Fort Worth looking to improve water distribution, billing with new meters

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Residents and business owners in north Fort Worth will be able to easily monitor their water usage and pay their utility bills through a new water meter system called MyH20.

Contractor AquaMetric will install the first new water meters at residences and businesses in Fort Worth City Council District 4. Between July and December, roughly 12,000 meters will be installed, primarily in the Summerfields neighborhood just north of Northeast Loop 820.

Over the next two years, nearly 259,000 meters will be installed at residences and commercial buildings across the city. Customers cannot opt out of the system.

Installations will be done according to the city of Fort Worth’s water billing schedule. Residents and business owners will be notified by mail before the meters are installed.

Residents and businesses will not have to pay for the new meters. Installation will take 20 to 30 minutes per meter, and water service will be interrupted at that time. Crews will not need to enter buildings during the installation process.

The meters have a digital display and a radio transmission unit that sends water-usage data to Fort Worth’s utility department, eliminating the need to read the meters manually. Using transmitted information from the meter, the city will generate water bills.

“[The meters] will give us data that the city really has never had before to help with distribution of water,” city of Fort Worth spokesperson Sandra Baker said. “[They] will help the city as well to detect potential infrastructure issues.”

Residents and businesses will be able to use MyH20 to keep track of and control their water costs. Using an online portal, customers can set a dollar amount they do not want their water bill to exceed. Customers will receive an alert if they get close to that amount.

The portal can also help customers keep track of possible leaks by sending alerts when water stops running or if there is high usage.

The portal is expected to be introduced in the first half of 2020.

“It will be a better way of billing. It will be more accurate,” said Cary Moon, Fort Worth City Council member for District 4. “For water usage, it will be a more efficient system.”

The city of Fort Worth started using these meters in mid-2016 at newly constructed buildings and residences as well as when old meters needed replacing. More than 27,500 meters have been installed since that time.

Fort Worth City Council approved a $76 million project in 2015 to install the new water meters across the city. The project is being funded by the Texas Water Development Board through a low-interest loan, according to the city.

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Korri Kezar
Korri Kezar graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 with a degree in journalism. She worked for Community Impact Newspaper's Round Rock-Pflugerville-Hutto edition for two years before moving to Dallas. Five years later, she returned to the company to launch Community Impact Newspaper's Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth edition, where she covers local government, development, transportation and a variety of other topics. She has also worked at the San Antonio Express-News, Austin-American Statesman and Dallas Business Journal.
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