Alamo Heights Hitting Pause on “Smart” Water Meter Plan

Alamo Heights Hitting Pause on “Smart” Water Meter Plan

ALAMO HEIGHTS — Dozens of people in Alamo Heights are speaking out against a plan to bring automated “smart” water meters to their city.

One by one, the residents asked city council leaders to reconsider the plan.

Similar to CPS Energy “smart” meters, data would be collected wirelessly from meters once a month and sent to a data server.

Alamo Heights is in charge of its own water supply, but for the last several years it’s been paying the San Antonio Water System to provide meter reading services.

Now, SAWS says it wants to stop that agreement, leaving Alamo Heights to figure out a new approach.

“This is what cities are moving to,” said Alamo Heights Mayor Louis Cooper. “The days of manual read systems are pretty much extinct. We couldn’t find anyone who wanted to come in and read our meters for us.”

However, the group says they’ve done their research, and what they’ve found about the system in other cities isn’t promising.

Everybody seems to have the same complaint. That bills jump up drastically,” said concerned resident John Joseph.

At an estimated cost of $1.1 million, residents have a lot of concerns and questions.

“There were some things that weren’t even mentioned tonight. How is this going to be paid for?,” asked Joseph.

Cooper says at this time, leaders haven’t figured that out, but they’re hitting pause in favor of doing more research and they may try a pilot program.

There are other cities in our area who have smart water meters including Live Oak, Shavano Park, Schertz, and Universal City.

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