Tracking water usage just got easier for Toronto residents.
The city has launched MyWaterToronto, an online tool that enables customers to view their water use information from a computer or mobile device.
“This new online is exciting because it allows residents to view their water use information anytime, anywhere as long as they have access to a computer or cell phone,” said councillor Jaye Robinson, chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure committee.
Using their utility account information, residents can access the tool by logging into the MyWaterToronto site. The tool gives total and average water use readings by day, week, month, and year. Users can also input daily weather information like temperature and precipitation to understand why water usage may change during different periods.
Robinson said she’s heard countless stories from residents about high water bills. On one occasion, a resident was billed $10,000 for four months water use. Robinson said she suspects the heavy bill was due to a leak, but MyWaterToronto can prevent such cases.
“A day after Toronto Water launched the tool, an employee in the division mentioned to me that she had logged in and saw that her water usage had skyrocketed—it turned out she had a leak,” said Robinson.
“There’s no doubt that water is one of our most valuable resources and one that residents pay for as well,” she said. According to her, the tool will help the city conserve its water.
“I think this new online tool will help people become more conscientious about how they use water,” said Robinson. She adds, “Although in general we’re seeing a decline in water use, there’s always room to do better. [MywaterToronto] can help residents determine whether they’re using more water than the average person, who uses about 280 litres per day, and see what next steps need to be taken.”
Possible steps include reviewing water use behaviours and checking fixtures like toilets, hot tubs, and sprinkler systems for potential leaks.
MyWaterToronto was part of a six-year program to install automated water meters in homes and businesses in Toronto. The meters send consumption data to the city several times a day, eliminating the need for property owners or city staff to take manual readings.
More than one billion water meter readings have been loaded to MyWaterToronto. Customers can view their water usage from January 1, 2015, up to the day before they log on.