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Canadian town enhances its water sustainability

Real-time data allows utility to work with customers over the phone and address issues around high usage

Canadian utility increases sustainability and improves worker safety with smart metering
Canadian utility increases sustainability and improves worker safety with smart metering

The town of Okotoks in Alberta, Canada, has upgraded its water infrastructure with the Sensus advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution.


Situated just south of Calgary, the town boasts one of the lowest per capita gross water consumption rates in North America: 50 litres per capita per day lower than the Canadian national average.


“Many of our meters were outdated,” said Chris Radford, infrastructure and operations director, Town of Okotoks. “We needed an upgrade and opted for a solution that would allow us to detect a normal water usage sooner, supporting water conservation efforts in real-time.”


To better manage and monitor its customers’ water consumption rates, Okotoks worked with EPCOR Water Services to deploy the Sensus advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solution. Comprised of Sensus iPERL water meters and the FlexNet communication network, the technology has enabled the town’s staff to gain a more accurate view of water consumption data for more than 8,400 residential and commercial properties.


“It provides more insight into water consumption trends,” said Radford. “The real-time data allows us to work with customers over the phone, pull up their information and address issues around high usage.”


For EPCOR technicians, the AMI solution provides added safety benefits.


“We no longer have technicians risking their safety when entering customers’ yards to read meters manually. Weather, especially icy walking conditions, dogs and even hidden obstacles, is always a safety concern for our meter readers,” said Darren Peel, manager, Okotoks operations at EPCOR.


Looking ahead, Okotoks has further plans for the AMI solution, including launching a portal to help customers take the future of the town’s water sustainability initiatives into their own hands.


“We’ve always been a pioneer in using leading-edge technology to aid our sustainability efforts,” said Radford. “We expect that our customer portal will keep us on the forefront of these efforts while empowering customers to become smarter consumers.”


Sensus helps a wide range of public service providers -- from utilities to cities to industrial complexes and campuses -- to enhance their infrastructure to improve quality of life in their communities. It is part of Xylem, the global water technology company.


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