Coliban Water has continued the rollout of its digital metering program with the Victorian town of Echuca set to receive the new technology from August 2019.
The digital devices provide greater network efficiency and improved water security, with the Stage 2 rollout of almost 7,000 meters in Echuca due to commence 19 August 2019. Installation will continue over a four month period.
Manager Infrastructure, Corey Bourne, said digital meters play an important role in reducing water wastage and providing a better understanding of customers’ water usage.
“We will be installing a digital device, known as a data logger, on existing customer water meters. A data logger can record the volume of water consumption at the water meter and will transmit this data to a central database,” Mr Bourne said.
“We will primarily be using data loggers for customer billing and network analysis. The digital data we receive will enable us to identify network efficiencies, manage and maintain our assets, and make informed decisions on repairs and decisions on capital works.”
Digital technology for water meters is already being used by other water corporations in Australia and has been successfully trialled on commercial customer meters in the region.
Mr Bourne said data loggers are battery-operated and transmit data through a signal every hour that is lower than that of a text message sent from a mobile phone.
The data logger spends the majority of its time in ‘sleep’ mode and is typically on for less than half a second each hour.
“Our customers can feel confident the data that the digital device collects is encrypted and does not contain any personal information. All data is collected and is held on secure servers in accordance with national privacy policies,” Mr Bourne said.
Customers do not need to be home at the time of installation, which will take up to 30 minutes to complete.
“Data loggers also reduce the health and safety risks faced by meter readers when they enter customers’ properties,” Mr Bourne said.
Customers in Wedderburn, Korong Vale, Mysia, Borung, Wychitella and Trentham who already have digital meters installed are now starting to receive accounts that have been read using the new technology.
“Following an extensive verification process to check the network is operating effectively, we are now in a position to start billing customers via the digital meter network in our Stage 1 townships,” Mr Bourne said.
“This same verification will need to be completed in Echuca following the installation process, and customers will be notified prior to the data loggers being used for billing purposes.”
Digital meter installation has recently been completed in Rochester and Boort, with further Stage 2 towns expected to receive the meters in coming months. These towns include Bealiba, Cohuna, Dingee, Dunolly, Elmore, Goornong, Gunbower, Inglewood, Jarklin, Laanecoorie, Leitchville, Lockington, Macorna, Mitiamo, Pyramid Hill, Serpentine and Tarnagulla.