A thousand South East Water customers are set to trial the next generation of digital water meters.

Residents in Seaford and South Yarra are some of the first water customers to trial the new meters as a part of South East Water’s investigations into how improved technology can help reduce the volume of water lost through leaks and create a more intelligent water network for the future.

South East Water Managing Director Kevin Hutchings said initial testing of the technology has already indicated significant water savings can be achieved, with the potential for savings to flow on to the customer.

“Early testing in Belgrave South indicated significant water savings can be achieved for customers – with 12 per cent of the water supplied at the test site lost through leaks. For one customer alone this meant a reduction of up to 50 per cent of their water and sewerage bill,” said Mr Hutchings.

“These new meters read the volume of water that enters a property every 30 minutes. We can then identify irregular water use at a customer’s property, which may be caused by a water leak.

“Currently, we go out on foot and read each meter every three months – and in some cases we have to estimate the reading because we’re unable to access the property. Greater frequency of reads using this new technology means we can alert customers to any potential leaks much faster than we can now.

“Currently, around 16,000 million litres of water is unaccounted for each year in our service region. While some of this water can be attributed to fire fighting or theft, a large proportion is lost through water leaks.

“Trialling the next generation of water meters will allow us to identify the most efficient way of keeping customers informed about their water use. With over 15,000 kilometres of water pipes it will also help us optimise the water network and focus our future investment in water infrastructure where it’s needed most.

“We look forward to working with customers in Seaford and South Yarra over the coming months –and expanding on our trials in 2014,” concluded Mr Hutchings.

For more information on the digital water meter trials visit southeastwater.com.au/digitalwatermeters

 

Michelle Goldsmith

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