AMI Digital Water Meters Information
- What are digital water meters?
Cedar Park's digital water meters have been installed to replace the City's old meters. Also known as Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), the digital water meters provide customers with accurate near real-time data on their individual water usage. This technology will help customers gain deeper insight and understanding on how and when they use water.
All Cedar Park water customers can access the data unique to their household or business by creating an account at the You're Running the Show website.
- Why did we get digital water meters?
The digital water meters are designed to help customers understand their usage and save money on their water bills.
Many customers experience higher water bills during the summer months and after a drought when people tend to water their lawns more. After the 2015 drought, many of our customers expressed a need to get more detail about how they were using their water on a daily basis. This included a desire to see frequent updates, get alerts and detect leaks in order to better manage costs.
In response, in 2016 the City Council directed Cedar Park to embark on a thorough vetting process to find the ideal technology to empower customers to learn more about their water use. The digital water meters from Sensus were identified as the most cost-effective and reliable technology.
- How do the new digital water meters benefit me?
Customers can monitor their water usage more closely through the new customer web portal to manage and reduce costs associated with their water bills. Some of the many benefits customers gain from the new technology include:
- The ability to track water usage and investigate possible leaks or continuous water use such as a running garden hose or leaky water pipe.
- Precise meter readings and water usage data in near real time, allowing for identification of high usage and suspected leaks.
- More frequent meter reading, as opposed to monthly readings, which allows you to make necessary adjustments sooner to reduce and manage costs.
- Improved customer service options including representatives who can guide you through your water usage portal and suggest cost savings tips based on your past usages patterns and trends.
- How does the technology work?
Digital water meter readings are encrypted and sent through an automated network, using a private radio frequency (RF) channel, from the digital water meter to the utility.
The meter data display looks similar to the numbers on a car odometer and has nine digits. The digits on the meter represent the number of gallons consumed down to the 1/100th of a gallon. The last two digits can be used as leak indicators to detect water flow through the meter. For billing purposes, the meter is read to the tens position.
- How can I access the data on my water usage?
You can access the data about your water usage through your Customer Web Portal on your laptop, tablet or mobile device. All you need is to create a unique username (your email address) and password to have a secure account login.
Additionally, a Customer Service Representative will be able to walk you through the portal and can help you interpret your water data.
- What type of alerts can I set up?
Set up alerts:
- To determine if you have any water loss or waste on your property.
- Establish Billing Cycle Thresholds to set up additional alerts:
- Daily Usage Alert - Alerts you when you are using more than a given amount in a day.
- Billing Cycle Usage Alert - Alerts you when you are using more than a given amount in a billing cycle.
- Vacation Alert - Alerts when usage has occurred at your home when you are away.
- How much will the digital water meters cost me?
The project was financed through the City’s Capital Improvement Project funds. Customers will not incur any additional cost for the digital water meters.
- What do I do if I think my meter reading is incorrect?
If you believe that your utility bill is incorrect, the first thing to do is to log into your Customer Web Portal and compare your usage to the meter reading. Also, investigate if there were other factors that may have contributed to the billing total:
- Were the settings correct on your automatic irrigation system controller?
- Were there any running hoses left unattended? Do you have a malfunctioning toilet?
- Was a faucet left running?
If you have checked your usage history through the customer web portal and still cannot find the reason for the high bill, contact Customer Service at 512-401-5300 or email us.
- How secure is my data and information?
Data from the meters is encrypted and sent through a safe and secure network to the utility databases. The meter system transmits only the water meter readings, the meter identification number, and diagnostic information to verify that the automated meter equipment is operating correctly. Only key authorized utility personnel, such as customer service representatives can access your account if needed.
- Are the new digital water meters safe for me and my family?
Yes. Digital water meters operate at much lower levels of radio frequencies than cell phones, microwaves, wireless routers and even baby monitors. The City of Cedar Park has used a radio-read system registered with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) since 2005. Cedar Park's new system is also registered with the FCC.
Any concerns over the safety of wireless data transmission should be directed to the FCC, as it is the regulatory agency responsible for permitting the safe use of radios.