A residential leak detection trial that tracks daily water usage has begun in Colac in Victoria’s southwest.

In one of the first trials of its kind in Victoria, newly installed water meters featuring a specialised reading device to allow daily water use tracking have been installed in 200 homes as part of an ongoing meter replacement program.

Leaky pipes, plumbing and fittings can occur in new and older houses, seen and unseen, and if not detected early can waste considerable amounts of water and increase customer water bills.

Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, said, “Close to real-time water use monitoring will provide a range of benefits for the customer and the community.

“Customers will become more aware of their water usage patterns, which can help them make informed choices about their consumption, help save water and reduce their bills.”

The two-year trial will allow the 200 residential customers to track their water usage via a dedicated website. This allows them to identify leaks as soon as they happen.

Barwon Water also will monitor the data regularly and notify residents if a leak is suspected.

Barwon Water General Manager Strategy and Planning, Carl Bicknell, said, “Often homeowners remain unaware of leaks until they receive their higher-than-usual quarterly water bill. This trial will help customers identify those leaks straight away.”

Detailed water use data provides a better foundation for improved management of the overall water demand and supply system. This includes identifying network efficiencies and improving peak water use management and water use forecasting.

The trial is an extension of the successful Taggle farm leak detection program introduced in 2013.

More than 70 farmers are currently using Taggle to detect leaks early, with an estimated 65 million litres of water saved over the past two years.

The current trial will help Barwon Water evaluate whether Taggle technology is an effective tool in a residential setting.

Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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