As mentioned in a previous post, Foxcroft assisted in providing a water meter test bench to the City of Ambato, Ecuador last September.
In January of 2012 we and representatives of the MARS Company, the test bench manufacturer, were pleased to visit and provide start up assistance for the system delivered just after Christmas.
The process started when officials with EP-EMAPA, the Municipal Drinking Water and Wastewater Company of Ambato, estimated the city was losing about $1 million dollars per year in drinking water revenue between meter tampering and inaccurate water meters.
Management decided the first step was to address the most widespread issue, questionable meter accuracy. Rather than continue past practices, he believed the city would be best served by conducting its own meter testing and upgrading to the latest technology built to meet AWWA recommendations and NIST Handbook 44 specifications.
Electro-Mechanical Systems Engineer Max Pico chose the MARS Model 5-1000, an automatic double row bench that can test up to (10) meters 5/8" through 1" in one row, and up to (5) 1-1/2" through 2" meters in the second row with 1/10 of 1% repeatable accuracy using the gravimetric method. The system included a 500 gallon stainless steel tank and a 10 gal / 100 gallon duplex stainless steel tank. The system was provided and installed by our partner Amimechanical S.A of Quito, Ecuador.
Engineer Max Pico, left, at the MARS Co. computer control panel with a plant operator.
The test bench, which is compliant with ISO 4064 specifications, will help the city recover revenue lost to inaccurate water meters. In addition to testing the performance of their existing and newly purchased water meters, the bench will also provide valuable data to help evaluate future meter purchases.
Mars Co. president Floyd Salser with the MARS Model 5-1000 test bench in Ambato Ecuador
Since these test systems often pay for themselves in less than one year, we're looking forward to updates on how the test bench is contributing to their meter management program.