Meters do no favour to finances
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.