MyH2O Program

MyH2O-logo

MyH2O is a Fort Worth water utility program designed to improve both customer engagement and utility operations through the implementation of advanced technology.

The technology is allowing utilities, like Fort Worth, to better inform customers about their daily water use. Wireless networks that include digital-read-meters, a communications network and data management systems, will provide customers information and opportunities to monitor and reduce their water usage.

Likewise, the utility will improve operational efficiencies in ways that benefit everyone. As the program advances, more services and features will be added.

 

 

Virtual Open House

We’ve recorded an open house presentation to our customers of our experts talking about the new meters and how they work, as well as a quick demonstration of the benefits and all you will be able to do on the customer portal. The portal is still a few months away from rollout, but we’ve wanted to give you a sneak peek. Enjoy some conservation tips that you can start putting to work for you. Enjoy the video.

 

 

What can I do with MyH2O?

Once the customer portal is available in a few months, MyH2O will give customers:

  • Access to data reflecting their previous day's water usage in hourly increments
  • The ability to set alerts and notifications about usage
  • The ability to detect continuous water flow, in case of a possible leak
  • An upgraded payment system
  • Digital access to the city's water conservation program

 

Meter installation began in 2019 and is done by billing cycles. Residents are notified prior to installation. MyH2O meter installation is expected to be completed by Spring 2022. Below is a table showing the meter exchange schedule by billing cycle. The schedule is subject to change. Select link to view a map of the installation progress(PDF, 323KB)

 

 Billing Cycle Begin Meter Box Prep  Begin Meter Exchange
1 In progress In progress
2 Completed Completed
3 Completed Completed
4 Completed Completed
5  In progress In progress
6 In progress In progress
7 Completed Completed
8 Completed Completed
9 Completed Completed
10 Completed Completed
11 Completed Completed
12 In progress In progress
13 In progress In progress
14 Completed Completed
15 Completed Completed
16 Completed Completed
17 Completed Completed
18 In progress In progress
19 In progress In progress
20 In progress In progress
21 Completed Completed

 

The City of Fort Worth is transforming the services and operations of its water utility through a program called MyH2O. The implementation phase involves the installation of  advanced metering infrastructure system, or AMI, to provide granular dat on water use throughout the water system.

By Spring 2022, all 272,000 residential and commercial water meters in the water system will be digital-read meters, equipped with a radio transmission unit for remote reading. Encrypted data from the meter is securely sent by a wireless network to the utility to create a bill.

The program is not about the meter, rather the technologies and associated benefits.

MyH20 focuses on enhanced customer communication, leak detection and conservation.

Once registered in the portal, customers will have the tools to better manage their spending. Customers can:

  • set a dollar amount they don’t want their bill to go over and receive an alert if they’re close to that amount.
  • choose to receive alerts when water hasn't stopped running for some time, indicating a possible leak, or if there’s other unusual high usage trends.
  • view the previous day’s consumption on an hourly basis. When coupled with consumption history data, customers will have the tools to better understand and make decisions about how and when they use water.

Customers will find it easy to pay their bills on the portal and find conservation tips and programs.

The customer portal is being developed and is not yet available. You will receive information in the mail and in your water bill when it is.

MyH2O will reduce the utility’s operating costs, as well. By analyzing usage and other data, the utility can improve water distribution plans and identify potential infrastructure problems long before they turn into costly and disruptive repairs.

MyH2O is being phased-in over three years, with the installations being done by billing cycles. Billing cycle numbers are found on your water bill near the upper left-hand corner.

Customers can keep an eye on this web page for the installation progress and portal availability. Also, watch for notices on our Facebook page -- Fort Worth Water, on Twitter at @FWWater, in City News and in neighborhood newsletters.

Fort Worth began installing the new meters in new developments and as replacements in 2016. Those meters, more than 27,500, are added to the wireless network for remote reading when crews are installing the other meters in that billing cycle. 

