might become complacent in an area that will result in an overall reduction in the quality of service to its customers. While new technologies will definitely offer improved customer service methods, time honored and proven maintenance programs should not be discarded completely. Visit your service connections regularly and insure that your new technology remains a benefit to your system's performance .•

Article first appeared in Waterline, Fall 2012

- More News -

 

  

 

Copyright © 1999-2018. Alabama Rural Water Association. All rights reserved.

Web site design and maintenance by TEAM Support, Inc.