Intelligent Meter Trial saving water and money; but please keep meters accessible

27 August 2021

Several towns supplied by Goulburn Valley Water (GVW) have this year received new water meters as part of a trial of digital metering technology, with millions of litres already saved as a result. Click here for case studies.

With project partner SUEZ and contractor New Plumbing Solutions (NPS), GVW has installed over 10,000 meters as part of the free voluntary trial, with most customers in Mansfield, Kilmore, Broadford and Kialla, and some surrounding communities, having had their traditional mechanical meter exchanged with a digital equivalent. Customers were offered an opportunity to opt out of the project and retain their current meter if they preferred.  

GVW Managing Director Dr Steve Capewell said GVW will receive the data from meters these towns in near-real time.

“The new system enables us to understand water use trends and patterns, and also helps us to identify leaks before customers receive a high water bill.

“The water-use data is accurate, reducing the risk of human error that can occur when collating data in the field.”

Although intelligent meters will not be read manually in the long term, customers may still notice GVW contracted meter readers attending during the remainder of 2021 while validation of the new meters occurs.

“If customers notice contractors reading or accessing their water meter over coming months, they can be assured that this is part of the commissioning process and is authorised by GVW.”

Dr Capewell asked customers to ensure the new meters are kept free of obstructions and access is possible at all times.

“Through undertaking this work, our contractors have come across many examples of hard-to-access meters which has presented challenges. We urge customers to be mindful of this, for example when landscaping please avoid concreting the meters in, or building structures such as garden beds over or too close to them.

“We have had situations where GVW has unfortunately had to move landscaping works to access meters, it is something we try hard to avoid but it is not always possible. It is a process we really wish we didn’t have to go through so efforts to keep the meters clear from the outset are appreciated.”

These hard to access meters are still in the process of being changed over, and contractor NPS is continuing to attend these more complex properties to complete the roll out. To ensure a strong signal, GVW also asks that customers use the plastic frost protection covers provided instead of other covers that might affect the signal, such as metal boxes.

Dr Capewell said that while most customers in the trial towns have received the new meters, a number of customers are still on a waiting list due to the worldwide semi-conductor shortage.

“Our initial supply of meters has been exhausted and will not be topped up until at least March 2022.

“If you live in a trial town, but your property has not received a meter, please know that you have not been missed accidentally.”

Dr Capewell said that roll out in other GVW towns is under consideration.

Now that the digital meter installation program is nearing completion, GVW will provide more information to customers on how to access and keep track of their water use data.

Customers with questions regarding GVW’s Intelligent Metering Trial can contact GVW’s Customer Service Centre on 1800 45 45 00, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,