Cedar Park to install 22,000 ‘smart meters,’ starting next month

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FILE - Water sprinkler (AP File Photo/Charlie Riedel)
FILE - Water sprinkler (AP File Photo/Charlie Riedel)

CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — By spring 2017, Cedar Park water customers will be able to access their water usage in near real-time using their computers, tables and smart phones.

“Near real-time” means you’ll see updates about every four hours. Customers will have access to water consumption threshold alerts, comparative data, leak alerts and notifications from the city’s utility.

Crews will start replacing water meters in September as part of the utility’s new service enhancement project to install “smart meters,” more technically known as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).

The installation of 22,000 new meters across Cedar Park is expected to take nine months, the city said Friday.

“It will allow people to do detective work on their usage and help them save water,” Mayor Matt Powell said. “For people to proactively see that information, it is just wonderful.”

The city says they expect to see a reduction in water loss and theft, increased customer trust and a reduction in labor and driving to read water meters.

Cedar Park’s existing meter reading system is a drive-by, remote radio-read system in which customer consumption data is only gathered once a month. It doesn’t offer any hourly data or give customers high use or leak notifications.

The total project is estimated to cost $5.19 million from the city’s utility fund.

In April, Austin Water was looking to tap more than $80 million in loans to finance smart water meters citywide. Round Rock made similar plans in 2014, and expects have their all new digital meters completed by this winter.