Me­ters do no favour to fi­nances

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

DOU­GLAS Shire Coun­cil es­ti­mates it is los­ing more than $400,000 a year in wa­ter sales thanks to in­ac­cu­rate me­ters.

A re­port on smart wa­ter me­ter­ing was pre­sented to the coun­cil meet­ing this week. The re­port set out to make a busi­ness case for Dou­glas Shire rolling out smart me­ters.

It said the shire’s old me­chan­i­cal me­ters are some­times in­ac­cu­rate, thereby pro­vid­ing false read­ings that deny coun­cil the due rev­enue.

The cur­rent rate of re­plac­ing these is not fast enough to get on top of the prob­lem. More than 700 would have to go.

The for­gone rev­enue equates to about 295 me­gal­itres of wa­ter.

The over­all loss to DSC’s me­ter fleet is 4.7 per cent.

A pi­lot project is pro­posed in Shepherd Val­ley, Moss­man, con­sist­ing of 72 smart me­ters to­gether with a fixed ra­dio net­work and drive-by re­mote read sys­tem at an es- ti­mated cost of $85,000.

DSC will seek fund­ing to pay for the pi­lot pro­gram.

“This pi­lot will af­ford an op­por­tu­nity for Coun­cil to iden­tify the re­quire­ments for in­te­gra­tion of me­ter read data that is cap­tured re­motely with the Coun­cil’s billing sys­tem.

“Coun­cil will also have an op­por­tu­nity to fa­mil­iarise it­self with the ap­pli­ca­tion of the tech­nol­ogy for the fu­ture roll-out of the whole me­ter fleet,” the re­port said.

One of the ex­pected ben­e­fits of smart me­ters is early iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the var­i­ous com­po­nents of wa­ter losses, in­clud­ing leak­age on the cus­tomer prop­erty.

One of the prob­lems cur­rently is that there are “a num­ber of in­cor­rectly sized me­ters ser­vic­ing high vol­ume prop­er­ties and due to the ex­ces­sive flows, this ac­cel­er­ates the wear and tear and de­creases read­ing ac­cu­racy”.

Smart me­ters would al­low in­spec­tors to more ef­fi­ciently read gauges in re­mote and semi-re­mote ar­eas in­stead of us­ing man­ual meth­ods.

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