Madison Water Utility completes Project H2O installation contract under budget

January 8, 2014

Madison, WI – January 8, 2014 – After more than a year of door-to-door installations across the city, Madison Water Utility is pleased to announce that  some 65,600 homes and businesses have now transitioned to the new Project H2O Advanced Metering Infrastructure system. The finished installations mean that we have completed our contract with prime project contractor, Itron, Inc., at about $100,000 under budget.
 
Project H2O was a major infrastructure overhaul for Madison, the impacts of which are already being felt. The system allows us to operate more efficiently by remotely accessing and analyzing meter data. It’s also a key component of our water conservation initiatives, giving us better consumption information and improved leak detection on both the customer side and in the distribution system.
 
Catching leaks
 
In 2011, about 76 million gallons of water were lost to consumer leaks, but because of Project H2O, that’s changing. So far, our customer service employees have sent out more than a thousand “continuous use” letters notifying customers of major home water leaks that have been detected by the new system. And they’ve gotten plenty of thanks in return.
 
Tim Morrissey, a customer in the Town of Madison, contacted us after a letter helped him catch a leak coming from a broken toilet.

"An old rubber gasket just gave way. It wasn't like you could hear it,” he says. “We sure saved a lot by catching it so quickly."

Jim Frymark reached out after we detected a leak at one of his rental properties on Madison’s west side.
 
“Project H20 alerted me to a major leak that was causing the loss of thousands of gallons of water at a considerable expense,” says Frymark. “I am really impressed with the new metering system and how you were able to note it in your facility and notify me.”
 
More benefits to come
 
Leak detection letters are just the beginning. Soon, Madison Water Utility customers will be able to track their own daily – or even hourly – water usage online through our website, madisonwater.org. Over the next several months, we will be phasing in a new online tool that uses detailed data provided by the Project H2O system to give customers the information they need to monitor their own conservation efforts. Customers will even have the option to be alerted when usage goes over a specific number of gallons or dollar amount that they have chosen.
 
The improved meter-reading efficiency brought by Project H2O will also allow Madison Water Utility to transition from billing every six months to monthly billing. We are currently working with the Treasurer’s Office to transition all elements of the Municipal Services Bill to monthly billing, which not only includes water charges, but also sewer, storm water, landfill and fire protection fees. We hope to move to a monthly Municipal Services Bill by mid-2014.
 

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