STEVEN M.

MORLEY
CITY OF ELMHURST MAYOR
PATTY SPENCER
CITY CLERK
209 NORTH YORK STREET
ELAINE LIBOVICZ
ELMHURST, ILLINOIS 60126-2759 CITY TREASURER
JAMES A. GRABOWSKI
(630} 530-3000
CITY MANAGER
www.elmhurst.org
July 17th, 2017

To: Mayor Morley and Members of the City Council

RE: Water Meter Replacement and Fixed Base Meter Reading System with Leak Detection

July 10th, 2017, the Public Works and Building Committee met to discuss infrastructure projects
that would lead to a decrease in Unaccounted for Water (UFW) within the City of Elmhurst's
Water system . As discussed in multiple meetings prior, the goal is to decrease the City's current
UFW from 18% to below 10% by September 2019. In order to do so, two projects were
discussed to reach this goal. The first is to replace all potable water meters in the system and
the second is to incorporate an on-line water main leak detection system.

Lost potable water stemming from aging meters and leaky water main infrastructure is a waste
of taxpayer dollars and the commodity itself. The magnitude of UFW losses is considerable both
at the national level and within the metropolitan Chicago region . Lost potable water is of
particular concern in the Chicago region given the rules that govern the use of Lake Michigan
water and the terms of the Great Lake Compact with its emphasis on conservation and
efficiency. Illinois Department of Natural Resources who manages the Lake Michigan Allocation
has set a maximum limit of 10% UFW to be met by September 2019 for participants in the
Illinois Lake water allocation.

The projects recommended are estimated to increase revenues in year one by over $500,000
annually while lowering net operating cost by nearly $125,000 annually for the next 20 years.
The increase in revenue is the ability of the new water meters to record more accurately at
lower flows than current potable water meters. The decrease in operating cost comes from leak
detection savings by finding and fixing small leaks before they surface and become large leaks.
These repairs are expected to be scheduled/planned repairs so intangible savings may occur in
overtime, electrical pumping cost, chemical cost, and repair cost once staff has time to work
with the on-line leak detection .

The breakdown of cost related to project is: meter purchases = $2.GM, installation of meters
and leak detection = $3.4M and purchase of fixed network (AMI) and leak detection equipment
$2.0M.

Over the past 4 years the City of Elmhurst staff has been contemplating the need to replace all
potable system water meters due to having an unaccounted for water (UFW) near 18%-20%.
The majority (70%) of potable water meters currently in use and are over 25 years old. These
meters have exceeded their life expectancy and are incorrectly recording water usages. Recent
testing has shown the current average meter in Elmhurst only records 94.5% of the water that
passes through it. This is 5.5% UFW that can be gained if meters are replaced (estimated at
Page 2

200,000 gallons per day). The online detection will decrease UFW by another 3% (estimated at
111,000 gallons per day). With these two projects, the City expects to reduce the UFW to below
10% (or to less than 300,000 gallons per day).

Other benefits to meter replacements and leak detection are: fair billing of all customers using
the City of Elmhurst water system, moving from cubic metering to gallon metering for
consistency in account management, decrease staff time following up on low, high or no reads
after a reading cycle, Increase meter reading efficiencies via daily reads verse the bi-monthly
read we currently are gathering, and conservation and public involvement in self-managing
their consumption (customer portal). Staff has also evaluated the future uses of the fixed
network system so it could be used to monitor sanitary locations and notify staff of possible
sanitary back-ups. The fixed network system can also be used to meet the new wastewater
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) for monitoring of emergency sanitary
overflow locations.

In determining the final scope of the project, the following items were evaluated in making the
vendor and product selections: meter and equipment warranties, net present value {15 years),
low flow measuring capability of meters, licensed FCC frequency for fixed network, capability to
adapt the fixed network system to a system-wide leak detection system, accuracy guarantee of
meters, meter style (mechanical vs ultrasonic (no moving parts)), true 2-way communication,
ability to incorporate historical data (past consumption data for portal), brass versus plastic
meters and proper type/sizing of both residential and commercial meter applications.

Benefits of Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) or sometimes called Fixed Base Network
are: proactive and resident involved resolution of leaks, real-time notification of tampering,
reduce estimating of water bills, hourly reads instead of bi-monthly reads, ability to manage
water loss on a large-scale, on-demand reads, true 2-way communication with the endpoints
and eliminating sending staff to customer sites for last readings, high water use or low water
use reads. Future benefits of AMI will allow wastewater location monitoring for high levels in
sanitary lines and monitoring of emergency overflow locations.

Ultrasonic water meter benefits are: no moving parts, brass body meters, 20 year accuracy
guarantee on meters up to 2", leak detection/tamper alerts on the registers, only one meter
read compared to two reads on old compound meters, and ability to register lower volume
flows on both Master Meter and Neptune meters.

Benefits of on-line leak detection are: easily manageable reports to be proactive on water main
leaks, permanent monitoring of all main valves for leaks, remote correlation through data
analytics enables pinpoint identification of distribution system leaks, and hands-off operation
for leak detection by system performing automated data collection with minimal attention by
staff. The leak detection system chosen will utilize the same AMI system as the potable water
meters, enhancing the value of the fixed network system.
Page 3

The customer portal benefits are: resident involvement in managing consumption and billings,
instant notification to residents of possible leaks, reduction in demand on customer service and
billing departments to answer questions on their meters and consumption, and ability to
generate reporting in any format that is viewable by both the City and the resident.

In addition to the five contract amounts noted below, staff recommends approval of
contingency funds in the amount of $200,000 for unanticipated costs (examples include the
addition/replacement of grounding straps, replacement of broken communication wires and
meter adaptors) to complete the installation of the new meters that are not included in the five
contracts. The Public Works and Building Committee concurs with staff recommendation.

Appropriations for this project are included in the Municipal Utility Fund, Water
Distribution/Commodities/Water Meters, account number 510-6052-501-40-68, (2017 Budget
- Pages 214, 217 and CEB-64 for detail) for the amount of $5,700,000. It is estimated that the
funds budgeted in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 will cover costs incurred during FY 2017 and
appropriations for the remaining portion of the project will be proposed in the FY 2018 budget.
Proceeds from the General Obligation Bond Series 2017B with an anticipated sale date of July
17, 2017, and the balance held in the Municipal Utility Fund will fund the project. The Capital
Investment Recovery Charge (CIRC) will fund the debt service. These projects, if approved at
July 17th, 2017 (report) and August th, 2017 (resolution) are scheduled to be completed by June
2018.

It is, therefore, the recommendation of the Public Works and Buildings Committee that the
following contracts be approved not to exceed listed amounts in addition to contingency funds
in the amount of $200,000:
• Siemens Industry $4,244,594
• Neptune Meters $2,336,978
• Master Meters $ 286,074
• Adara $1,117,602
• Water Smart $ 32,250

and the City Attorney be authorized to draft a resolution approving the five contracts.

Respectfully Submitted,

PUBLIC WORKS AND BUILO,INGS COMMITTEE
I ~· ~b__ ,-t_
"'-- -1·llet_~ ,__; I~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jim Kennedy, Chairman Marti Deuter, Vice Chairman

?

L 1~ ~-Y><_ .- } ;_,._,ot}J
Norm Leader