New, High Tech Meters Help Palo Alto Residents Track Water Usage

Palo Alto Utilities is working to make it easier for customers to track their water usage thanks to a pilot program testing new, high tech meters.

The advanced meters, which costs $100  a piece and paid for by the utility, allows customers to log in online and shows how much water they have used in the past month, week or even in the last hour.

"By using this technology, somebody can address any sort of problems almost immediately as they occur," said Catherine Elvert, Palo Alto Utilities spokesperson. We think it's beneficial to the customers, it's beneficial to the utility, and we're really in a time period where we need to be providing more information to our customers."

David Walrod is one resident who volunteered to participate in the pilot program. The meter alerted him and the utility of an irrigation leak on his property when he was in London with his family.

"Fortunately we were able to get somebody to come over to the house and find the problem and fix it," Walrod said. "Otherwise we would have come back home and found ourselves with a lake instead of a house."

If the program proves successful, officials said the new meters could be expanded for everyone to use in Palo Alto.

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