What is in Your Drinking Water?

After the Flint Michigan water crisis, local municipalities are seeing the growing concern from their citizens for safe drinking water. While local governments make sure to test their water on a regular basis, it is tested from the source before traveling a long way through the pipes to reach your home. Depending on the age and infrastructure of the pipes, the water quality could easily vary from house to house even though the homes are in the same town and receiving water from the same source.

In 2016, a company named Tern Water was started by two Drexel University students, who developed an at home water testing kit for citizens and communities to learn about the quality of their drinking water, and demand access to clean and sustainable water. Tern Water’s “Know Your Water” testkit only cost $20. The kit includes a Tern Capsule that is filled with your home’s water. Once the water sample is returned to Tern Water, a quantitative lab-certified testing procedure is completed and a detailed report of the water sample results is shared with the customer. This includes the PH levels, Total Dissolved Solids, Chloride, Chlorine, Fluoride, Lead and Chromium.
I was able to talk with Mohamed Zerban about his company and the development of Tern Water. Zerban used to work for a municipal water department. During this time, he saw the need to offer better services to customers who questioned the quality of their drinking water, and the ability to effectively provide the answers. Zerban said their kits are used all over the country and that “some consumers are confident in their water and get surprised when they get their results back. It helps give consumers real clarity about their drinking water.”

After talking with Zerban, I thought it would be interesting to test the water from the water fountain at our company office. I know that we have all used the water fountain to refill our water bottles throughout the day, and thought it would be fun to get the results back. We filled the capsule with water and mailed the sample back to Tern Water. A few weeks later, we received the results and were very surprised! All of our levels returned in the safe category, except for the Fluoride! It was at 6.7 ppm as compared to the Health Standard’s Safe Level of 1.5 ppm.
Fluoride can occur naturally in drinking water from the geological composition of soils and bedrock. Community water systems are required by the EPA to keep levels of fluoride less than 4.0 mg/L. Our water sample indicates a high level of Fluoride. According to the EPA, the effects of high fluoride in drinking water can impact children aged eight and younger while their teeth are developing. This exposure can cause pits to develop in the enamel of their teeth. For adults with excessive consumption of fluoride over a lifetime, they may have an increased likelihood of bone fractures.

It was eye-opening to get the results back from our office water fountain. Thank you to Tern Water for providing a product that allows people to seek answers on the safety of their drinking water and for empowering communities to demand quality water. If you are interested in testing your water, please visit Tern Water HERE.

MeterSYS Participates in Value of Water Campaign

Today is the third annual Imagine a Day Without Water, a nationwide event of education and advocacy about the value of water. Led by the Value of Water Campaign, the goal is to raise awareness about the crucial need for investment in America’s water infrastructure to ensure everyone has safe and reliable water.

I don’t want to imagine having to live without easy access to clean drinking water. I am proud to work for MeterSYS, a company that aims to improve the sustainability and efficiency of our public water utilities. We have a responsibility to be conscientious users of this precious resource and must rise to the challenge of being good stewards of our inherited and rapidly aging infrastructure that treats, stores, and distributes it. As I think of a world without water, I vacillate between the hardships it would create (honest disclosure, my first thought was no coffee!!) and the optimism that there are entirely too many intelligent and motivated individuals focused on preventing this, my colleagues at MeterSYS included, for this to happen.

Please join me and MeterSYS in supporting the Value of Water campaign to Imagine a Day Without Water. I believe that everyone deserves reliable, affordable, clean water and I promise to continue to work to make imagining a world without that only a thought exercise and not a reality.

Written by: Lauren Brown, Director of Client Services

MeterSYS Runs in the GloablRun4Water 5k

Sunday, September 24th, the Rotary District 7710 held their 6th annual GlobalRun4Water 5k and 1-mile Water-Carry Competition.  The event was held at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. Over the past six years, the race has raised over $70,000 which has funded water sanitation projects in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Lebanon, Bolivia, Uganda, Haiti, Peru, Guatemala, Tanzania, and Flint, Michigan.

Rotary District 7710’s mission is to build and provide sustainable access to clean drinking water and improve sanitation conditions to people around the world. The Rotary group also concentrates on raising awareness of the many places in the world that don’t have clean water to drink and aims to position the Rotary to be a major player in providing water wells, filters, and education on sanitation and hygiene to people in need around the world.

