Positive signs for water meter replacement program

Smart water meters are continuing to be installed throughout the Murray River Council area as part of a water meter replacement program, with results already indicating that they may save customers water and money.

“Smart” meters record water usage every hour for manual download later or send the data to Council for analysis, which means less site visits are needed and more information is available at any time.

The program has seen filtered smart water meters installed at properties in Moama, Mathoura, Barham and Moulamein so far.

The new meters provide real-time reads, with Council already using leak detection information to address potential issues that may have previously gone undetected.

“We have already seen promising signs that could potentially save our Council and customers water and money,” Director Engineering and Major Projects, Scott Barber said.

“The leak detection report created with information from the Smart Meters has shown more than 100 customers may potentially have a leak within their property.”

“Many of these customers were then found to have had leaks of 240 litres per day or more and this is something that would have previously gone undetected.”

Mr Barber said leaks range from 240 litres right up to 2,448 litres per day, with Council now in the process of notifying affected customers.

“It’s really pleasing that we have seen such great results this early into the implementation program,” he said.

Leaks are detected by identifying meters which indicate water usage that never stops, particularly during the night when there’s very little flow, if any flow, in a typical property.

After a couple of days of analysing the data patterns, the MiWater meter data management software alerts Council to the possibility of a leak.

Over the next year, the system will be set-up to also notify customers directly of any potential leaks if they opt-in for SMS or email alerts.

“The long-term benefits of this new system are really exciting; we are already seeing potential water savings through leak detection for customers whilst also reducing Council’s electricity and water treatment costs and decreasing carbon emissions associated with power generation.”

“This is a good outcome for everyone,” Mr Barber said.

Within the next 12 months Council will also launch a customer portal to enable customers to monitor and review their water usage.

This will allow customers to check how efficiently water is being consumed within their home and property.

Properties who have raw water connections will have their new smart meters installed in the new financial year.