By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Manteca moving toward web-based water metering to empower residents to better manage water use
water meters
Components of Badger Meter’s smart water solutions provide measurement, communication, and data to empower customers to be effective, effective, and sustainable.

Manteca is making it possible for customers to monitor water use on an hourly basis using an app on their smartphone or a webpage.

It is part of a three-year $2.6 million agreement with Badger Meter before the City Council when they meet Tuesday at 6 p.m.

It will allow customers:

*To opt for readings in gallons used instead of the current hundred cubic feet used. They can still use the cubic feet measurement, if they desire.

*To get a rough estimate of how much water they use for certain tasks. For example, if the only water they use between 6 and 7 p.m. on a specific day is for outside irrigating, they will get a clear reading on the amount used.

*To also detect if they have leaks if data shows they are using water during certain hours when they have not turned on faucets, flushed toilets, taken showers or baths, watered outside,  or used washing machines or dishwashers.

*To set water usage alarms. It will send them an email and/or push notification to their connected smartphone if the alarm is triggered or water flows continuously for more than 24 hours.

“The approach here is driven more by our desire to better manage the precious resource (water),” noted Manteca Public Works Director Carl Brown. “There will be cost savings for the City and citizens due to water conservation and the ability to monitor water usage.”

The $874,717 annual cost covers water meters that may need replacing along with software to utilize the Beacon Advance Metering Mobile service to read city meters.

The software is designed to communicate with Badger water meters and their electronic communicator.

New connections from housing and commercial growth will get new meters.

Most existing meters are functioning property. If they are found to be faulty, they will be repaired or replaced.

Manteca currently has roughly 26,000 water connections.

The physical meter is the actual device the water flows through.

The register and end point are what calculate and send out the readings.

The endpoints have a microchip in it with cellular capability that sends the readings to an Amazon Web Services hosted server. The readings can be broken down into hourly increments.

There is no guarantee that it will be successful in sending the read every hour but when it does send the reads it will send all that have not yet been reported.

In theory, all meters in Manteca will be able to be read via the service.

In practice, not 100% will read perfectly.

They may be under water, a vehicle parked over the water box, intentional and unintentional tampering, or general malfunction.

Brown said staff anticipates the number on unsuccessful reads to be very low each month based on other cities and water districts that are currently using the system/technology.

The public works director noted of customers are able to better manage their usage they may be able to save money by utilizing this technology.

“This could be a great benefit to the ratepayers, if they take advantage of it,” Brown said.

The smart app reading have led to a number of customers in other jurisdiction to discover water usage numbers were “inflated’ by non-stop leaking faucets or even pipes on their side of the meter that may have failed in some manner.

“Our approach is going to use our water conservation team to educate the public on how to use the technology,” Brown said. “On our end, we will run reports multiple times per week for ‘potential leaks’ then follow up with calls and field visits. It will be a very proactive approach and will lead to valuable water savings (conservation).”

The cost of the service will be covered by the existing water-rate stricture.

“We were able to negotiate pricing that is better than most other jurisdictions,” Brown added.

All new development will cover their cost of the meter, all components, and web service.  

“We we are taking a proactive approach to water conservation, operations and maintenance, and best management practices to ensure that we can continue to provide clean safe drinking water at the best price point possible for the ratepayers,” Brown added. “We have a team of knowledgeable water professionals that are dedicated and take immense pride in their workmanship.”


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email