 

There’s is no action on your part needed for the new meters. However, there are some things you need to know about the process. Foremost, please be aware when work crews are on your street. The work is done in two trips. Notifications will go out regarding when contractors are working in your neighborhood.

Contractors do not need to enter your home on either visit.

 

Preparing the meter box

The first visit is to clean debris out of the meter box. Meter lids will be removed, taken to a nearby site and have a hole cut in them before being put back in place. The hole will be capped until workers return to exchange the current meter with the new meter with a radio transmitter unit. That could range from a few days to about a month’s time. 

There is no interruption of water service during this work.

 

Meter exchange

When crews return to switch out the meter, workers will knock on your door to let you know they are there. If you’re using the water at that moment, it’s OK if you need a few minutes to finish up what you’re doing.

Generally, residential meter exchanges will occur from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. At commercial properties, which include multi-family communities, the meter exchanges occur from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

At that point, the radios will be active. Please do not tamper with the wires.

Workers will flush the water line of air pockets once the new meter is in place. If they’re unable to do so, instructions will be left with you to run your faucets inside your home.

Water service is interrupted for about 20 to 30 minutes during the meter replacement only. 

 

Identifying contractors

Crews will be wearing a bright yellow and orange safety vest with an Aqua Metric logo and have company issued photo identification badges. They will be driving Aqua Metric-decaled trucks with signs reading Authorized Water Utility Contractors.

 

Aqua Metric uniform frontAqua Metric uniform back

Contractors can be identified by the vest shown above and a photo ID badge.

 

Schedule

Meters installations are done by billing cycles. with all customers having the advanced meters by the Spring of 2022. See the Timeline section on this page for details of the schedule.

Please contact our 24-hour customer service line at 817-392-4477 or email wpe@fortworthtexas.gov if you have questions or concerns about the new meters, the installation process or the contractors.

 

 

What is MyH2O?

MyH2O is a City of Fort Worth program that brings advanced technology to the water utility and its customers. Fort Worth is embracing these new tools for their efficiencies and business innovations.

The implementation phase of the program involves installing water meters equipped with a digital-read display and radio transmitter. The meter lids hold the radio transmission unit, which sends water usage data via a secure fixed wireless network to the utility. This eliminates the need for crews to read water meters, resulting in reduced billing errors.

The program also improves customer communication. MyH2O will soon include a customer web portal with updated online payment processing and more immediate information for our customers.  

How will this benefit me?

Customers will be able to better understand and manage their water use to control their water costs through a customer portal that is expected to be available in the coming months to customers with activated new meters.

Through the online customer portal for MyH2O, customers can receive alerts when continuous flow is measured, indicating a possible leak, one of the most common causes for a high bill. We encourage you to fix these leaks. You would be surprised at the costs added to your bill even from a constantly running toilet.

Customers will be able to see their water use on an hourly basis, as well. Customers can check to make sure their irrigation systems are operating during prescribed hours on the days allowed by ordinance. If a customer has their irrigation system to run early in the morning, they will be able to check to make sure that is happening.

In some cases, high bills complaints following a meter exchange are the result of irrigation settings. Being on the portal will show you how long and how often your systems is on and if it is on during your prescribed watering days and times. Information from the portal can be particularly useful when an irrigation system resets after a power interruption.

Controlling irrigation use is one of the best ways to conserve water and reduce bills. Please see Save Fort Worth Water for lawn watering tips.

What are the benefits for the utility?

The utility benefits from having more information on when and where water use is occurring. This data will improve operational models of water flow, help evaluate design criteria for pipelines and help find areas where costly water loss may be occurring. 

MyH2O provides the utility the ability to protect water quality by monitoring and responding quickly when a backflow assembly fails, which is when water on a customer’s property flows back into the public water system. This water can contain contaminants that would put the public water supply at risk.  

Are there other benefits?

MyH20 is not just about conservation, the new customer portal will allow customers to do more things online, such as open or close an account.

As functionality is added, customers can decide how they want to receive alerts from the utility about water quality issues, when new bills are available, when educational programs are offered, or when their water will be off because of a main break or leak repair.

