Digital Water Metering
Digital Water Metering
New digital water meters read the volume of water that enters a property, before wirelessly transmitting the daily data to a central network.
Water consumption is then monitored by sophisticated software to identify abnormalities in water use i.e. water leaks. The system will automatically alert the customer of a leak or abnormally high water use. All data can be accessed via any digital device.
Unlike electricity smart meters, digital water meters do not require mains power, cannot cut-off the supply of water and can be replaced with minimal disruption to households.
At present, Central Highland Water conduct meter reads at 68,251 homes and businesses across the service region.
In an effort to innovate and provide improved customer service, Central Highlands Water has instigated a digital water metering trial using innovative new technology.
The 600 strong customer trial across the Ballarat water supply system has already observed strong customer, financial and environmental benefit.
During the trial, the fixed number of customers already participating in the trial can access their water use data via an online portal, while CHW technicians monitor abnormal usage to notify them of potential leaks or episodes of high water use. Trial participants who have used the portal also get automatic alerts.
A successful trial could lead to a full roll-out across the 65,000 plus connections that CHW services.
At this point in time another trial has not been sheduled.
Image 1. Shows two-days of hourly water use data. The large spikes are likely to be shower use, however, the continual flow across the bottom of the graph indicate a possible leak.
As a result of the data collected, CHW was able to contact the customer within 2-hours of receiving the alert.
The unusual water use turned out to be a faulty toilet cistern. The red circle shows when the customer stopped the toilet leak.
The repaired leak has saved the customer over 130kL/yr.
A second incident during the trial, involved a leaking solar hot water system, where water from the solar system on the roof was running into the gutter, undetected.
An investigation by the customer’s plumber could not find the leak, however, once presented with the data, a more thorough investigation was mounted and the leak was found and fixed.
The estimated water saving for the customer was 700kL/yr.
Top 5 Water Metering Facts
1. Every year 10% of homes suffer from an undetected water leak.
2. Even a small leak can waste over 100,000 litres of water a year, adding an extra $200 to your water bill.
3. Participants in the trial can modify their alert settings and view daily water use information on any digital device.
4. New technologies for digital meter communications (called Low Power Wide Area Networks) transmit at around only a 40th of the power of a mobile phone and for only one second each hour. This means that batteries can last for over 10 years.
5. Central Highlands Water investigations into digital metering was driven by customer feedback though our Let’s Talk Water engagement program.