Featured image: Unitywater’s Control Room. Image credit: Unitywater.

Southern Downs Regional Council, Unitywater and software provider TaKaDu are partnering to roll out a 12-month leak detection trial in Stanthorpe, which is expected to help the town manage a more sustainable water supply.

This software, which has saved Unitywater $35 million and 11 billion litres of water in the last decade, aims to reduce water loss, identify leaks before they turn into major breaks and improve customer services.

Unitywater Executive Manager Customer Delivery, Rhett Duncan, said Unitywater was a leader in network management with only 3.5 breaks per 100km of water mains across its 6,000km water network.

“We have a monitoring system that uses smart sensors to detect leaks which we can monitor 24/7 from our dedicated Control Room,” Mr Duncan said. 

“Unitywater partners TaKaDu and Detection Services will be on the ground, monitoring equipment and maintaining the smart water network, as well as coordinating acoustic leak detection sweeps and valve testing.

“This trial will leverage the smarts of our crew to support Council in monitoring 90kms of water network while responding to leaks quicker, saving water for the community of Stanthorpe along with improving resilience in a town that has had historical water security challenges. 

“Unitywater has been using this software since 2013 so are well placed to guide Council’s team through the installation of this new software. 

“Once installed, we’ll be able to notify Council of potential problems that can then be investigated and repaired before they become larger issues that impact the community.”

Southern Downs Mayor, Vic Pennisi, said he was keen to gain valuable insights from the trial. 

“We are excited to build on our existing smart water meter technology to monitor water usage in real time and identify and detect potential leaks,” Mr Pennisi said. 

“With more than 2,700 smart water meter units now in place in Stanthorpe, Council has seen the benefits of immediately investigating abnormally high-water reading alerts to determine if the source is a leak.

“I look forward to the 12-month results of this trial and to understand the challenges of our network infrastructure as part of Council’s ongoing commitment to water security for the residents, Granite Belt growers and tourism operators in Stanthorpe and its surrounding villages.” 

Council expects the smart water program will reduce water loss, improve accuracy of water rates billing, and increase participation in water saving practices with an ability to provide real-time water usage data to the community.

Featured image: Unitywater’s Control Room. Image credit: Unitywater.

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