A possible Dunoon Dam will take at least nine years to build, so underground water could keep the region hydrated until then.
A possible Dunoon Dam will take at least nine years to build, so underground water could keep the region hydrated until then.

New technology helping save water and money

NEW smart water meters, offering hourly consumption data, will help conserve water and lower bills for consumers.

The meters will be on trial in the Byron Shire from August 2020 as part of the council’s 12-month pilot project to optimise water management in the region.

Approximately 400 smart water metering devices will be installed on residential and commercial properties in East Mullumbimby and selected bulk recycled water clients in Byron Bay.

As meters are currently read on a quarterly basis, there can be a delay in detecting leaks in the water network, leading to high water bills.

The cCouncil’s manager Utilities, Cameron Clark said: “Leaks can be slow and problematic to detect, resulting in bill shock for customers and increased demand on our region’s water sources and council infrastructure”.

“Faster and smarter billing information will help identify leaks earlier, saving water, money and potential property damage.

“Customers will be able to track their water usage and have greater control over home budgets before the bills even arrive,” he said.

Recent water restrictions in the Byron Shire have heightened the need for a reduction in water consumption. With consistent population growth in the area and finite drinking water sources, Mr Clark said the project is a wise investment in the region’s future water security.

“It’s time to smarten up with water and transition to a more modern way of monitoring water, because at the end of the day, when the tanks are dry and taps are turned off, nobody likes a leak,” he said.

The council is considering the smart water meter technology for a potential shire-wide rollout in the future and the pilot project will help assess its viability.

The council is seeking to better understand current data analysis models, identify potential risks and barriers and gauge community acceptance so that a business case and cost analysis can be prepared.

Although water meters are a council asset, installation works may require access to private property and water supply may temporarily be disrupted. The council will contact property owners prior to works commencing. Minor plumbing work may be required in some cases, however all work and materials for this pilot project will be at no cost to property owners.

The council is currently in the planning stage and has called for tenders for the supply of the smart water meter devices for the pilot project. It is expected 80 per cent of the installations for the pilot will be completed by December 2020.

More information: You can ask a question about this project on the council’s Your Say website at: https://www.yoursaybyronshire.com.au/smart-water-meter-pilot


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