Bundaberg Regional Council trials smart water meters
With Telstra having switched on its narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) network across Australia in September, Bundaberg Regional Council will now be one of the first to implement NB-IoT enabled smart water meters as part of its strategy to increase water efficiency across the region.
“We are doing a 12-month trial with WaterGroup’s NB-IoT enabled smart water meters, to explore the benefits of incorporating smart technology into the region’s water meter reading infrastructure,” said Water and Wastewater portfolio spokesperson Cr Jason Bartels, Bundaberg Regional Council.
The Bureau of Meteorology reports non-revenue water loss in Australia in the past five years at 878,027 mL, averaging approximately 10% of utilities’ system input. Causes of water loss include real or physical losses, such as leaks in a system’s network, and apparent losses, such as metering inaccuracies and unauthorised consumption.
Seeking to reduce these losses, WaterGroup and Taggle Systems have been contracted by Bundaberg Regional Council to carry out the 12-month trial. Efficiencies and cost savings for the council, as well as the ability for residents to keep a closer eye on water consumption, are just some of the benefits of having smart water meters installed in 1250 homes throughout the region.
“The ability to provide a customer portal through which residents can manage their own water consumption was also a factor in choosing this metering solution,” Cr Bartels said.
“This will mean that residents involved in the trial will be able to receive near real-time information about water usage, avoiding ‘bill shock’ and identifying potential leaks sooner.”
WaterGroup launched its first commercially available NB-IoT ready, fully integrated, ultrasonic smart water meter in January 2018. Easy to connect, with long battery life and long-range connectivity, it is NMI certified and meets all the relevant Australian standards.
“With Telstra’s long-range coverage, our NB-IoT enabled water meters will be able submit data from hard-to-reach places, and provide increased frequency and availability of data that will help the council quickly understand its water usage and realise cost savings,” said Guenter Hauber-Davison, Managing Director of WaterGroup.
“This is an evolutionary approach for Bundaberg Regional Council, especially now as regional water suppliers are facing the ever-growing demands and challenges to become more water efficient and sustainable during some of Australia’s toughest drought conditions.”
“The data that can be collected from smart meters is invaluable from an operational perspective,” concluded Cr Bartels. “The data from the smart meters is transmitted to a central point and, if rolled out permanently across the region, would mean manual meter reading would no longer be required.”
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