Press Releases

Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans Progresses Toward More Accurate Bills, Finalizes Contract with Smart Meter Vendor

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 14 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA — To modernize the way the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) tracks water use, the utility’s Board of Directors approved a final contract with Aqua-Metric to oversee the installation of a Sensus smart water metering system for all customers. With the contract in place, Aqua-Metric will begin work on the system’s wireless communication infrastructure. Phased installation of approximately 140,000 smart meters will begin in the summer of 2023, with completion anticipated by the end of 2026.

The new meters will use Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) — a reliable, proven technology — to digitally measure water use at customer homes and businesses. The system will securely send the consumption data to SWBNO's billing system via radio waves. By ending the need to manually read almost 140,000 water meters every month, smart metering will nearly eliminate inaccurate and estimated bills.

The technology will also allow customers to manage their accounts online. New options will include unusual water use and possible leak notifications, access to near real-time water use readings, and other tools to actively manage water expenses.

"Since I joined this utility, making smart water metering a reality for New Orleans has been a priority," said Ghassan Korban, SWBNO Executive Director. "This technology modernization will revolutionize our operations. It will provide accurate water use data to improve how we serve our customers. Just as important, the system will give customers more control over their accounts, water use, and bills."

"As the Board President, I'm proud to see this smart metering project officially underway," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "Today’s progress demonstrates how we are fulfilling my administration's commitment to delivering results for our community and meeting them where they are. This much-needed investment will bring the SWBNO’s metering practices into the 21st century and give our people the enhanced City services and improved quality of life they deserve."

"Over nearly three decades, Aqua-Metric has successfully completed more than 180 smart metering projects," said Aqua-Metric Territory Manager Gary Ragusa. "We recognize the importance of this infrastructure for the people of New Orleans, and we are proud to partner with the City and Sewerage and Water Board in delivering it."

Aqua-Metric will install Sensus smart meters produced by Xylem.

“Utilities that recognize the power of smart digital solutions will make well-informed decisions for operations, maintenance, and planning,” said Mike McGann, Xylem Vice President North America Utilities Commercial team. “With the right data, SWBNO is making their system smarter, safer, and more sustainable while empowering their residential and business customers to better understand and track water usage.”

EMP, an experienced New Orleans-based firm, will install the smart meters.

“EMP is grateful for the opportunity to support Aqua-Metric and the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans in the installation of smart metering infrastructure," said E.J. Perrilloux, Jr. CEO of EMP. "As a local firm, it's great to make a difference in our own backyard."

The smart metering initiative covers many focus areas of the utility's Five-Year Strategic Plan, released earlier this year: www.swbno.org/Projects/Planning. The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans is excited about the investments we are making to modernize our systems and make them more resilient.

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