MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral)- The City of McAllen announced a water meter replacement project for residents and commercial buildings.

“We’ll be replacing 48,000 of our water meters from the old style turban style meters to the new digital smart meters,” said Mark Vega the General Manager at McAllen Public Utility.

Vega said the goal with the smart meters is to improve efficiency. “These meters measure the water flow a lot more accurate than the other meters and so we’ll have a much better idea of what our consumption is in our system,” he said.

According to Vega, this new system will immediately flag customers of any water leaks and allows them to track their usage which ultimately saves them money. 

“You can actually better track your usage and say well I want to stay in the first tier with the lesser rate I can now see what my usage is and better be able to stay in that range,” said Vega.

This project cost 18 million dollars, but Vega said it will be at no cost to customers. The installation will be free and will take about a year to get every water meter changed. 

“We studied this for years we didn’t want to be the guinea pig and be the first ones we’ve learned a lot from other utilities that have done this,” said Vega.

Vega adds they plan on replacing the water meters between February and March of next year.