OWOSSO CITY COUNCIL reviewed an upcoming dashboard interface on residential and commercial water usage. The tool will soon be available to residents through the city website.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
The Owosso City Council met at city hall on Monday, March 29 for a special fifth-Monday meeting, featuring a presentation on an upcoming online water usage portal for residents. Council members present included Owosso Mayor Chris Eveleth, Janae Fear, Jerry Haber, Nick Pidek and Dan Law, along with Owosso City Manager Nathan Henne. The meeting was in-person, but also available via Zoom.
Caryn Denny and Cathy Holloway, representing Aclara Technologies, LLC, joined the meeting virtually to offer the presentation on the upcoming ACE Portal. The portal will be an electronic interface, offered through the city website, to allow residents to monitor water usage. It can also be utilized for commercial-scale water usage, as well.
The portal is designed so residents can view water bills over a 2-year period, see real time water usage to compare usage from previous months, create a home profile and set water savings goals and also receive alerts on usage, possible leaks and billing. Aclara has designed the user-friendly portal to be integrated from the city site at www.ci.owosso.mi.us. Residents – both homeowners and business owners – will have direct access through the online dashboard to an integrated billing system with insights related to water use over specific time periods. The portal will also provide individualized information for residents on possible ways to save water and lower water bills, such as water waste in laundry, leaky toilets, leaky faucets or garden watering. From the portal, alerts can be set up to help residents monitor water use. The service is free.
A date for the online launch of the portal has not been announced yet. Henne shared with council that the city will be sending out direct mailing instructions with the next billing cycle.
Council member Nick Pidek asked about customer support. Henne shared that Aclara will provide the technological support, though city staff will handle up-front support with residents. Pidek also questioned security measures, particularly after a hack in the Tampa Bay, FL water system occurred in February, renewing concerns on water utility vulnerabilities. Henne offered that the water system in Owosso is technologically very different from the system in Tampa Bay, with hard water being the biggest concern for Owosso. He explained that the system in Owosso is exceedingly unlikely to be confronted with cyber security issues.
The next regular city council meeting is planned for Monday, April 5.