Barwon Water (Victoria), in a recent newsletter, reported on its on-farm leak detection program stating that “The trial was highly successful in reducing the time taken to detect and repair on-farm leaks…”. According to its post on LinkedIn, Barwon Water said “Over the past two years, the program has resulted in savings of an estimated 65 million litres of drinking water.”
In July, 2013, Barwon Water began a 12 month on-farm leak detection trial with the Irrewarra Farm Care Group using “Taggle” technology. Farmers were able to view their daily water use online and identify water leaks quickly.
The trial was highly successful in reducing the time taken to detect and repair on-farm leaks and, as a result, the program was extended to farmers across the Colac district. There are now 73 farmers participating, with tags installed on 193 water meters.
Over the past two years, the program has resulted in savings of an estimated 65 million litres of drinking water.
Results for 2015/2016
A comprehensive review of the program was conducted in July, 2016, with key findings as follows:
- On-farm leaks are very common. Thirty-five farmers who responded to the Barwon Water survey sent out in May this year reported that 266 on-farm leaks had been detected on their farms using the Taggle system.
- SMS alerts and Taggle website viewing had reduced leak detection and repair times to only a few days.
- Most leaks were due to leaking troughs, leaking stock trough connectors, faulty ball valves and holes in pipes.
- During 2015/16, Barwon Water verified 45 large leaks (over 200 litres per hour) causing an estimated water loss of approximately 4.4 million litres.
Three years of leak detection data is available for the 25 Irrewarra Farmcare Group members who participated in the leak detection trial. However, only 12 to 18 months of leak detection data is available for the 48 new customers to the program.
The trial uses Taggle’s LPWAN to collect data from water meters installed on farms which use potable water reticulated across their properties. The program started in 2013 and, because of its success, has been extended to 2018. Barwon Water is also extending the program to include residential water meters in the town of Colac.