THE PROBLEM: NON-REVENUE WATER
Every water system has to cope with non-revenue water. Main leaks, theft, tank overflows and unmeasured flow through water meters all contribute to a system's non-revenue water problem. According to the American Water Works Association (AWWA), 14% of indoor household usage in North America can be attributed to leaks. As residential water meters aren't designed to register low-flows such as leaks and drips, much of this usage goes un-metered and un-billed. This type of non-revenue water is called "apparent loss" and is valued at the retail water rate. For systems in which waste water is also billed based on water consumption, this apparent loss is valued at the retail rate for water and waste water combined. Apparent losses through residential water meters can add up to millions of dollars annually in non-revenue water and sewer.
THE SOLUTION: UNMEASURED-FLOW REDUCER (UFR)
The UFR captures this low-flow water and forces it through the meter in a way that causes nearly every drop to be registered. Apparent losses are reduced and customers are held accountable for their actual usage.
HOW THE UFR WORKS
The UFR works by changing the way water flows through the meter at low flow rates. At low flow rates there is not enough energy in the flow to activate the water meter. With the UFR installed, the low, linear flows are divided into batches that are forced through the meter at a higher flow rate. These higher flows can now be registered by the water meter, reducing apparent losses and increasing revenue.
At normal household flow rates, the UFR is fully open, allowing water to flow normally with minimal head loss. As flow is reduced, the UFR returns to its operation of batching the water flow.
UFR installations can increase the measurement of billable water between as much as five and ten percent. Customers are held accountable for their actual usage and the system's apparent losses are reduced considerably. Customers that are held accountable for their usage are more likely to fix leaks and conserve our most precious resource, clean water.
- UFR Print Catalog Section (PDF)
- UFR Meter Setter & Resetter Model Number Adders (PDF)
- UFR Marketing White Paper (PDF)
- UFR Revenue Calculator (EXCEL)
- UFR Sample Specification (PDF)
- UFR Sample Specification (WORD)
- UFR Comparison Pilot Guidelines (PDF)
- UFR Call Report (EXCEL)
Technical Papers, Articles and Links
- Unmeasured-Flow Reducer (UFR) Testing
- City of Dubuque - "Smart Metering" Leak Detection System (PDF)
- Watts Bar Utility District UFR Testimonial (PDF)
- Leveraging Technology to Optimize Customer Service – from UtilityII.com
- IBM Research - Smart Water Pilot Study - Dubuque (PDF)
- Average Indoor Water Use Report (PDF)
- Trials to Quantify and Reduce in-situ Meter Under-Registration (PDF)
- Reduction of Apparent losses Using the UFR - Foreign Case Studies (PDF)
- IBM and Dubuque, Iowa Partner on Smarter City Initiative - Reuters
- IBM Sets Out to Make a City in Iowa 'Smarter' - New York Times
- AWWA Water Loss Control Website
- Testing the UFR on Test Benches (PDF)