New service put utility information at customer’s fingertips

City of Victoria utility customers now can monitor their water usage online throughout the month and receive alerts when usage is outside an expected range.

The new free service connects with the customer’s water meter, which uploads water usage several times each day. Customers can set their own goals for water conservation, monitor usage, and estimate their utility bill based on the water flowing through the meter. The water flow will indicate whether there is a sudden spike in water use. The customer will be able to see if there is an unexpected amount of water use when they are away on vacation, have an undetected leak in a water line or simply forgot to turn off a lawn sprinkler.

Signing up for the monitoring and alert service is free. The customer will need an active e-mail account and their utility billing account number to register. Customers also may sign up for paperless billing and view and pay bills online at www.victoriatx.org/services.

Utility Billing Office Manager, Michelle Ozuna, said the alert program is useful in preventing unexpectedly large water bills due to leaks. She related a story of a co-worker who moved from her home. The home was vacant, and the family did not realize a toilet flap had failed, and water continuously was running.

“They ended up with a bill for an extra 38 thousand gallons of water,” Ozuna said. “This alert system would have given them a heads up that something was wrong before the bill arrived.”

Ozuna pointed out that customers can use the monitoring feature to determine if there may be a water leak on their property.

“If the data reflects water usage at all hours of the day and night, it could be an indication that there is a leak” she explained. “Look for soggy areas in your yard where the water lines pass. Check for dripping exterior faucets and keep an ear open for toilets that suddenly start flowing water.”

For assistance in setting up the accounts, call the Utility Billing Office at 361-485-3400.

Information from: City of Victoria.

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