ABILENE, TX (KTAB) – Tides of change are rolling the way of Abilene’s current water meters as the process to replace them with “smart” meters is set to begin next month.
The Texas Water Development Board granted more than $18 million to the city of Abilene in 2017 to fund the switch up, and while the city’s website says installations of the smart meters begins in May the process is waiting to move forward.
“The first meters you’re not going to see going into the ground probably until this summer,” said Alva Cox, assistant director of water utilities.
The city is waiting for the final notice of approval from the TWDB before it reaches out to meter installers, Cox says he’s expecting that notice this week.
The new water meters will be digital, offering customers the chance to monitor their water consumption via internet.
“There’s going to be a customer portal that they can check daily if that’s what they want to do,” said Cox.
Because the data will be collected directly, the new meters reduce the need for water-meter readers to venture out into the field to collect data; however, their jobs are safe for now.
“We don’t have to send our reader meters out there we don’t have to go through the alleys or worry about high grass or whatever the case may be,” said Cox.
Meter readers will still take readings when necessary and visit meters in the case that they need to be repaired.
It will take about two years for all meters in the city to be replaced and the change will save the city and estimated 65 million gallons of water per year.