The city has been installing the new automatic water meters since January. As of Nov. 14, a total of 13,477 meters have been changed out to automated ones, approximately 95% of the city's active connections, according to agenda documents.
Accompanying the switch is a new customer interface. In the WaterSmart online portal, customers can sign up for an account, view their usage history down to the hour, and set alerts for excessive usage or usage while out of town. The site will go live later this week, City Manager Morad Kabiri said at the Dec. 5 City Council meeting.
The city has been running a pilot program since mid-October for council members and staff residing in Friendswood to test the WaterSmart interface. This was intended to allow the city to identify any issues before introducing it to the public.
“The portal’s been extremely successful,” Kabiri said.
Council Member Steve Rockey said using the new portal allowed him to identify an issue with his sprinkler system that was significantly increasing his water usage.
“It’s really worth it, and you really will find ways you have water going out that you don't need to use,” Rockey said during a Nov. 7 council meeting.