OLDS — The municipality is experimenting with high-tech water meters that will enable homeowners to keep a closer eye on their water consumption, chief administrative officer Brent Williams says.
Williams made that comment on June 13 during council’s meeting.
Coun. James Cummings raised the matter, saying he understood that the Town planned to test out new high-tech water meters this year.
Williams confirmed that’s the case. He said the plan is to replace 100 water meters with the new ones in a pilot program. He said the cost of that program is $50,000 or $100,000 (he wasn’t sure of the exact figure).
“These meters have the ability for homeowners to check their consumption in real time,” Williams said.
“And then, once the meters get set up and people are accustomed, we have the ability to add push notifications to them.
“So that at a certain consumption rate for instance, or as I understand it, when there are spikes in consumption above normal use, it would send the user a notification.”
Williams said even with these new meters, the onus would “primarily be on the homeowner to monitor their own use.”
“I just don’t want to comment or guarantee that the Town could manage a few thousand utility accounts on a month-to-month basis.”
However, Williams said the day when thousands of such meters would be installed throughout Olds is still “a long ways off.”
Mayor Judy Dahl said she was involved in a trial of high-tech meters years ago.
“They truly do work,” Dahl said. “We were able to find a massive water leak on the neighbour’s property across the street, just from the type of unit that we had.
“So I imagine these are 10 times better now, because that was about a decade ago."