Abilene Water Service Unveils Smart Meter Features

The City of Abilene’s plan to install new smart water meters throughout the city is approximately 98% complete, with approximately 41,000 meters installed of the 43,000 planned.

The city’s water department has been working with Pedal Valves, Inc. since 2019 to replace the city’s meters with an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system.

As part of this progress, the Department of Water Services recently launched an upgrade to its customer portal, allowing those who have updated smart meters to track their water usage hour by hour.

For the city, the technological leap means the need for meter readers is eliminated, while customers access real-time usage data online.

Most of the remaining meters are “very large or unique situations like the Windsor Hotel, awkward situations where the meters are very large and it affects a lot of people,” said Amanda Pope, the city’s public information coordinator. Abilene for water services. .

A selection of one-inch meters that required reprogramming to reflect accurate flow rates, although only a “small number” remain, Pope also said.

Some customers worried their bills would go up, she said, worried that old meters might not calculate correctly.

“The billing office has received calls (from) people wanting to discuss this,” Pope said. “Anyone who’s had a big raise or something, I know they’ve been working with them to try to sort this out and level it down to what they would normally be paying.”

But on the other hand, there have been positive reactions from people who may have been made aware of the leaks, she said, with Pope citing the example of a broken sprinkler head as a scenario.

Work on the entire project is expected to be completed in the coming months, she said.

The city recently announced an upgrade to smart meters in its online customer portal.

Upgrade service

Customer portal upgrades are expected to allow residents to use their information to lower their monthly bills and save water, the city said in a recent statement.

Pope said the portal can also help consumers predict what their water bills might be at the end of the month based on usage.

“This provides a lot of information for customers,” she said, including the ability to activate various notification tools, such as consumption and billing limits.

Billing Alerts notify customers when an estimated billing amount exceeds a designated amount in a cycle, while Consumption Alerts indicate when usage exceeds a designated amount in a day.

Residents can review account balances, transaction histories, address information, account information, consumption history, and manage alerts and notifications.

Tips for new users

A water meter replaced with an external antenna that sends data in real time.

►Go to abilenetx.gov/waterusage.

►Create a new account by clicking on Login / Register in the upper right corner, then on “Register”.

►Enter the information on the screen. An activation email will be sent to you. Make sure to check the junk and junk mail folders.

►Once your account is activated, click on the Utility Billing tab at the top. There you will be able to see your account (s) listed.

►If you do not see your account (s), click on the button to add an account. You will need your account number and the last payment amount.

►Click on the account number you want to view and select the Usage History tab to view your usage.

►The meter will send updates to the customer portal every hour. Usage information may also be delayed under certain circumstances.

People currently registered for utility billing automatically have access to new consumption data. All you need to do is log in and click on the tab titled “Consumption History”.

If the customer portal data is not updated regularly, there may be something obstructing transmission or a communication problem.

If the problem persists, contact the water department customer service at [email protected] or 325-676-6405.

Brian Bethel covers city and county government and general news for Abilene Reporter-News. If you value local news, you can support local journalists with a digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.

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