City workers in the Texas based city, Weslaco, began replacing old water meters with new digital readers in an effort to generate more accurate data of water usage by residents and business owners.
According to a utility usage evaluation, some old meters underreported water usage by about 20%.
The upgrade project was approved by city commissioners at a cost of about $6.5 million, according to Maria Barrera, the city’s financial director.
The City's project will be overseen by Siemens Technology, along with subcontractor Pedal Valve Inc.
Contractors will rotate throughout four separate zones through to August, when workers expect to complete the project on commercial and residential properties within city limits.
Workers will instruct residents to temporarily cease using water while 400 to 500 meters are installed weekly.
The new digital meters will speed up billing processes, ensure time and use data is more accurate and provide consumers with a day-by-day breakdown of water used. This allows consumers to become more water-wise and water efficient.
The new meter system will report to the city when and where abnormal amounts of water are being used. The city will then contact the customer within 48 hours. This will allow the city to reduce non-revenue water and ensure leaks are resolved more efficiently.
The project will bring “greater efficiency” to water billing, Barrera said.