Through the portal, customers will be able to receive alerts when a certain water volume amount, set by them, is reached. This alert can help customers control water costs. 

Why is my water meter being replaced?

Fort Worth routinely replaces meters because as a meter ages, it under-registers the amount of water flowing through it. As they age, the wear of components increases friction and water flowing through it is not measured accurately.

Meters that under-register create inequity for our customers. Under-registering meters create non-revenue water costs that are born by all customers. With the new, accurate meters, and the data transmitted with them, customers pay for the water they actually use and the utility and customers can know sooner if there is a problem. 

Who will get these meters?

Every water customer location will get the new meter. The city currently has about 272,000 residential and commercial meters.

Can I opt-out of the program?

There is no opt out option for the new meters. The Fort Worth Water utility owns the meters, which are part of the utility’s infrastructure.

How are the new meters read?

The meters are read remotely by a radio signal sent from the meter box and delivered through a secure wireless network. It is a cost-effective solution for the utility and eliminates the need for reading water meters manually.

When will MyH2O come to my neighborhood? Image shows where to find cycle and route info on the water bill

The program began in mid-2019 and the installations are occurring by billing cycle. View the timeline section to see the status in your area. The adjoining image shows the location of your cycle and route information on your water bill. 

Beginning in 2016, new meters were installed with new construction or when a meter needed replacing. These meters will be outfitted with a radio transmitter when meter exchanges begin in that billing cycle. 

What do I need to do to prepare?

Nothing, really. Just be aware this will occur. You will be notified by mail when the prep work and exchange are about to take place. The meter exchange happens about two to three months after the meter box is prepped.

On the first visit, crews will prep the meter box by cleaning it out and installing the cap that holds the radio transmitter.

On the second visit, the exchange takes place. It takes 20 to 30 minutes and your water will be interrupted during this time. On the day of installation, a crew member will knock on your door to let you know they’ll be replacing the meter. If you can’t be without water at the moment, they can return later in the day to complete the work. Don’t worry if you’re not home, a tag will be left on your door letting you know the work has been completed.

Will the new meters cause my water bill to increase?

Possibly, and there are several reasons why.

Older meters tend to under-register the amount of water flowing through them. While your water use habits may not change, your water use registered by the meter may. If you see a higher bill immediately after the new meter exchange, and you have not changed your water use pattern, it is likely the old meter was not capturing all your water use.

In addition, the utility has discovered that some of the older water meters completely stopped registering any water use when a high level of flow was occurring, such as from an irrigation system. As a result, some residents were receiving free water.

The new meters are also better at picking up very low flows. This means small, low-flow, private plumbing leaks not detected with the old meters will be picked up by the new meters.

Fort Worth uses a tiered system for billing. The more water you use, the higher the cost for the water. It is possible to be in higher tiers in the summer months because of lawn watering and pools are being used and refilled. A customer can return to the lower tiers in the winter months when lawn water is not usually occurring.

Who will install my meter?

Fort Worth has contracted with Aqua Metric to install the meters. Aqua Metric has subcontractors clean out meter boxes, prepare the meter lids for the radio unit, install the meters, and connect and activate the radio.

View the "Preparing for a new meter" section on this page for information on the process and how to identify these workers when they are in your neighborhood .

Is my privacy safe?

Yes, your privacy is safe. MyH2O uses the most secure technology available. Only water use data is sent through a secure frequency. No personal information is collected or transmitted by the water meter.

The radio frequency is weaker than a cordless phone and will not interfere with other electronic devices in your home or business. It will not interfere with your data network.  

Am I being charged for the meter?

No, the meter is a utility cost. You are not being billed for the new meter.

What's happening to the old meters?

Materials in the old meters are being recycled.

Who do I call if I have questions, concerns or notice a problem?

For any reason, please call us at 817-392-4477.

Can a meter be put in upside down or backwards?

