Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Deryck A. Gibson to supply 50,000 water meters to NWC

Published:Sunday | November 29, 2015 | 11:00 AM
Deryck A. Gibson (front right) and Minister of Water Robert Pickersgill (centre), flanked by other officials following the signing of a contract to supply 50,000 smart meters to the National Water Commission.

By next month Jamaicans should start to benefit from digital, "smart" water meters to replace older mechanical ones.

The local firm, Deryck A. Gibson has won the contract to supply 50,000 smart meters to the National Water Commission (NWC). These meters, manufactured by Diehl Metering of Germany, will start to arrive as early as December this year. Installation will begin almost immediately after.

Consumers will benefit from the state of the art, sealed, solid state electronic meters as soon as they are installed.

Compared to the older mechanical type meters offer greater utility for the NWC and consumers and are more accurate, even under low flow conditions. They can register low flow and reverse flow through the pipes; conditions which frequently exists here. The benefits of having these smart meters installed create more reliability for the consumer.

 

Easy to read

 

Costs savings will also arise from the ease with which the meters can be read. They have large LCD digital read out displays. Also, via radio frequency (RF) signals which will transmit readings every eight to fifteen seconds.

Transmissions can be read by hand-held devices, eliminating the need for each meter to be physically monitored. Readings for an entire neighbourhood or area can be gathered and captured by a simple drive through using the data capturing devices

In a pilot project, set up in Long Mountain, St Andrew, a single RF tower was erected to allow for the data to be read and transmitted directly back to a central monitoring station. Proprietary software is then used to record, analyse and provide insight into water usage patterns and leak detection.

After years of evaluation and testing, the NWC chose these meters for several reasons including the relatively low costs and shorter payback period and the accuracy and standards compliance.

The meters have also had successful sales and operation in Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean.

The initial contract is for 50,000 meters which will cover the greater part of Kingston. Subsequent purchases and installations are planned to complete the transformation of the Kingston Metropolitan Region and begin installations in other parishes across the island.

In all, the NWC has plans to purchase additional water meters to upgrade their network and it capabilities.