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South East Water has installed almost 30,000 IoT-enabled digital household water meters as part of a joint digital metering trial with Greater Western Water and Yarra Valley Water.

The new technology enables customers to manage water use and detect leaks, saving on average $150 in unnecessary usage charges and reducing water waste across Melbourne’s south east.

South East Water has now installed more digital meters in metropolitan Melbourne than any other water utility, in what is one of the largest digital meter rollouts in Australia. Installations are free and voluntary for all customers.

The meters provide near real-time water use information, helping South East Water operate the assets more efficiently.

They also help to detect leaks before they turn to bursts, so customers aren’t disrupted with outages. It’s a more efficient, reliable service that can lead to lower customer bills.

South East Water General Manager Digital Utilities, Andrew Forster-Knight, said, “The year ahead is exciting for us as we continue to scale out the IoT digital reading devices across our customer and network assets, and we have only just scratched the surface regarding the insights we’ll get.

“We’re finding that thanks to digital meters, customers are able to check their daily water usage via a customer portal rather than waiting three months for their bill.

“In addition, between three and five per cent of households have a leak that they weren’t aware of. Once we’ve notified them of this, they can repair the leak before it makes a considerable impact on everyday life.”

The initiative is part of a broader program by South East Water to continually improve the water service through technology, including automated leak alerts and greater visibility of usage patterns.

With Victoria’s population set to grow to an estimated 10 million people by 2051, and with a warming climate and less rain, water conservation measures such as these will become increasingly important. 

South East Water’s next ‘build and scale’ phase will get underway in 2022. 

For more information visit South East Water’s digital water meters webpage.  

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