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Digital water meters have saved $600k for customers in 'leaky suburbs'

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Smart water meters have saved Unitywater customers more than $605,000 and 130 million litres of water in the last 18 months.

The meters have detected hidden leaks which the utility has been able to alert customers to before they worsened or continued.

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The project, known as the Smart Meter Network, has seen 10,500 customers in the historically ‘leaky’ suburbs of Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Alexandra Headland and Buderim areas have a digital meter installed at their property.

Executive Manager Customer and Community Katherine Gee said the utility had been impressed with the results of the smart water meters.

Smart meters have saved considerable amounts of water and money for residents. Picture: Unitywater

“Smart meters are intelligent devices that can help monitor water usage and detect hidden leaks that saves money and lost water,” Ms Gee said.

“It’s not only about helping our customers save money, but we have a huge focus on sustainability and are committed to playing our part in ensuring the sustainability and liveability of our region.”

Ms Gee said smart water meters captured meter readings at 15-minute intervals, compared with mechanical meters which are read every quarter.

“We’ve been able to notify more than 90% of our digital meter customers with potential hidden leaks within three days and they are then able to get a licensed plumber to identify their leak and repair it before it worsens.

“We detected a significant leak at a unit complex in Mooloolaba and worked with this customer to alert them and engage a plumber to investigate.

“The leak came from a burst pipe to the spa under a garden and the spa was on auto top-up so it was losing huge volumes of water. The water lost was almost the same amount of water used by this complex each day and if this continued without us detecting it, the water bill would have been more than $4000.”

Manager of the Coco Mooloolaba unit complex, Kylie Bartholomew, said, “This has saved us as a property, and all of the owners in our property, a load of money and heartache. It could have been far worse.”

Ms Gee said the Smart Meter Network was a trial and that over the next 12 months, Unitywater will be analysing the data from the smart water meters and valuing the benefits they can provide.

“This is one of the first steps in the long-term plan to roll out smart water meter technology across the utility’s entire water supply network to help our customers manage their water usage, detect leaks faster and save money on their bills.”

For more information about the meters, visit the Unitywater website

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor with your name and suburb at Sunshine Coast News via: news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au


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