Members of the MeterSYS team came out to support the annual GlobalRun4Water 5k and had a great time on the course! Water is a precious resource, and while MeterSYS focuses on improving infrastructure and operations of water utilities in the US, we also feel it is important to support to groups like Rotary International that seek to address the issues of clean water availability and sustainability in areas around the world.

This year the race had 177 participants and is expected to raise over $10,500! Congratulations to the Rotary Club on a successful fundraiser and thanks again for providing a fun way to support a good cause!

Combatting Wasted Water: How Smart Water Meters Help Us Conserve

Some of us have very busy lives from the time the alarm goes off in the morning until the sun sets on our commute back to home. After a long day, what is one of those things that we look forward to doing? Taking a shower.

As we all enjoy our showers, the last thing on our mind is how much water we’re using. Let alone, how much water we’re losing every single day. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 1 trillion gallons of water is wasted annually nationwide due to household leaks either inside your home from dripping faucets and leaking toilets or outside your home from aging infrastructure and leaking pipes.

So, how can we detect leaks? Luckily for us, “smart” water meters and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) are capable of generating an abundant amount of real-time water consumption data that can be leveraged by the utility to identify leaks and much more. Unlike more traditional methods of meter reading, such as walking up to a digital meter to visually record a reading or driving by house-to-house to collect a read packet, AMI uses a cellular or fixed communication network to transmit these reads to the utility’s central data management system. Now, utilities are equipped with vital data that they can analyze for outstanding water usage behavior. For instance, utilities can trend daily water consumption to identify unusual spikes in water usage before more water is wasted. Through early leak detection, the utility can repair leaks before it becomes an expensive line item in their capital improvement plan and save thousands of dollars in non-revenue water loss to the utility. It can also prevent unnecessarily high-bill charges to the customer, help reduce wasted water, and conserve the water supply.

Thanks to water experts and utilities working innovatively to combat water loss through smart meters and AMI, we are provided the opportunity to be more water conscious by saving water and our money, instead of wasting water and watching our money go down the drain.

Written by: Lisa Nguyen, MeterSYS Consulting Analyst 

Clean Water With the Shake of a Bottle

 

With today’s smart technology we are seeing our simple everyday items recreated into something we never thought possible. From our smart phones, to our smart cars, even our smart homes which are able to listen to any command and follow through by adjusting our thermostat and unlocking doors. Now even our simple everyday items are starting to communicate back to us to help keep us healthy.

These new smart water bottles are in high demand. There are different versions of smart water bottles which features range from having alarms to remind you to drink eight glasses every day, to CamelBak’s All Clear water bottle which uses UV technology to help purify unsafe water in just 60 seconds, to a more complex water bottle that is able to communicate back to you what is in the water, filtrate it and make it ready to drink.

The Ecomo water bottle is able to be filled with water from anywhere, your home sink, public fountain, even a lake. You then activate the testing by shaking the bottle, once it has been purified a green light and the word “Good” shows up. If the water needs more done to make it potable a simple twist at the base of the water bottle helps reduce bacteria, pesticides, and heavy metals by up to 99.9 percent. The smart water bottle is able to detect traces of total organic carbon, total dissolved solids, turbidity and the even the water temperature. The Ecomo Bottle runs on batteries that are able to be recharged, along with replacement filters. The water bottle syncs to your phone to help you achieve your daily hydration goals.

The global smart water bottle market is expected to grow 15% by 2024. From the high tech water bottles like Ecomo, to UV technology our simple everyday items are making it easier to reach our goals, even if it is just to drink your eight glasses a day.

Smart Water Management and Open Data

Smart Water Management and Open Data Article from OpenDataSoft

Lauren Brown, Director of Client Services at MeterSYS was recently interviewed by OpenDataSoft and discusses the importance for receiving leak alerts and other issues in real-time from smart metering systems.  “We serve public utilities exclusively, and are able to serve as a trusted advisor and augment internal staff resources. We help utilities through every phase of smart metering, including evaluation and feasibility analysis, RFP creation and vendor negations, installation project management, all the way through post-installation support.”

