Bundaberg Regional Council is undertaking a smart water meter trial. The meters have been installed, and data is already being collected, analysed and utilised.

Taggle Systems is one of the providers for the Bundaberg trial and operates a Low Power Wide Area Network by which the smart water meters communicate water usage on an hourly basis.

The meters installed include the new Honeywell V200HT, which has the Taggle radio technology built in, as well as meters with a retrofit transmitter depending on the size, type and location of the meter.

Council staff members have been trained in using MiWater, Taggle’s meter data management application, which will alert them to potential leaks so they can notify residents or businesses of any potential issues on their property.

Customers in the trial areas will be given access to their water consumption data via a secure customer portal, where they can monitor their water use and set alerts for high consumption and potential leaks.

A number of leaks have already been detected and fixed. A leak of approximately 60L per hour was identified at a commercial property in the town centre of Bundaberg. The leak was concealed under the asphalt surface of the road and may have continued undetected for a long period had it not been flagged by the system.

Providing customers with access to their water consumption builds trust and better relationships; the council can now deliver better water services and answer questions with reference to water usage data if any issues arise.

Customers are less likely to be confronted by large water bills resulting from those concealed leaks that cannot be detected immediately by infrequent manual readings. Such leaks, if not attended to quickly, can cause significant infrastructure damage.

Bundaberg’s smart water meter trial includes two providers, with new meters installed at 1,250 properties across the region, including Bundaberg CBD, Childers, Gin Gin and Burnett Heads.

These locations were chosen for the trial to provide a mix of residential and commercial entities in different locations, providing opportunities for the council to better understand the pros and cons of Automatic Meter Reading and the range of issues that might arise in its implementation.

Water meters may be located in hard to reach places, hidden from sight, in high-risk environments, under metal lids, in basements or on properties with aggressive dogs. Such situations make it difficult to read the meters manually and create risky situations for meter reading staff.

Digital meter readings will greatly simplify the reading of all meters and allow council staff to carry out more important tasks, such as maintenance and repairs. In some cases, staff may be able to upgrade their skills to do more rewarding work.

The purpose of the trial is to help the council decide if Automatic Meter Reading will benefit the community and, if so, to test a range of different technologies and communications platforms to determine which is the best fit for the region.

More than a quarter of the meter fleet needs immediate replacement so now is a great time for the council to investigate new technologies that can greatly benefit customers, save water and reduce costs through system improvements.

This partner content was brought to you by Taggle. For more information, visit taggle.com.au.

Siobhan Day is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and Pump Industry magazine, and has been part of the team since early 2019. With a background in management in the non-profit sector, Siobhan has extensive experience in communications, professional writing and client management. She holds a Bachelor of Business and Communications and is currently completing a postgraduate degree.

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