SFPUC Chooses Aclara System for Leak Detection

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will begin citywide installation of the Aclara STAR® Network system in early 2010.

The SFPUC, with 170,000 retail customer accounts, will be the first major California water utility to install Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology to track water consumption.

The STAR Network system is configurable to meet the requirements of any size city, employing low-frequency radio signals to transmit meter readings on a schedule determined by the utility.

The new system will send hourly consumption data to the SFPUC four times daily. Currently, most residential water meters in San Francisco are read once every two months and commercial meters are read monthly, with meter readers required to individually visit and read each meter manually.

“Our Aclara fixed-network AMI system will give the SFPUC and its customers more frequent and reliable information about their water consumption,” said Gary Moore, president of Aclara RF Systems Inc. “Our proven technology, successfully installed and operating in large cities like New York, Washington, D.C. and Boston, will be a powerful tool to preserve sustainable water resources and help San Franciscans conserve water and combat future droughts.”

Data from the STAR Network system will allow SFPUC staff to immediately flag surges in water consumption and detect possible leaks. Eventually, customers will be able to log on to their own accounts with the SFPUC to monitor their own water consumption habits and billing.

“With California facing long-term threats to our water supplies and natural resources from climate change and population growth, literally every drop of water counts,” said SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington. “Automated meters will give the SFPUC and our customers more accurate information about water consumption that will help us detect leaks faster and conserve more.”

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