16 July, 2022

Smart water and $avings from meter upgrades

SMART water meters have possibly saved Cassowary Coast Regional Council millions of litres of water and ratepayers hundreds of dollars since first being fitted to homes, businesses and services in the area six years ago.

By David Gardiner

Upgraded Smart Meter
Upgraded Smart Meter

The Council is just over halfway through its rollout of smart meters, at 54 per cent, with areas covered including Mission Beach, South Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach, Bingil Bay, El Arish, Silkwood, Kurrimine Beach, Tully (township), Wangan, Mundoo, Innisfail Estate, Belvedere, Pin Gin Hill, Stoters, Goondi Hill and Sundown. Meters are currently also being upgraded at Goondi Bend and Hudson in Innisfail. 

The program involves the installation of smart water meter device to existing water meters. 

The device collects, transmits and analyses water usage data and digitally sends the information to secure operational and customer digital ‘portals’. 

“The smart water meter transmits hourly meter readings directly to Council via a small radio signal, which is 30 times weaker than the signal transmitted by a mobile phone. 

Cassowary Coast Council’s ‘Water Portal’ will be launched later this year. It is currently being trialled at a number of properties across the region. 

“Residents will have the ability to receive daily water-use data,” a Council spokesman said. 

“This will enable the customer to exercise more control over water use, receive more information to better understand a water bill and have improved ability to identify and fix leaks fast, reducing water loss as well as associated costs.” 

Under the old water meters if a property has a water leak, it can be up to six months before the meter is read and the property owner becomes aware. Leaks can be difficult to detect and can result in excess water charges for residents, plus increased demand on water supply and Council infrastructure. 

Smart meters have already helped identify high or out of the ordinary water usage, leading to identifying leaks earlier, saving water, money and potential property damage. 

In line with the rollout of the rest of the smart meters and the CCRC Water Portal, Council will also begin a water education campaign to provide the community with valuable information regarding how to be water wise and value the water supply in the region, the spokesman added. 

To date, CCRC has invested over $3.5 million into upgrading smart water infrastructure which it said, “has proven valuable to both Council and its customers.”

“Already, smart meters allow Council to detect issues quickly and notify property owners accordingly, saving customer’s money and the community, water. 

“The data supplied through smart meters also allows Council to monitor peak demands, read meters automatically - something which is usually done manually bi-annually - and improve planning for future upgrades.”


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