Project H2O already saving some Madison Water Utility customers hundreds of dollars

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 6:12am

Though only 20% complete, Project H2O, Madison Water Utility's current initiative to upgrade outdated water meters and transition to monthly billing, has already identified significant savings for several of the utility's customers. Historically, most water leaks weren't discovered until customers received a surprisingly high municipal services bill several months down the road. With the transition to real time water usage data, water leaks inside the home are being caught much earlier with the cost savings passed on to the customer.

For one MWU customer, the system indicated continuous water usage between 15 and 20 gallons of water per hour over several days. The utility alerted the customer, who later identified a leaky toilet as the culprit. If the leak had continued undetected, an estimated $440 in additional water and sewer charges would have shown up on the customer's bill.

Two other north side customers also received courtesy letters from the utility alerting them to possible leaks. Both customers investigated and also found leaky toilets to be the cause. Due to the Project H2O system upgrades, leaks at both homes were quickly identified and repaired saving the customers $140 and $76 respectively.

Project H2O's advanced metering system collects and transmits hourly water consumption data, in an encrypted format, over a wireless network system. Water usage data is monitored by a data management system and reviewed by the utility's customer service staff to look for periods of continuous water use over a multi-day span. Continuous water usage over multiple 24 hour periods indicates a potential leak may be occurring within the home.

In 2011, Madison Water Utility identified 652 customer leaks totaling $116,332.84 and representing 76,752,280 gallons of water pumped from the local aquifer. The additional amount of water pumped due to these leaks was equal to roughly 2.5 days of the utility's total system pumpage.

In the next few months, utility customers who have had their meter upgraded as part of the Project H2O project will be able to access and view their personal water use data on line through the MyWater feature on the utility's website Graphical data will allow customers to monitor their personal water consumption patterns with the potential to identify and repair water leaks quickly. Access to the data will be available on a secure website and restricted to customer specific information only.

To find out additional information about Project H2O check the utility's website at

  • Marie Van Aartsen, Acting PIO, (608) 266-9129

Water Utility