‘Smart’ water meters being installed across Auckland

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Press release

Auckland residents will start to have their old mechanical water meters replaced with smart meters this week as Watercare begins its residential rollout.

Watercare smart networks manager Andrew Deutschle says the company aims to install 44,000 smart meters between now and the end of the year.

“This really kicks off our commitment to replace all of our customers’ water meters with smart meters over the next decade,” he says.

The company is also working on technology to give customers with smart meters better and more timely insights into their household water use.

“At the moment, we read residential water meters every two months – with our customers receiving estimated bills in between. Unfortunately, this means that when customers have hidden leaks at their properties, months can go by before its detected.

“In the future, they will receive bills based on their actual consumption every month. We will also be able to alert them to spikes in consumption so they can check for leaks in their private plumbing.

“These smart meters take readings every half an hour and the data is sent to us daily.

“Having real-time data will also give us valuable insights that will help us to identify invisible leaks in our own water pipes, see where we need to focus our efforts and operate and maintain our network more efficiently.”

Meters aged 10 years or older will be the first to be replaced. From now on, smart meters will also be used for any new water connections and to replace faulty meters.

“Auckland schools and some of our biggest customers have had smart meters for a few months now, and they’ve already prevented thousands of litres of water loss by allowing us to identify leaks early,” Deutschle says.

“Smart meter data allowed us to alert one Auckland primary school to a possible leak. Nothing was obvious from a visual check, but when the school investigated further, a massive leak was detected under volcanic rock, which was losing more than 66,000 litres a day.

“Finding the leak early prevented a huge amount of wasted water.”

The smart meter programme is one of Watercare’s commitments made as part of the Auckland Water Strategy.

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