Smart Water Meters
Tamworth Regional Council’s latest investment to enhance water sustainability across the local community involves the installation of new smart water meters.
The rollout begins early March in Manilla & Barraba, and be installed throughout the region until late 2023. In total, over 21,000 mechanical water meters will be replaced with new smart water meters through a $6.5M investment by Council.
What are Smart Water Meters?
Smart water meters measure water usage and are fitted with low-powered radio transmitters to provide accurate near real-time water usage readings, improving the accuracy of water bills, detect possible leaks, promote better water management and improve customer service.
Why is Council upgrading the existing fleet of water meters?
Council currently uses mechanical water meters which relies on manual readers to capture consumption data. This approach is manually intensive and relatively inefficient.
Smart Water Meter rollout
Existing residential and commercial mechanical water meters will be replaced or retrofitted with a low-powered transmitter. The new installations will link remotely to a private network which will send near real-time water usage information securely to a Council data management system.
When will the rollout start?
Council has engaged Taggle Systems and their subcontractors Data Right for the rollout of smart water meters in the Tamworth region.
Installers will carry identification with them when working to confirm they are authorised to do the work on behalf of Council.
Installation will be carried out in stages from the beginning of March 2023 to December 2023. Installers will be working weekdays and weekends between 7am and 6pm.
If you have a dog or foresee any challenges in regard to access, please contact Data Right on 07 4968 3173 to arrange a suitable time.
Installers will notify residents 1-2 weeks before scheduled install via mail, the following is a guide, installation times are subject to change:
|| INSTALLATION (2023)
| Zone 1
|| Barraba & Manilla
|| 3 March - 18 April*
| Zone 2
|| Attunga, Bendemeer, Moonbi, Kootingal & Nundle
|| 20 April - 4 May*
| Zone 3,4 & 5
|| South Tamworth & Calala
|| 8 May - 5 June*
| Zone 6 & 7
|| Hillvue & Kingswood
|| 7 June - 6 July*
| Zone 8
|| West Tamworth
|| 10 July - 21 July*
| Zone 9
|| Taminda & Westdale
|| 25 July - 7 August*
| Zone 10
|| East Tamworth
|| 9 August - 22 August*
| Zone 11
|| South East Tamworth & Nemingha
|| 24 August - 6 September*
| Zone 12
|| North Tamworth
|| 8 September - 21 September*
| Zone 13
|| Oxley Vale & Moore Creek
|| 25 September - 9 October*
| Zone 14 & 15
|| CBD and commercial meters**
|| March - November*
*Installation times are subject to change.
**CBD and commercial meters will be installed throughout the year, owners will be contacted to arrange suitable times to minimise impact on business.
What happens during installation?
When your meter is upgraded to a smart water meter your water supply should only be interrupted for between 10 and 20 minutes. For meters not being replaced, a retrofit device will be installed with no disruption to supply.
Installers will take care to minimise disruption to the area surrounding the meter and they will be taking photos of the meter works during the installation to document:
- The old meter reading (including the serial number) at the time of disconnection
- The new serial number and initial reading
- The new meter in situ
Immediately after installation your water may be discoloured, or air pockets may have formed in the line causing the water to sputter. If this happens, please run each tap on your property for approximately 30 seconds or until the water becomes clear or stops sputtering.
What do I need to do?
Please ensure your existing water meter is cleared of all vegetation and obstructions to allow the contractors a safe working environment (ideally 1.2 – 1.5m on all sides of the water meter). This includes removing homemade covers (car tyres, metal boxes etc.) and discarding of these appropriately.
Note: If you require a new specialised cover for your new smart water meter, please contact Council, tyres and other covers are not ideal and can be a hazard.
Dogs and Locked Gates
As many meters are located within fence boundaries, installers need access to do the work. If you have a dog which is usually in the garden, or you have a locked gate, please contact Data Right on 07 4968 3173 to arrange a suitable time for the installation of your meter during the works period.
Should installers encounter a property they cannot get access to, Tamworth Regional Council will follow up with the property owner to arrange access.
What if I’m doing the dishes or shampooing my hair?
We do not want to catch people out, so the installers check first:
- They will knock on the door to confirm with the resident if it is ok to change the meter at that time. If not, an alternative day/time will be agreed;
- If no one’s home, and there’s no water running through the meter, they will complete the installation;
- If no one answers the door, but there’s water running through the meter, installers will leave a note and revisit on another day at another time;
- When a smart meter is installed, a flyer will be left in the mailbox or at the premises.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Smart Water Meter?
Smart water meters measure water usage and are fitted with radio transmitters to provide accurate real-time water usage readings, improving the accuracy of water bills, detect possible leaks, promote better water management and improve customer service.
Why am I getting a Smart Water Meter?
Council currently uses an aging fleet of mechanical water meters which relies on manual readers to capture consumption data. This approach is manually intensive and relatively inefficient. As a large number of the mechanical meters are due for replacement, this is an opportunity to consider digital technology to automate meter reading. Smart metering systems have the potential to revolutionise current water service operations and many other councils are already reaping the benefits of providing customers with the extra services that smart metering offers. The change to smart water meters will streamline the meter reading process and offer opportunities for system improvements to create efficiencies and cost savings. The smart water meter usage data will assist Council in the management of the water network and guide planning decisions for upgrades to the water network.
What do I need to do?
Please ensure your existing water meter is cleared of all vegetation and obstructions to allow the contractors a safe working environment (ideally 1.2 – 1.5m on all sides of the water meter). This includes removing homemade covers (car tyres, metal boxes etc.) and discarding of these appropriately. If you have a dog which is usually in the yard, or you have a locked gate, please contact Data Right on 07 4968 3173 to arrange a suitable time for the installation of your new smart water meter.
How do I read my Smart Water Meter?
Council will be launching an online portal to read your water usage in near real-time later in October 2023.
You can still manually read your meter too.