While it is physically possible to install a water meter upside down, or backwards, both are unlikely occurrences. Water meters have a bronze “body” and a composite “register.”  The meters have arrows cast into the body that point in the direction of water flow. Trained technicians install meters with the register facing upwards. 

In addition, our contractor has quality control procedures in place, including taking “before” and “after” photographs of each installation. Supervisors also follow-up behind installers.

Once remote meter reading transmitters are activated, data will show any backwards flow of water through the meter. A technician can be dispatched immediately to investigate.  

The new meter seems to be making noises. Is this normal?

If a customer has any concerns after the meter exchange, they should contact the water utility so staff can conduct a field investigation. Please either email water customer service at MyWaterAccount@FortWorthTexas.gov or call 817-392-8253 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding city holidays. 

Water pressure seems to have changed at my home since the water meter exchange. Why has this happened and is this the city’s responsibility?

The new meters do not increase water pressure.

Pressure fluctuates throughout the day in all parts of the city. The fluctuations are primarily the result of changing storage tank water levels.   

The International Plumbing Code, Fort Worth’s adopted plumbing code, requires installation of a pressure reducing valve when water pressure is too high. Determining the need for these valves along with installation and ongoing maintenance is the property owner’s responsibility.

What meters are being used?

Fort Worth selected Sensus metering solutions that are compatible with the FlexNet communication network. 

Most residential customers will have Sensus SRII positive displacement meters installed. Commercial and industrial customers will receive different types and models of meters installed that are matched to expected water capacity needs and usage patterns.   

The metering and communications network selection was completed following an extensive vetting process. All meters are individually tested for accuracy. All meters meet industry standards established by the American Water Works Association.

Will I be able to access the shut off valve in the meter box?

The meters are the property of the utility and should not be touched by customers.

Fort Worth’s plumbing code has always required a private shutoff separate from the meter box be installed when the home was built. Customers should use this shut off if there is a need to turn off the water to their property.

If a customer does not know the location of their cutoff valve, the utility strongly urges you to have a plumber locate it or install a shutoff valve.

Customers can call the utility to have water turned off. In an emergency, the utility can approve emergency access to the homeowner or its plumber. Even with the new meters and antennas, customers can open the box lid and access the valve.  

Customers doing so should be careful not to damage the meter or the antenna. Customers will be charged for any damage.

What if I have a leak at the meter box after the meter exchange?

If there is a problem with the meter installation, Fort Worth Water wants to know. Please either email water customer service at MyWaterAccount@FortWorthTexas.gov  or call 817-392-4477 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding city holidays. 

We have had few leaks at the meter among the more than 100,000 meters installed to date. Our contractor does have steps in place for doing regular random quality control checks on the installations. However, if the leak is on the city side of the meter, the water did not flow through the meter and will not be reflected in the customer’s bill. If the leak is on the customer side of the meter, the utility can adjust the customer’s account for the water loss if the customer can show the leak was fixed.  Click here for information on how to apply for a leak adjustment.

I’m concerned about radiofrequency emission. Is my water meter safe?

Yes, your meter is safe. The radio signal from the smart point on the meter falls well below the threshold set by the Federal Communications Commission for health and safety standards.

Worldwide experts have weighed in on potential risks with artificial electromagnetic fields caused by wireless devices. The World Health Organization has published more than 25,000 articles – none of which concludes there are any negative health consequences from exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields. The RF associated with Fort Worth’s MyH2O system certainly qualify as low level electromagnetic fields – given that the technology selection employs low voltage, battery powered transmitters that operate four to six times a day for fractions of a second each time. Furthermore, the meters are located 30 feet or more from a home and risk from RF exposure drops rapidly with distance, according to Texas’ Public Utility Commission.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, the FCC and the PUC, among others, have all concluded that RF from remote read meters does not cause a health concern.

According the PUC, typical everyday devices such as cordless phone base stations and microwave ovens, located much closer to the user, cause significantly greater exposure for longer periods than remote read meters.