QLDC's smart water meter trial to expand to Luggate
Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is expanding a smart water meter trial to 270 sites in Luggate this month.
The smart water meter project is a trial to support more sustainable water use now and into the future.
QLDC’s General Manager Property and Infrastructure Peter Hansby says, for the most part, it is currently not possible to measure water usage across the district at a household level, and where it can be, it is a manual task only completed occasionally.
“Smart water meters are a way to measure water usage automatically and continuously. Trialling a smart water meter solution will allow us to measure in almost real time the amount of water used and allow us to find and fix leaks faster, improving the overall management of our network.”
The trial initially started with 20 households in Glenorchy last year and will be extended to Luggate this month, along with a further 160 sites in Glenorchy from July.
“If the trial is successful, smart meters could be rolled out more widely across the district, however any decision to do this will require a wider conversation with the community. The insights from our current trial will provide a basis for our next steps,” Mr Hansby says.
“It’s important to note that Council is not currently looking to review how water services are charged. The purpose of this trial is to collect information around typical water usage in the district, to educate residents about their usage, identify leaks, and better understand the technology on offer.”
Contractors will install smart water meter caps on existing water meters in Luggate households, starting later this month.
Households will be contacted prior to installation. Each installation is expected to take less than an hour, with water shut off for a maximum of 15 minutes.
QLDC will then be able to measure water usage using a web-based software, helping its operations and maintenance contractor to proactively identify any leaks, reduce water loss, and improve the overall management of the network.
Households will also be able to access information about their water consumption using an app, similar to apps which track household electricity usage.
“We hope it will help households understand how much water they’re using and when, along with any unusual consumption patterns, for example, excessive usage at night when demand should be close to zero,” Mr Hansby says.
More information about the app will be provided to households as part of the trial.
The trial will initially run for approximately twelve months, after which a review will be completed to determine next steps.