City of Richfield residents will have a platform, WaterSmart, that will be available to show them how much water they use, how it compares to others, and a means to engage with city staff members. The new platform is expected to be rolled out at the end of June or beginning of July. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

New platform for water analytics to be rolled out at the end of the month

The city of Richfield’s water utility department is about to get a little bit smarter.

With the introduction of WaterSmart, an online and mobile platform that’s specific to the water system in Richfield, residents, starting at the end of June, will have access to water usage statistics with the click of a mouse or tap of the finger.

Mike Petersen, the city’s assistant utilities superintendent, told the Richfield City Council at its June 9 meeting that the platform “takes the water meter data from residential water meters and commercial water meters and puts it into a database that runs analytics on it.”

He said residents will be able to view information about their water usage through a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

“They are able to see their bills, their daily usage, they can see how usage is comparable to past data,” Petersen said.

Residents will also be able to compare their water usage with that of their neighbors through WaterSmart.

In addition to the advantages for residents, the city will also be able to detect potential leaks in any residential or commercial system, according to Petersen.

“They can sign up for leak detection alerts ... through email and text messages. They can be notified quickly,” he added.

Though the system updates currently on a monthly or quarterly basis, the city will be moving to a system that will allow for monitoring of daily usage.

The platform also allows for messaging between city residents and city staff, while the city will now have a platform where the utility service will be allowed to send out information of interest, such as water shutoffs and snow emergencies.

“The biggest thing with this is the engagement part and putting usage in the hands of the customer,” Petersen said.

The system will be officially rolled out at the end of June, possibly early July, Petersen said.

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