NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA — In a major step toward more accurate water bills, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) will begin negotiations with Aqua-Metric for the installation of a smart meter system for all customers. With almost three decades of experience serving the utility sector, Aqua-Metric has completed over 180 smart metering projects.
Smart metering is a reliable, proven technology used worldwide for several decades. The new system will collect customers’ water use information in real-time and send it directly to SWBNO’s billing system through secure radio signals. By ending the need to manually read approximately 140,000 water meters every month, the new system will eliminate the most common source of billing errors and routine bill estimation. The frequent readings will also empower customers with tools like early leak detection, high-use alerts, and personalized recommendations.
“We know our current system of reading meters – and sometimes estimating water use – has been frustrating for many customers,” said Ghassan Korban, SWBNO Executive Director. “Smart meter installation is the best solution, and we are looking forward to negotiating a great partnership with Aqua-Metric. We must ensure this multi-year program runs smoothly from the very outset to deliver technology that will empower our customers to make informed choices about their water use and better manage their bills.”
The smart meter installation will roll out in phases over the next three years. The first installations are expected by the end of 2022, with all existing meters replaced by 2025. Customers will be notified well in advance of meter replacement and infrastructure installation.
“Aqua-Metric is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Sewerage and Water Board. We look forward to supporting the utility’s modernization as it expands into smart metering,” said Aqua-Metric Territory Manager Gary Ragusa.
“SWBNO has been planning for this transformational project for years,” explained Grey Lewis, the utility’s Chief Financial Officer. “Initial funding will come from savings we captured by refinancing existing bonds, allowing us to speed up delivery and save our ratepayers money.”
The Smart Metering intiative covers many focus areas of the utility's newly released 5-year Strategic Plan: www.swbno.org/Projects/Planning