City of Ocala offers upgraded resources for water conservation
City of Ocala celebrates Water Conservation Month with water conservation app, EyeOnWater® and community events
Every April, the City of Ocala (City) partners with St. Johns River and the Southwest Florida Water Management Districts to observe April Water Conservation Month. 2023 marks the 25th year and to help recognize this event, the City is looking to its customers for help saving water. The City consumes on average 13 million gallons of drinkable water a day. However, in hot, dry months like April and May, consumption can reach up to 21 million gallons a day. As the City grows, its daily water consumption will continue to rise. Since water conservation is a city-wide effort, the Water Resources Department has upgraded its technology to assist its customers.
For the City’s water customers, water conservation is now digital and is accessible by smartphone. Customers are encouraged to sign up for a free EyeOnWater® account, which connects customers to their smart water meter. Using EyeOnWater®, customers can access their daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly water usage, and receive potential leak notifications. Customers can go a step further and use the savings calculator to identify potential water saving actions like installing high-efficiency toilets.
In 2019, the City began replacing water meters with upgraded smart meters. These new smart meters no longer require manual water reads. The advantage of these smart meters is customers can visit the EyeOnWater® website or App, add their account number, and receive immediate water usage data and leak notifications.
“The EyeOnWater® App is a tremendous tool for conserving water,” says Water Resources assistant director, Rusella Bowes-Johnson “In 2020, my family and I used 158,848 gallons of water per year. We made a concerted effort to conserve water by turning the water off when brushing our teeth, taking shorter showers, cutting down the irrigation zone times, and turning off our irrigation during the rainy season. By 2021 we went to 81,147 gallons per year and 2022 our usage dropped to 53,103 gallons per year.” Additionally, Bowes-Johnson shared that by signing up for the EyeOnWater® App in late 2019, she reduced her consumption by almost two-thirds.
Customers who are interested in EyeOnWater® can sign up at https://eyeonwater.com/signup or download the EyeOnWater® app in the App Store or Google Play Store. To sign up, customers will have to enter their ZIP code and account number, found on the upper right side of their City of Ocala monthly municipal service bill.
The Water Resources Department will host “Conservation and Cookies,” two community events on Wednesday April 19, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday, April 29, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Mary Sue Rich Center at Reed Place, 1821 NW 21st Ave Ocala. Customers can stop by and celebrate Water Conservation Month with free cookies, water conservation kits, stickers, and giveaways, and receive assistance signing up for their EyeOnWater® account.