The Soquel Creek Water District's new WaterSmart Customer Portal is an easy-to-use, free online tool giving you more control over your water use and billing, leak detection, and more. Along with our new, intelligent meters (i-Meters) which are now installed for most of our customers, the WaterSmart Customer Portal is part of the District's overall upgrade to an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
AMI is a huge improvement over the District's former electronic metering system that only produced one water consumption reading per month. With AMI's daily and hourly water consumption information, you now have access to the most up-to-date technology for managing water use and billing. AMI has significantly improved the timeliness of leak detection, compared to the old system, by notifying customers w within as little as 48 to 72 hours (in most cases) after a potential leak is detected.
The Portal has the ability to notify you via email, text, or phone alert about potential water leaks in your system, so you can find and fix that leak before it becomes a bigger problem. Once registered, you can also set-up alerts for when your water use level or your bill amount reaches your designated thresholds. That's kind of an "early warning system" to give you important information sooner so you can minimize water loss due to a leak, reduce potential water damage, and get fewer surprises in your water bills. Plus, with a single log-in you'll be able to pay your water bill, see how much water your irrigation system uses, identify water-saving opportunities, access conservation resources like waterwise landscaping ideas, and even apply for conservation rebates.
Many District customers are already signed up for this user-friendly, self-service web portal, and we're hearing great things about their experience.
"I easily set up an alert for my water use threshold, and it's already been super-helpful on several occasions," says Paul N, a District water customer in Aptos. "Early-on I got an alert about going over the threshold, and that prompted me to go out and find a leak in my irrigation system. More recently, I had some cement work done, and when the crew was using a lot of water - there was a text alerting me to that unusually high use!" Paul notes that the system is easy to use and has provided him with everything he needs to monitor his water use.
For JoAnn G., a water customer in Aptos, the new system is a vast improvement over her earlier efforts to track water use. "I used to save my paper water bills for 12 months at a time, so I could compare month-to-month and see where I'm over-using. Now, it's all right at my fingertips!" She goes on to say, "We're dedicated to water conservation, and the WaterSmart portal makes it much easier. I re-started my garden that hadn't been used for a few years, and I can quickly get accurate information about its impact on water use. It even shows precipitation information, so I have the whole picture. I especially like that it's a one-stop-shop for everything - water use detail and alerts, conservation education tools and rebates, and bill paying."
Other customers have let us know they are very happy with the WaterSmart Customer Portal, using words like, "Convenient," "User-friendly," "So cool!" and "Useful, timely information."
Are you signed up to access your WaterSmart Customer Portal? First, make sure we have your current email address on file, as that's an important tool in the AMI functionality. Call us at 831-475-8500, or email Customer Service to update your information. Then, visit the WaterSmart Customer Portal. Make sure you have your water account number as it appears on your water bill or on your WaterSmart welcome letter. Follow the prompts to register, and that's it!
Our AMI program is funded through the District's Water Demand Offset Program, which requires that new building developments offset their projected water demand by funding new conservation or supply projects within the District. In addition to AMI, those fees have funded other water-saving programs like rebates on the installation of thousands of ultra-high efficiency toilets, urinals, showerheads, and aerators, and turf replacement rebates.
Tracking your water use and your billing trends has never been easier, or more information-rich! We're happy to be providing you with the latest technology to help you use water efficiently, support sustainability of the groundwater basin, have better control over your water use billing, and save money.
As always, if you have any questions about this month's topic or anything else related to Soquel Creek Water District, feel free to email our Outreach Team or browse our website.