Tucson’s Oro Valley Water Utility is now offering a leak notification program called AquaHawk Alerting. The utility’s program allows customers to track their daily water usage and receive alerts when water usage exceeds the user’s specified threshold.

The online program is free to customers, and allows users to monitor their water usage directly from their smartphones or computers.

The program notifies users of excessive water usage, which may indicate a leak somewhere in the plumbing. AquaHawk Alerting cannot pinpoint where the leak is, but will let customers know when it’s time to call a plumber. New technology allows plumbers to perform leak detection without destruction, so homeowners can be alerted to and resolve leaks without any major inconveniences.

The AquaHawk Alerting program wouldn’t be possible without the help of smart meter technology. Smart meters allow the utility company to read a customer’s meter remotely. Oro Valley Water Utility made the decision to install smart water meters to improve efficiency and customer service.

To take advantage of the program, utility customers must first register for a free account. Customers must supply their account numbers, billing addresses and mailing addresses when creating an account.

Through their accounts, customers can set their own water use thresholds. Thresholds are based on the water usage for each individual household. Customers can choose between water use and billing thresholds for their daily or monthly water use.

The purpose of the program is to simply help customers track their water usage and be alerted to potential leaks before they become a serious issue. When alerts are received, customers are urged not to contact the water utility, but to investigate the issue on their own. Prompt attention to leaks can save homeowners from expensive repairs in the future.

Oro Valley Water Utility isn’t the first utility company to use the AquaHawk Alerting system. Many other utility companies across the country are allowing customers to track their water usage through online portals and smartphone apps. The program can only be used by customers with smart meters, which allow for remote water use tracking.

Along with detecting potential leaks, the program allows customers to better conserve water and save money.

Other companies, like Dropcountr, are helping change the way people track their water usage. Dropcountr has partnered with California utility companies to help prevent water waste.

The app, which is available for both iPhone and Android devices, allows customers to track their daily water usage and send daily reports as well as trends. Users can see when water usage is unusually high, which may indicate a leak, and even compare their water usage with their neighbors.

The goal of Dropcountr is to help consumers cut back on water usage, as many residents of California don’t even have any type of water meter. The company is now looking to partner with property management companies to bring water usage information to renters. Renters often pay a flat fee for water, and never really know how much water they use each month.

Oro Valley Water Utility’s program may not be as sophisticated as Dropcountr, but it’s effectively helping customers find and resolve leaks early on while cutting back on excessive water usage.