Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 42

Residential Metering:

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Choosing the Meter That Best Meets the Changing
Needs of Your Rural Water System
BY DAN DEVANE, ZENNER USA

When choosing residential
meters for your rural water system, it is

important to recognize that not all types of
water meters work well in all environments.
There is no meter type that will handle
every water system's challenges. As water
systems age, repairs increase and scale
within service lines builds up and flakes off.
All of this debris eventually makes its way
into the water meter. With this in mind,
what may have seemed to be the meter for
your water utility 20 years ago may not be
the right fit to handle your system's needs
today. For that reason, it is important to
educate yourself with existing and new
meter technology to explore what meter
best fits, with regard to cost, durability
and your water system's current needs.
Chances are that a different type meter will
work best for you today verses the meters
you installed when your water system was
20 years newer.
Historically, water systems in the
U.S. have gravitated toward Positive
Displacement (PD) meters for residential
metering. This may not be the most
advantageous meter for your current water
conditions. When they were first introduced
into the U.S. market, the PD meter design
was the meter that most accurately read
water consumption for newly constructed
water systems being developed in rural
America. As a newer system equates to
fewer line repairs, durability was not an
issue since there were few instances of
damage to the meters from debris or water
particulate content in water lines introduced
by the repair process and water treatment.
Newer system means fewer repairs, which

means longer lasting positive displacement
meters. Today, rural water utilities, for
the most part, have stayed with meters
that do not do a good job of maintaining
accuracy due to infrastructure and water
quality that has declined over time with their
aging systems.
When thinking meter replacement, here
is a list of general observations that should

choice for use within the rural system that
may not have the manpower or financial
capability of the larger urban utility.
Solid state metering (mag meters
or ultrasonic meters): Solid state meters
are meters that read water electronically
by measuring flow of the electromagnetic
charge of the water as it passes through
the meter or use of measuring the speed

be considered when looking at residential
meter options:
Positive displacement metering:
This type of metering performs well within
newer water systems and when fed by
slow moving surface water. PD meters
rely on tight tolerances within the meter
chamber being maintained to accurately
read water consumption. Things that
adversely affect this meter are scale,
sand, high mineral content water supplies
and service line repairs. Unfortunately,
the rural water community is facing older
infrastructure that require a lot of repairs.
None of this bodes well for the utility that
wishes to stay with this type of meter.
Multijet metering: Multijets perform
well over a broad spectrum of situations.
Where they really excel is within the
system trying to balance a high level
of lifelong accuracy with long-term
durability. These meters offer impeccable
performance passing debris found in older
service lines. This correlates to performing
extremely well in systems that have older
infrastructure. This is because they read
the speed of the water as it passes through
the meter. They do not require the tight
tolerances of its positive displacement
cousins. This makes them an effective

of sound waves as they travel through the
meter. Both apply mathematical formulas
within the electronic package of the meter
to determine how much water is passing
through the meter and in which direction it
is flowing. These are relatively new forms
of metering to the rural system landscape.
There are questions concerning limited life,
overall cost, battery life, durability, long-term
accuracy and the cost-to-benefit ratio of
this class of meter. Currently, most of these
meters do not offer battery replacement,
which is the primary form of failure. Until
battery life is addressed through some form
of replacement, regardless of warranty, this
will continue being a major weakness with
solid state metering.

WHAT MAY HAVE SEEMED TO BE
THE METER FOR YOUR WATER UTILITY 20
YEARS AGO MAY NOT BE THE RIGHT FIT TO
HANDLE YOUR SYSTEM'S NEEDS TODAY.
42

SECOND QUARTER 2018

Conclusion
Beware: When reviewing metering
needs with your current or potential
supplier, remember to ask what types of
meters they represent. It should come
as no surprise if they try to focus your
attention towards their limited offerings,
regardless of the class of meter that
best meets the needs of your utility. If
this happens, do your own research and
consider a move to another meter vendor.
Always ask for their customers' references
with similar water systems. ●
Zenner is a global developer, manufacturer
and seller of metering and meter reading
products. They manufacture and sell
metering products in 93 countries globally
and offer every metering technology
available in the market today.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018

From the President
The 10 Steps of Crisis Communication
Florida Rural Water Association’s Rapid Response to Deadly Hurricane Irma
Texas Rural Water Association Provides Emergency Assistance to Systems Impacted by Hurricane Harvey
UTWARN: Rural Water Association of Utah’s Emergency Response System
NRWA Congratulates Senator Thad Cochran on His Retirement
Regulatory Update
A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Can You Hear the Crickets?
Up the Creek: A Unique Elixir
Residential Metering: Choosing the Meter That Best Meets the Changing Needs of Your Rural Water System
Index to Advertisers/Advertisers.com
From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Intro
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - bellyband1
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - bellyband2
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - cover1
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - cover2
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 3
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 4
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 5
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 6
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 7
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 8
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 9
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 10
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - From the President
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - The 10 Steps of Crisis Communication
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 13
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 14
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 15
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 16
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 17
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Florida Rural Water Association’s Rapid Response to Deadly Hurricane Irma
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 19
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 20
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 21
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 22
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 23
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Texas Rural Water Association Provides Emergency Assistance to Systems Impacted by Hurricane Harvey
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 25
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 26
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 27
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 28
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - UTWARN: Rural Water Association of Utah’s Emergency Response System
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 30
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 31
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 32
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - NRWA Congratulates Senator Thad Cochran on His Retirement
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Regulatory Update
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 35
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 36
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - A Day in the Life of a Circuit Rider
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 38
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Can You Hear the Crickets?
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 40
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Up the Creek: A Unique Elixir
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Residential Metering: Choosing the Meter That Best Meets the Changing Needs of Your Rural Water System
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 43
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - Index to Advertisers/Advertisers.com
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - 45
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - From the CEO
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - cover3
Rural Water - Quarter 2, 2018 - cover4
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