Smart Meters Save
Cedar Hill is the only city in Texas to receive federal funding from the Bureau of Reclamation in the amount of $300,000 for new water meters. As part of ongoing efforts to Grow Green, the City applied for this grant to transition to Automatic Meter Infrastructure. Cities that are already using this technology are seeing significantly lower operating costs.
Each month, the City sends employees to read over 15,000 water meters. This grant will allow the City to replace existing meters with automatic readers that will not require a specific visit every month.
The enhanced meters will offer residents the capability to monitor their water usage on a daily basis so that they can make informed decisions about water use and avoid surprises in their water bill.
The City has set a completion date of Summer 2015 for the installation of the smart meters.
Conservation Is Critical
In Texas, residents in the major metro areas used an average of 140 to 240 gallons a day in 2004. Texas uses approximately 711 million gallons each day, with about 60% going to agriculture, 15% to industry and 25% to the state's 23 million citizens (Texas Water Development Board). Cedar Hill citizens consumed approximately 148 gallons per capita per day. In an effort to provide citizens with knowledgeable information on how to conserve water and save money on utility bills the following resources are provided:
Inside Your Home
- Toilets are the largest water users inside your home with each flush using 5 gallons of water in older style toilets and 1.5 to 2 in newer models. Avoid unnecessary toilet flushes.
- Letting the bathroom water faucet run while brushing your teeth or shaving wastes 4 gallons a minute or more. Turn the water off while doing so and save gallons of water.
- Adjust the water level in your washing machine and dishwasher to the size of the load your are washing. If you cannot adjust the water level then only operate these machines when they have full loads.
- 4 gallons of water or more is used per minute in the shower. Take shorter showers.
- Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or microwave, not under running water.
Outside Your Home
- Know and follow the City's watering restrictions for your lawn.
- Water your lawn in the morning or late evening to minimize water loss from evaporation and avoid watering on windy days.
- Ensure sprinkler heads are working properly and are watering your lawn and landscape, not your driveway, house, and other impervious areas.
- Install a rain sensor switch to override irrigation systems when it's raining.
- Avoid hosing down your driveway or sidewalk. Instead, use a broom to clean leaves and debris from these areas.
- To detect toilet leaks, add food coloring to the toilet tank. If you have a leak, the color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes (flush toilet immediately to avoid stains).
- Update your showerhead to a low flow showerhead, which can reduce water use by up to 50 percent.
- Water loss from drippy faucets can range from several gallons to hundreds of gallons per day. Leaks can be fixed in faucets by replacing washers and by tightening or repacking the faucet stem. You may also choose to install low flow faucets or faucet aerators to conserve water. Retrofitting household faucets with low-flow aerators can cut water use by up to 50 percent.
- Check your water meter when you are sure no water is being used. If the meter reading changes, you know you have a leak.