The installation of smart water meters in Stanthorpe has tipped the halfway mark and the program is already proving successful with significant water savings realised through 25 detected leaks.
With over half of the 2700 units now replaced, the new system is reporting 100% data quality and abnormally high water reading alerts are being immediately investigated to determine if the source is a leak.
The smart water meter system has already identified approximately 25 possible leaks and Council has taken immediate action to contact affected property owners.
Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said that residents are appreciative of the new smart water meter technology to monitor water usage in real time and identify and detect potential leaks.
“Generally residents have been very responsive and accommodating when contacted about a potentially identified leak and indicated that they will engage a plumber to find and fix the leak,” Mr Pennisi said.
A significant leak identified
In one example, a smart meter installed on 26 October immediately started recording very high usage of approximately 16L/min (24kL/day) which is roughly equivalent to two water efficient showers running continuously.
Upon investigation, officers found that a hidden leak was discharging water behind a wall cavity on the resident’s property. The resident was able to take immediate action by calling a plumber and turning the water off at the meter in order to reduce further damage.
When asked how he felt about the leak detection, resident John Torresan said he was relieved the leak was found and thanked Council for delivering this project as part of the long-term water security strategy for the region.
“I am truly grateful that this technology has resulted in a leak being detected. Without the smart water meter, we would never have known that we were losing so much water and that damage was being done to the house behind the wall,” Mr Torresan said.
“We are thankful that Council has rolled out this program and we know it will help us to manage our water bills when the dry times come around again.”
Mayor Pennisi said that he expects more stories like this to surface and that the smart water meter program is a win-win for the community.
“We expect to hear more success stories as the smart meter roll out continues, but it’s cases like this that will help reduce Stanthorpe’s water losses in the vicinity of 25%,” he said.
“Not only does finding and fixing a leak result in the reduction of potable water usage in urban areas, it also brings relief to the residents who are able to better manage their water consumption.”
Long term water security
The Stanthorpe smart water meter project is an important step in achieving Council’s commitment to long-term water security for the region as it delivers on the 2021-2026 Corporate Plan:
• Developing and implementing a package of water security programs and strategies that ensures a sustainable and reliable water supply for the region
• Promote, educate and implement awareness programs in relation to water conservation, waste management, wastewater recycling and environmental health and associated services
• Monitor and evaluate Council operations and conduct surveys of customer satisfaction levels
• Investing in smart technologies to deliver better services to the community
The smart water meter rollout is continuing and is on track to be completed by mid-December, where after residents will be able to access their water consumption information through a dedicated customer portal.
This project is jointly funded by the State and Federal Government via the Local Economy Recovery funding program and co-contribution from Council.
This release was published by Southern Downs Regional Council