After years of efforts to improve and update Pearland’s water utility services, Pearland customers will have a new service portal to track their water usage this spring.

The gist

The customer service portal will tentatively go live in May, according to a presentation shown to Pearland City Council on Jan. 9.

The customer service portal will have the following features:
  • Readings on customers’ personal usage rates and the overall average usage tracked by the system
  • Readings of customers’ hourly water usage data, which can be helpful in identifying leaks
  • The ability to set up threshold alerts through text or email
  • The ability to view and pay water bills through the platform
Zooming out

The customer service portal is part of Pearland’s broad efforts to adopt advanced metering infrastructure to provide better, more transparent service to its customers.

Advanced metering infrastructure, or AMI, improves a utility's ability to collect frequent and accurate water usage data, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This can help with billing, leak detection and water resource management.

Installation of over 40,000 new water meters was completed in Pearland in February 2021, replacing older meters that were not functional or inaccurate, City Manager Trent Epperson said. He added that the older meters resulted in manual readings and estimated bills, which is no longer the case.

“Currently, with the new meters in place, we are reading 100% of the meters every month. ... The meters are accurate, and we no longer estimate bills, and we do bill on time,” Epperson said.

Epperson said next steps will be for the project’s contractor to get the meters’ read rates up to meet the project’s specifications to launch the customer service portal.

“The customer service portal will put a lot of data and power in our customers’ hands,” Epperson said.

What they’re saying

“While the overall project to get us to the AMI system has been difficult to get completed, we have completed significant portions of the project that provide many benefits to the utility system and our customers,” Epperson said.

City officials said they hope the transparency provided by the new portal will allow customers to better understand and take control of their water usage.

“The data transmission from all those meters ... is something you will rarely ever see ... unless you open the meter box or come to one of the city centers,” Communications Director Josh Lee said. “The customer experience portal is the output of all of that and something the customers will see. It’s something we’re very excited about.”

One more thing

Customers enrolled in auto pay will have to set up a new account with the new platform, Lee said.