Automatic water meter devices are just the start of a major water meter infrastructure upgrade in the Gunnedah shire.
From December, the devices will be fitted at more than 4000 homes and businesses throughout at Gunnedah, Curlewis, Tambar Springs and Mullaley. Completion of installation is expected by June 30, 2019.
Gunnedah Shire Council’s water services manager Kevin Sheridan said the automatic water meter devices would be a useful tool for both the council and residents to more accurately monitor water usage and identify issues, such as leaks, faster.
“The automatic meter devices provide real‐time water usage readings,” Mr Sheridan said.
“Council and customers will be able to use a web-based management tool to constantly measure volumetric use and identify water leaks whilst more accurately monitoring pressure and flow throughout the network, ultimately reducing water bills and operational costs.”
Mr Sheridan said the data collected from the devices, such as daily and target usage, as well as cost per day, would be a great asset for future water infrastructure planning.
"The reporting processes will allow the council to better monitor peak demand and plan for water upgrades, as well as be notified if the water meter devises are tampered with,” he said.
The automatic water meter devices will replace existing meter devices and need to be installed by hand on every property with access to town water. The device battery lasts for approximately 15 years, with no costs incurred for the property owner.
Mr Sheridan said customers may experience periodic water interruptions while the devices are being fitted.
“There is a need to reach the water meter devices during the installation [so] residents are asked to ensure the meters are accessible to avoid the council disturbing the gardens,” he said.
“Council staff will let residents know ahead of time when they should expect works and water disconnections to be occurring in their area.”
The data will also be used for billing purposes. Customers will have the option to view their usage and compare it to the water bill provided to them by the council.