GWI seeks to introduce ultrasonic meters

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Estimated bills and misinterpreted meter readings will soon be a thing of the past as the Guyana Water Incorporated seeks to roll out the use of the modernized ultrasonic meters.

A statement from the entity noted that GWI is currently testing the practicality of the meters by means of a three-month pilot project.  It was noted that during a recent meeting with representatives of Diehl Metering, the official manufacturers of the ultrasonic meters, Managing Director of GWI, Dr Richard Van West-Charles was updated on the success of the testing phase thus far.

According to the statement, GWI’s Head of Field Services, Sunildatt Barran informed those gathered at the meeting that the project has been successful to date, explaining that 120 meters have been installed for testing in Better Hope, La Bonne Intention and Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara and data is being collected for analysis.

“Everything has been successful to date. We’ve done both the drive-by and the fixed-wireless methods of reading, so information is continuously coming in and we’re going to use that data to do our analysis,” Mr Barran was quoted as saying the statement.

He indicated that the fixed-wireless method has since proven most effective, as it has the ability to read a wide range of meters at once.

This venture is expected to put GWI in a position to tackle non-revenue water (NRW) and achieve the plans outlined in its strategic plan. NRW is water that has been produced but for which the utility receives no revenue, including water consumed by the customer but not billed for, leaks or unauthorized consumption.

The Managing Director said a comparative analysis of customers’ historical data and that of the new meter, as well as of the length of time it takes to read; will show the benefits of the Ultra Sonic meter.

He noted that it is also expected to support the new billing system GWI will be implemented, thus allowing efficiency in the meter reading process.

According to Diehl Metering, among its advantages are large measuring range, measurement of water flow rather than air or any other mineral, it is equipped with an alarm system to detect vandalism, causes no sedimentation and detects leaks.

Diehl Metering, which is the Platinum sponsor of the 2017 CWWA Conference and Exhibition slated for later this month, caught the attention of Dr Van West-Charles, during last year’s edition event. Speaking to the Representative of Diehl, Dr Van West-Charles said, “I was impressed with the meter and immediately I asked you if you’d do a pilot in Guyana and you agreed. So the pilot has started…this means a lot for the financial viability of the company. The evidence is there that we have to meter about 100,000 of our customers; minimum.”

The testing phase for the meters is expected to last until December 2017, after which GWI and its Board of Directors will explore the feasibility of installing the Ultra Sonic meters among unmetered customers and those whose meters need replacing.

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