Pancake party marks milestone in smart water programme

Pancake party marks milestone in smart water programme
Smart water meter installation. Courtesy Austin Water.

US water utility Austin Water has reached the halfway point in its smart water meter rollout across its consumer base. To celebrate, the utility is hosting a free community celebration with pancakes and activities this Saturday.

The announcement marks a major milestone in the utility’s 100-year water plan, Water Forward, reaching the halfway mark in its My ATX Water Smart Water Meter Program.

Over half of Austin Water customers’ water meters have been replaced as part of their effort to upgrade and modernise critical infrastructure, while encouraging and supporting customer efforts to conserve water and save money on their bills.

More than 125,000 new My ATX Water digital meters have been installed; and by 2025 all customers served by Austin Water are expected to have a new My ATX Water meter.

“This milestone is cause for celebration!” said Randi Jenkins, assistant director of customer experience at Austin Water. “The My ATX Water digital infrastructure and the associated portal will help individuals save water by identifying leaks in their homes, helping them budget water use and providing tips on saving water and money.”

To celebrate the milestone, the utility is hosting a free community celebration this Saturday, May 6 at Dove Springs District Park.

“We will have family-friendly activities, free pancakes, and ice cream from local vendors while supplies last. Dowser Dan, Austin’s very own water saver, will be there, and we can help to get people signed up on the customer portal,” added Jenkins. “We want to meet members of the community and share all the great benefits this new system will provide.”

Smart water metering – My ATX Water

My ATX Water, Austin Water’s smart water meter system, aims to modernise the utility’s water metering system by replacing more than 250,000 analogue water meters with digitally read water meters connected to a wireless network.

A customer portal will provide daily water use data and custom notifications. The project is considered an important strategy within the utility’s 100-year water plan, known as Water Forward.

According to Austin Water, since 2016, the utility’s staff have evaluated Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and conducted small-scale pilot projects to choose the best meter and data analytics solution.

Austin Water smart water meter
Austin Water’s smart water meter rollour density. Courtesy Austin Water. Blue – low; Red – medium; yellow – high.

On March 26, 2020, the Austin City Council approved contracts for full implementation of the new metering system and customer portal.

The My ATX Water portal is hoped to give Austin Water customers near real-time data to better track and manage their water use.

With the smart water meters, consumers can set water use thresholds to push notifications to their email or phone and will receive alerts about continuous water usage that could indicate a leak.