Smart water meters already saving water and money

Tamworth homeowner Sam Spokes was alerted to a water leak by Tamworth Regional Council. Picture by Peter Hardin

Tamworth Regional Council is already seeing the benefits of smart water meters. Three of the largest leaks have been detected since installations have begun, totalling over 19,000 litres a day. It has also been saving the council and its residents significant amounts of money.

Over the last few months, Tamworth Regional Council has begun installing smart water meters across the Tamworth region.

Utilising the water meter data from these meters, Council identified that one of these properties had a leak of around 350 litres an hour. Sam Spokes, the owner of the property, was grateful to receive a call from Council about the leak.

“A representative from Council phoned me to explain they suspected I had a leak at my property. Eventually, the source of the leak was detected underneath the concrete at my place. Without the call from Council, I wouldn’t have discovered the leak until I got my water bill. The leak alone was costing me over $12 per day in water usage,” said Sam Spokes.

Tamworth Regional Council’s Manager of Water and Environmental Operations, Dan Coe, explained the process of leak detection.

“Leak detection software works by assessing water usage. If a property has water usage every hour of every day, there is a high likelihood of a leak. Every household has at least one hour in the day where no water is used by toilet flushing, hand washing or showers.”

“Council’s online operational portal will alert staff if there are properties that have not had zero water usage in a 24-hour period. Council staff can then flag this property for monitoring. If the pattern does not change, Council will make contact with the property owner,” said Dan Coe.

The introduction of smart water meters is an important part of tackling water security in our region. It has became acutely evident during recent drought periods. The aim is to better understand water usage and water loss across the city, as well as encourage users to be more water efficient.

“The more we can conserve water, the longer we can maintain good water supply to residents during periods of drought.” Dan Coe remarked.

Later in the year, once all the new meters are installed, residents will have access to their own portal to set up email and SMS alerts for water leaks and periods of unusually high water consumption. The customer portal will provide residents with insights into how they are using water and where water waste might be occurring.

“Council is committed to increasing the sustainability and liveability of our region. If we can do this in a way that also helps our customers save money, it’s a win for everyone,” said Dan Coe.

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