The town council of Mequinenza has implemented a remote meter reading system that puts the town at the forefront when it comes to smart water management. This town of 2,500 inhabitants is situated in the far east of the province of Zaragoza. The project represents a significant step forward in terms of monitoring the supply network, the service provided to citizens, and savings and sustainability. It has been carried out with the support and technology of Arson Metering.
The smart management system for water means that all of the meters in the municipality can be read automatically. In total there are 1180 meters, which collect data from up to 24 readings per day. This data is received by a control centre, where it is analysed and processed, and used to detect anomalies or irregularities, via alerts. This way, not only are they able to precisely measure consumption, but they receive warnings about any evidence of leaks, backflow, and other anomalies It also allows for a social benefit, through the use of alerts about anomalous absences of consumption at addresses where people with mobility problems live alone. Within the municipality, information is issued about these alerts and incidents very proactively through WhatsApp groups created for that purpose.
With this smart water management system, leaks have been detected in 7% of the households in Mequinenza, which were able to be repaired after the alert from the council. Bearing in mind that a leak can mean a loss of between 80 and 90m3 of water per year, this detection means savings of over 7,000m3 of water per year in the municipality. Thanks to the system we were also able to detect a breakage in a pipe, that was able to be fixed. Furthermore, awareness and commitment to sustainability has increased.
As a result, the inhabitants of Mequinenza have better control over their water consumption, they avoid the costs of undetected leaks, and the whole town saves water resources. The analysis and processing of the data is carried out from a web platform hosted by Arson Metering which allows the team at the council to make decisions in order to manage the supply network more efficiently.
“With smart management of water, the whole town benefits”, states Magdalena Godia Ibarz, mayor of the town. “We were certain from the start that it was going to be a significant step forward in terms of sustainability and better public service”.
The implementation of smart water management in Mequinenza
The project was undertaken in three phases. Firstly, a pilot test was carried out on 11 meters in the town, with very good results, which led the council to decide to roll out the system in two successive installation phases, after first exchanging all of the meters for smart meters.
The remote meter reading system installed is the AquaCity system, which can read any type of meter. It consists of software and fixed network equipment that send the data in a reliable and robust way from the meter to the Data Control Centre. In Mequinenza, 73 pieces of equipment were installed (known as “gotas”), which collect information from 1180 meters, and two interconnection gateways. The equipment is very discreet, since it totally blends in with the urban environment.
The team at Arson Metering has supported the council throughout the process with a comprehensive service. The starting point was a study on needs and coverage where the axes of the remote meter reading system were established. In order to roll out the equipment in the first phase, the team trained and provided support to the installation engineers of the town, and after that assisted them remotely, using the AquaCityGPS app to geolocate all of the meters. They also worked together with the team in charge of managing the system, to configure the alerts, the analysis of the information, and the appropriate monitoring for all of the parameters.
The town council of Mequinenza also has the support of Arson Metering’s Data Control Centre, where they audit the installations on a daily basis to ensure their correct functioning, and they analyse the data to produce reports on water balances, comparisons and other reports aimed at increasing efficiency and making savings in the water network.