Fix-A-Leak Week is March 15-21 and serves as an important reminder of how the City is constantly working to stay ahead of infrastructure life cycles to make sure we do our part in conserving water in the face of increasing frequency, intensity, and duration of drought. The City is a New Mexico leader in advanced water technology and other progressive infrastructure improvements.
Issues that our neighbors in Texas recently faced demonstrate how infrastructure and devastating leaks are connected and the need for us to constantly maintain and upgrade our water system to minimize water loss and service disruptions.
One of the City’s most valuable tools is an ability to track water use in real time through automatic meter reading (AMR) and the EyeOnWater app. It’s a great tool that helps City water customers monitor water use and helps us promote water conservation. AMR allows the City to find leaks, identify water-use patterns, and track rebate participation and irrigation practices to improve our programs. This past year, we were able to identify leaks and send over 5,000 letters to customers notifying them that they had continuous water flows. This early notification ahead of their bill saved us water and our customers money by getting ahead of an issue that could have resulted in a waste of both.
The City’s AMR system and associated infrastructure allows our EyeOnWater app to be effective. The AMR system is a cellular service based system that takes individual water meter reads via a device (called an endpoint) connected to the water meter that collects meter reads every 15 minutes. These water meter reads feed the EyeOnWater app, allowing you to see your usage on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis.
The City’s meter-reading system is working, with a 99.5 percent success rate in the communication between meters and the billing system. However, our network relies on communications technology that continues to advance and cellular service providers are now phasing out their 3G LTE network and migrating to a 4G LTE network. Due to this migration, Santa Fe Water needs to update the meter-reading system by changing the endpoints at each meter so that the functionality of our meter-reading system and the EyeOnWater app will remain for our customers. The new endpoints will be compatible with both 4G and 5G networks.
What does this mean for you? You may see City of Santa Fe water trucks and staff in your neighborhoods or at places of business, but it is not anticipated that you’ll see any water service disruption. You can find more information on the project at www.santafenm.gov/water.
Wasted water from leaks is one of the most common problems we can work together to fix. Stay on track and join thousands of your neighbors by signing-up for EyeOnWater today at http://eyeonwater.com/signup and find more tools and tips to identify and fix leaks and keep informed about drought at https://savewatersantafe.com/.
Christine Y. Chavez has a background in water rights administration and energy and water conservation program management in New Mexico. She is a graduate of New Mexico State University with a B.S. in environmental science and an M.S. in biology. Christine is the manager of the City of Santa Fe’s Water Conservation Office. She may be reached at 505-955-4219 or email@example.com.