Plans are underway for the Leeton Shire Council to begin replacing outdated water meters with new smart water meter technology, helping residents with town water supply to manage their water usage more effectively. 

Council Director Operations, Peter Keane, said Leeton Shire Council will replace around 3,500 out of the 4,400 water meter fleet due to these meters being ten years or older. 

The balance of around 900 water meters are to be retrofitted to achieve the automatic meter reading and make each of the 4,400 meters ‘smart.’ 

“This is one of many actions council is undertaking to better manage our water infrastructure to ensure long-term sustainable outcomes,” Mr Keane said. 

“The remote read capabilities of smart meters will offer a faster and more efficient reading method than conventional meters. 

“This means the need for staff to check meters three times per year will be removed as they can be read remotely, delivering more time for staff to proactively work on the system and improve response times to any maintenance issues.” 

A smart water meter is a device that automatically records water use, has the ability to electronically report water usage information at regular intervals and provides instant access to data that can show peak usage and other information. 

“The technology allows council staff to have timelier discussions with ratepayers on water use issues and potential leaks, rather than waiting for the manual reads to identify any problems,” Mr Keane said. 

The new smart water meter, which includes a Taggle low frequency radio transmitter, will measure water use every hour for operational and billing purposes. 

The service will involve the installation of a new smart water meter or retrofitting a transmitter to existing meters which will offer close to real-time monitoring of water use and will be available for customers to monitor their own water usage. 

Leeton Shire Council’s Information Technology Manager, Gerard Simms, said, “Once the smart water meters are installed, council will provide property owners with the ability to view their own personal property water usage information via an online customer portal. 

“This means residents can monitor their water consumption anytime, anywhere and allows them to develop strategies to reduce water usage overall.”

Installation of the new meters and retrofitting of meters is expected to commence around September 2020. 

Individual property owners will soon receive an information factsheet in the mail with more details about the project. 

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