To read the full article from OpenDataSoft click HERE

MeterSYS and WaterSmart Software announce a strategic partnership

 

Customer engagement and analytics platform provides superior customer service and enhanced data intelligence

 

 

MeterSYS, a metering technology company that serves public utilities, and WaterSmart Software, the technology pioneer in customer engagement and meter data intelligence for water utilities, are excited to announce the formation of a strategic partnership.

 

The partnership between MeterSYS and WaterSmart delivers actionable intelligence to utility staff that helps reduce real costs to serve customers while at the same time improving the service and satisfaction of utility customers. Consumers can track hourly and daily water usage, self-identify and resolve leaks, understand where water is used, compare their use to similar customers, view and pay their bill, and set water use and bill alerts. Utility personnel are provided with automated analysis and targeted digital outreach to reduce customer service costs associated with inbound calls and field visits. MeterSYS utility clients get more insightful information from their advanced meter data, gain greater insight into their system, identify apparent losses, and better manage customer communications.

 

“In building out our distribution network, we look for innovative and proactive partnerships,” said John Sala, Business Development Manager at WaterSmart. “MeterSYS is an emerging leader in the third-party management of public water systems and represents an exciting opportunity to help us continue to grow our national footprint of utility customers.”

 

As part of the partnership MeterSYS will be reselling the WaterSmart platform while helping inform new capabilities that allow for improved analytics, enhanced customer self-service, and real time data intelligence. Utility investments in Advanced Metering Infrastructure reduce data collection costs and offer real-time leak detection and other alerts to consumers. WaterSmart helps provide a seamless transition from manual to AMI meter data through an integrated suite of data presentment and analytic tools.

 

“Through our strategic partnership with WaterSmart, our clients have more options for how meter data can provide greater operational intelligence and end user engagement,” said Andy Honeycutt, Managing Director at MeterSYS. “The power of the WaterSmart customer portal and meter data intelligence platform is now affordable to both large and small water utilities.  We are proud to continue growing our partnerships with outstanding companies like WaterSmart.”

 

About WaterSmart:

WaterSmart Software provides intelligence beyond the meter to make the lives of water utility managers easier. Water providers using WaterSmart’s cloud-based, customer engagement and analytics platform have been proven to reduce costs, protect revenue, and increase customer satisfaction by more than 25%. WaterSmart recently won the globally coveted World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers Award for their potential to “significantly impact business and society through the design, development and implementation of new technologies and innovation.” Come help us change the way the world uses water.

 

About MeterSYS:

MeterSYS is a Raleigh, North Carolina based meter technology consulting firm that provides a full range of services to public utilities, including feasibility analysis, procurement services, project management, Meter Data Management services, and business process improvement.  Through the MeterSYS Metering as a Service®, utilities have alternatives to traditional capital infrastructure projects by participating in the company’s signature metering outsourcing program solutions.

 

 

 

MeterSYS and OpenDataSoft Announce a Strategic Partnership

 

A unique, industry-leading platform that improves performance management for utilities

MeterSYS, a metering technology services company that works for public utilities, and OpenDataSoft, a dynamic software platform that specializes in making data open, transparent, and actionable, are excited to announce a strategic partnership.

The partnership between MeterSYS and OpenDataSoft provides a unique and industry-leading platform for MeterSYS clients that enables customized advanced analytics displayed in intuitive infographics with the goal of improving performance management for utilities across key indicators and business functions.
This innovative new platform created exclusively for utility information management will allow MeterSYS clients to get more out of their advanced meter data and gain greater insight into their system, increase operational efficiencies, and improve utility customer service.
The OpenDataSoft platform will allow MeterSYS to aggregate and process data from multiple sources, compile unique data sets, and turn them into stand-alone Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) with the ability to integrate with other third-party software.

“The OpenDataSoft platform is built to acquire, combine, analyze and disseminate the many different data streams critical to modern infrastructure management. When that platform is leveraged by the deep domain expertise of MeterSYS, our mutual customers will benefit from a leading-edge solution that delivers unique insights and value”, declared Roger Hodskins, VP of Strategic Alliances at OpenDataSoft.

