Taggle Systems has been collaborating with sixteen local councils across Queensland. They have helped them detect water leaks and encourage water saving among their residents with smart meters.
Queensland Councils currently installing smart water meters include Southern Down Regional Council, Flinders Shire Council, Richmond Shire Council, and Cassowary Coast Regional Council. Mackay Regional Council will shortly begin their second round of installations after ten years of smart water success.
Most recently, Taggle has worked with Douglas Shire Council – home of top tourist destination, Port Douglas. Douglas Shire Council has installed smart meters as part of stage one within Port Douglas to address leaks and tackles water loss quickly. The council has already reduced water leaks by approximately 200 kL per day, saving about five backyard swimming pools.
Hourly data collected by the meters easily identify if a leak is present, empowering council staff to contact residential and commercial property owners. Council advises them of the leak, saving water and the associated costs to treat and deliver the water. Those customers have been extremely positive and appreciative as their water bills will no longer be impacted by unknown water losses, saving them money.
Smart meters support water security
Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the smart water meters formed part of the Council’s water security strategy for the region.
“Douglas is a world-class tourist destination that needs a reliable water supply,” he said. “The smart water meter program helps Council to detect leaks quicker than ever before and reduce the amount of water being wasted. Council is investing in projects which increase our water supply whilst finding and fixing leaks in our network remains a fundamental focus of this Council.”
Working with the community
Residents and businesses can access a free customer portal to track their water consumption. The portal allows water users to set up automatic alerts for potential water leaks and high consumption. They can also view their water consumption in graphs highlighting where excess water is used. That includes opportunities like watering the lawn, allowing them to make better decisions about how and when they use water.
Many resorts, holiday homes and businesses catering to the tourism industry rely on and benefit from access to water. If water restrictions can be avoided or delayed, it greatly benefits the local community. Finding any wasted water and saving it is of significant value.
The Customer Portal also assists customer service in answering enquiries concerning water use. The data helps explain what the problem might be and when it started. Reducing the duration of leaks saves money for both the residents and Council.
Finding water leaks quickly has helped reduce the burden on the system. Less water needs to be produced, particularly when there isn’t much rain, and restrictions must be introduced.
Expanding the program
Councillors have been extremely impressed with the outcome of the smart water meters. They endorsed expanding the smart water meter program to all properties with reticulated water supply in the Shire. Once complete, a total of 4,700 smart water meters will be installed throughout the shire. Work has already begun in preparation for these smart water meter installations.
This article was first published in Inside Water Magazine