A modern, cost-effective AMR solution for a growing metropolis
Finding the process of taking manual readings from more than 1.2 million water meters in Manila increasingly problematic, the local water supplier, Maynilad, decided to install a reliable AMR system. Thanks to Diehl Metering’s drive-by solution, the company managed to reduce its NRW losses from 61% to 29%.
Until 2015, over 1.2 million water meters were read manually in Manila. Besides problems pinpointing the locations of the individual meters, other difficulties included the growing levels of congestion as well as heavy rainfall and flooding during monsoon season. Just 300 readings per day pushed manual reading to its limits.
Maynilad was in desperate need of a reliable automatic meter reading solution that would work effectively independent of the “human” factor – also with a view to combating tampering and transcription errors when recording handwritten reports.
An intelligent Diehl drive-by solution was implemented in 17 cities throughout the metropolitan region of Manila to help bring about a cost-effective system and make data communication fast and reliable.
The architecture is very simple: mobile radio receivers collect the signals transmitted by the water meters with a transmission frequency of 8 seconds. The data collected by the system is sent via a FTP server on a 3G or 4G network to the Maynilad accounting system, where it is stored and managed.
A public campaign consisting of TV programmes and roadshows was carried out to generate publicity and provide information about the first drive-by network in the Philippines. Maynilad also wrote to consumers to tell them how the technology works and inform them about the advantages it offers – particularly in terms of precise billing.
“In the past, our staff would need three days to read 900 meters without any guarantee that the readings were correct. Now we can read the same number of water meters in a matter of minutes – with a guarantee of error-free data.”Jhonegil C. Ascan, Metering Manager, Maynilad Water
Now that the solution has been successfully implemented, Maynilad can enjoy considerably quicker and easier access to consumption data, with precise data for the billing process guaranteed. The wide range of warning messages that can be issued after every reading cycle also allow any leaks or potential for water savings to be identified. Problems with the water distribution networks are shown in a precise visualisation, allowing Maynilad to make significant improvements to its customer service.
The savings are also considerable: While the expenditure for manually reading 20,000 meters was 1,230 USD, the costs have been reduced to 128 USD thanks to the new Diehl Metering drive-by solution. The high NRW losses (61%) have also been reduced by more than a half.
Up until 2015, all water meters in Manila had to be read manually.
The high volume of non-revenue water fell by more than a half between 2007 and 2017.
The company has achieved a ten-fold reduction in the original costs of manual readings.