Oregon Expands Sustainability Program with Sensus Smart Grid for Water Technologies

  • Posted on: 27 August 2011
  • By: chw staff

The City of Gresham, Oregon has deployed Sensus’ AquaSense intelligent water management technologies to promote sustainability and boost operational efficiency. The AquaSense solution unites a two-way communications network with advanced meters, software and services to enable Gresham and its customers to better manage water resources. Gresham completed installation of the AquaSense system, including the Sensus FlexNet communications network and 16,000 SRII residential water meters, in November 2010 and is now expanding the deployment to serve its commercial water customers.

Gresham, a sustainability-focused community located near Portland, is one of the first large water utilities in Oregon to install a tower-based advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system. The city aims to improve its operational efficiency and lower its carbon footprint by providing real-time data to customers and reducing truck rolls. Following the installation of approximately 400 Sensus OMNI™ commercial water meters, Gresham will be well on its way to delivering an intelligent water management system for all its customers.

"The City realized that by installing a fixed-base communications network, greater efficiency in data acquisition and opportunity for customer access and use could be achieved," said Brian Stahl, Water Division Manager for the City of Gresham. "Intelligent water management furthers the culture of sustainability fostered by Gresham by reducing our carbon footprint and enhancing our stewardship of precious resources."

Gresham officials sought an AMI communications provider that could offer a solution with minimal infrastructure that would work reliably over the hilly terrain of its service area. Officials chose the Sensus FlexNet system because it offers the highest transmitting power with a minimum number of towers, and because the network communicates via dedicated licensed frequency for greater transmission reliability. AquaSense intelligent software also helps turn data into knowledge for billing, operations and overall utility management. It allows utilities like Gresham to give its customers valuable information on how to manage their water consumption.

“The City of Gresham is committed to sustainability through green initiatives such as pursuing opportunities to be better environmental stewards, a value Sensus shares and embodies through our AquaSense intelligent water management solution,” said Mike Tracy, executive vice president for Sensus North America.

The project was funded in part by a grant awarded through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) and a separate grant from the state of Oregon Infrastructure Finance Authority, in addition to capital funds already allocated for a meter replacement program. The city estimates a full return on the $4 million program within seven to ten years.