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Community Services

Posted on: November 11, 2020

Allen to invest in high-tech water meters

water flows out of garden hose

A move toward smart water meters will eventually provide near real-time insight into water use, helping customers track watering habits and monitor for leaks.

During the November 10 meeting, Allen City Council approved spending $821,708 to contract with Professional Services Contractor to assist the City to plan and implement Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) citywide. Benefits of AMI include:

  • At least hourly water use information available to customers via a web portal or app the day after the use is recorded
  • High water use and leak alerts, meter tamper alerts, water use analysis and other helpful customer data
  • The ability to quickly locate previously unknown customer water leaks “past the meter”
  • Consistent billing intervals, with billings prepared monthly with the same number of days in each billing cycle
  • Remote, near-constant monitoring of water system problems and use patterns, allowing for preemptive problem-solving and improved conservation by the City of Allen

Investing in AMI has been a strategic priority of Allen City Council for several years. Some residents have also pushed for the improved technology as existing meters offered few details to help explain the source of high bills.

“We’re excited to help customers better understand their use and conserve water through these new insights,” said Steve Massey, director of Allen’s Community Services department.

Due to the complexity and cost of replacing more than 33,000 water meters, a complete switch to smart meters will take several years. 

As the first step, consultant Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. will lay the groundwork for a new meter infrastructure by identifying technology needs, reviewing best options and creating evaluation criteria for meter vendors. This process is slated to begin in January 2021 and end in October 2022.

“Though the process is an elaborate one, this is an important first step toward the real-time data our customers want,” said Massey.

Watch the full presentation to Allen City Council.

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