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City of Abilene: Water consumption down compared to last summer

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ABILENE, Texas - Thousands of Abilene residents saw an increase in their water bills last summer, but the city says that 's not the case this year.

Last year, some customers said their bills doubled or even tripled and thousands complained to the city. Director of Water Utilities Rodney Taylor said bills are lower this year because customers used less water.

For the month of August, water usage was down 4 million gallons per day compared to what was averaged last year. Part of that could be because of cooler temperatures and recent rainfall, and Taylor also believes people are more aware of the rates.

"The consumer realizes the impact of a price increase and makes adjustments. I think at least some of that is consumers are a little bit more cautious about how they're using their water this year," Taylor said.

A company hired by the city is nearing the completion of a rate study that'll be presented to council in the next few months.

"Basically we will look at the basis of our water charges, water rates, a rate structure, those types of things and we will provide council with a lot of good information for making decisions as we move forward," Taylor said.

As we previously reported, the water department is also looking into smart meters, which will allow you to monitor your usage regularly. Taylor said he plans to present the smart meter program to city council in the next month or so.

"We can go back and look at it per hour. We can tell you exactly when your sprinkler system came on and when it went off and exactly when high consumption events occurred," Taylor said.

The smart meter program can also detect leaks, conserve water and save customers money in the long run

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