Background Information

MeterSYS is working with OpenDataSoft to develop a platform that will be complementary to a utility’s Metering Data Management System (MDMS). This platform will allow for more detailed analytics, customized infographics, and curated data stories that will use the raw data from the MDMS. For the first time, MDMS data can be analyzed and displayed in a way that will inform key management features and allow for data-driven decision making across all functional areas of utility management. This functionality opens these data even to those mostly traditionally excluded from accessing the MDMS, like finance and customer service.

“The ability for MeterSYS to provide sub-domains and “right-size” the user experience through layered accessibility and licensing allows us to scale our services, while also benefiting from the industry-leading privacy controls within the OpenDataSoft platform, which provide a critical level of security and performance for our clients” said Andy Honeycutt, Managing Director at MeterSYS.

About OpenDataSoft:
OpenDataSoft enables any local or national government or agency to become more transparent and accountable to citizens and consumers. Its second-generation open data platform is fast to ramp-up and intuitive to use, and transforms data into services without requiring technical expertise.
Headquartered in Boston, MA and Paris, France, OpenDataSoft already powers open data portals for many municipalities and agencies worldwide – including the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the City of Paris, the Ministry of Health in Portugal and the Swiss National Railways. For more information, visit www.opendatasoft.com or follow company news on Twitter via @opendatasoft

About MeterSYS:
MeterSYS is a Raleigh, North Carolina based meter technology consulting firm that provides a full range of services to public utilities, including feasibility analysis, procurement services, project management, Meter Data Management services, and business process improvement. Our company is uniquely positioned to partner with public utilities to provide sustained operational efficiencies, enhanced customer service, and natural resource conservation through advanced metering technologies. For more information, visit www.metersys.com or follow company news on Twitter via @MeterSYS

MeterSYS and Mueller Systems Sign Cooperative Agreement

MeterSYS and Mueller Systems Sign Cooperative Agreement

August 31, 2016- MeterSYS is pleased to announce the signing of a cooperative agreement with Mueller Systems, a leader in smart metering solutions. This strategic partnership expands the company’s portfolio of smart metering companies across the United States. The cooperative relationship between MeterSYS and Mueller Systems is designed to advance smart metering technology for public water systems through coordinated efforts for project planning, understanding research and development progress and educating utility employees. It provides a direct information channel between the manufacturer and MeterSYS and gives utilities broad exposure to leading AMR and AMI technologies. The partnership supports our continuing goal be the best resource for relevant smart metering technology designed specifically for public utilities.
Mueller Systems is a Mueller Technologies company and a subsidiary of Mueller Water Products, Inc., a leading manufacturer and marketer of products and services used in the transmission, distribution and measurement of water in North America. For more information on Mueller Systems, please visit www.muellersystems.com.
About MeterSYS
We work each day to be a leading implementation resource for smart metering technologies while maintaining our neutrality to the vendor and design solution. MeterSYS works with established advanced metering companies to help utilities make effective decisions about their meter technology investments. For more information about how we may help you strengthen innovation of metering and utility billing or to learn more about our Metering as a Service® programs, please visit our website at www.MeterSYS.com.

 

Building Stronger Utilities One Putt at a Time

Across the country, institutions of higher learning are developing new leadership for the many public sector and public utility jobs that will need to be filled as we begin to see 10,000 people per day leaving the workforce for retirement with 48% of all organizational supervisors eligible to retire.  With this major shift in the demographics of the public sector workforce, universities like Appalachian State are cultivating a strong group of emerging leaders through its Public Administration program for under-graduate and graduate studies.  Long considered the leader in North Carolina for placement of local government leadership, many other universities across the region have adopted similar programs to the App State model in order to develop the local, state, and federal leadership for the next generation.

Similarly to the App State Public Administration program, the Town of Troy in North Carolina has adopted a similar philosophy of dedicated support and training of young public administration professionals.  For over 30 years, the Town has supported public administration internships to provide students practical experience in local government and utility operations.  Mayor Roy Maness has been at the helm of the program from the beginning as he does today and has given over 60 local government and utility professionals their career a starting place for success.

As a proud member of the ASU Local Government Alumni Association and a former Town of Troy intern, it is my pleasure to support the Roy Maness Scholarship Golf Tournament which raises sustaining funds for Public Administration students to continue their education.  Thanks Mayor Maness and the Town of Troy for your efforts to enhance the quality of public sector professionals for over three decades.

Making the putt at the 18th.

Making the putt at the 18th.