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Sugar Land City Council Approves New Water Meter Infrastructure

(SUGAR LAND) - Sugar Land City Council recently approved a $9.4 million contract with Aclara Technologies, LLC to implement advanced metering infrastructure, also known as AMI, in Sugar Land.

The network is an integrated system of customer water meters, communication networks, and data management systems that provide real-time water use information to city staff and residents.

City officials say the AMI project is expected to reduce data billing errors, transfer/archive errors and water loss in the city’s water distribution system with improved accuracy of meters and real-time monitoring opportunities to identify leaks faster.

“The ultimate goal of this project is to keep our community safe by maintaining a safe, reliable water supply for future generations and do so in a way that invests in our city infrastructure to save money for our citizens,” said Director of Public Works Brian Butscher. “Advanced metering infrastructure will help us make data-driven decisions that will improve efficiency and ultimately save taxpayer dollars. This same data will be available to water customers.”

The system is expected to improve efficiency and save money by:

  • remotely and continuously monitor and diagnose meter operation issues;

  • pre-emptively prioritize and manage maintenance issues;

  • identify and notify about potential water leak issues;

  • remotely control and optimize all aspects of the distribution systems using data-driven insights; and

  • providing customers with the information and tools they need to make informed choices about their behaviors and usage patterns.

A resident-led Integrated Water Resource Plan task force recommended AMI implementation as part of a two-year comprehensive evaluation to evaluate a wide mix of water supply options, combined with potential new policies and management strategies to meet regulatory requirements and the city’s long-term water supply needs.

Implementation of AMI will include retrofitting and replacing water meters throughout the city and should be complete by 2025. Construction notifications to homeowners prior to the beginning of work will include door hangars, push notifications, e-mails and social media posts. There will be no impacts to most customers, though some could experience minimal disruptions, possibly 15-20 minutes of water disruption to replace meters that cannot be retrofitted.

“Sugar Land strives to be a trailblazer and enhance the quality of life for our community through a commitment to excellence in the delivery of public utilities,” said Butscher. “Proactive planning is key to our continued success, ensures we meet the needs of our citizens and helps us create a future better than any of us can imagine.”

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