Opening water meter cover

The smart water meter project will deliver a Region-wide network of customer water meters that remotely collect water usage figures. This collected data will be provided to Council systems to maintain the current six-monthly billing cycle. It will also provide updates on water usage directly to the customer. This will be undertaken via a computer web portal or mobile app in the Apple or Google store.

The electronic access to information may change as technology changes.

We have entered into a multi-year contract with Optus Networks for $27,040,064 which includes a three-year installation program and a further four-year operations and maintenance service contract.

The contract includes standard variations for delays and force majeure events. If there is any material change in implementation, Council will provide an update when reasonably possible in accordance with contract terms and conditions.

Stages

2021 – Contract Award Stage 1 & 2 Proof of Concept

2022 – Council endorsement to proceed with Stage 3 of Contract

2023 – Installation of Round one meters begins in March (approx. 22,000 units)

2024 – Round two (approx. 22,000 units)

2025 – Round three (approx. 21,000 units)

2026 – Ongoing service and support for four years

Start date

October 2021

Target completion date

2029

 

Accessing your smart water meter online

A web portal and app (Toowoomba Water app) is available for residents with a smart water meter. The web portal and app have been developed to allow users to check their water usage, understand their water usage patterns and identify any water leaks.

Google Play Google Play 

icon appleStore App Store.

To access in a browser: https://water.tr.qld.gov.au/

 

Frequently asked questions

About the meters

Smart meters collect the same data that existing meters provide with the added benefit of time-stamped readings that can be automatically collected. This can help Council and residents detect leaks and high water consumption before the bill comes.

The current manual meter read occurs every six months, subject to access to the meter. By moving to automated meter reading, both Council and residents will be able to monitor more closely their water usage. The potential benefit of having more available data is that residents won’t be exposed to bill shock. Proactive residents can review data and see what activities around the property are high water consumption activities. If properties have an underground leak, early detection can be achieved.

Yes, across the country there are a number of Councils using the various technologies to record water meter data. It is important to recognise that each Council has its own unique requirements and environmental conditions which determine which technology is best suited for their local community.

No, the meter replacement program is system-wide to allow for advanced analytics across the entire water network. This helps Council to operate a more efficient network and assist in the early detection of leaks and breaks. It is essential that all points out of the system are monitored.

The smart meter should be very similar in size to the existing meters. The smart meter will fit inside the current meter box or will be replaced to ensure safe footpath access is maintained.

The same as what currently happens. It stops working and you’re out of water until it is repaired by a Council representative.



What will the smart water meters cost?

The cost of the project, which includes the installation, operation and maintenance, is estimated to be $27,650,000. 

The reading of the meter itself will be a more efficient process, however the residential consumption will remain up to each resident. What the data will provide is more current information on how we use our water and hopefully help change the way we use the resource. If we are better informed on how we use our water, there is evidence to support that consumption does slightly reduce due to behaviour.

 

How will the smart meters be rolled out?

Based on the trial meters installed, Council will systematically fill in the suburbs with the most meters first to close out the current meter routes that will still be manually read over the next three years. The program starting in March 2023 will begin in Newtown and then work outwards in all directions street by street. Residents will receive notification two weeks in advance of any changes to your meter or service as per the current process and Water Act.

No, under the Water Act, as with all current works on residential infrastructure, residents will be provided with a minimum of two weeks’ notice of a meter replacement. For long-term residents who have had their existing meter replaced, this process is identical.

Depending on the complexity of the installation, an installation can take between 20 minutes to three hours.  

 

About access to the meter data

As part of the successful consortium, GreenBe is developing a web portal and Toowoomba Water app which will allow users to check their water usages and other features. We are working towards making it as easy for people to securely access their own data without the need for any training. If you use social media on your device, the use of the app or portal should be just as easy.

Then nothing changes from your perspective. You will receive an update from Council regarding your water use every six months with your bill as you do now.

No, similar to your rates data and personal information at Council, all data is secured and stored in Australia under our data sovereignty laws.

No, the data is stored specifically for Council to undertake its own data analysis to improve asset performance.

The smart meter is an ultrasonic meter with no moving parts. It cannot turn your water off.

The hardware (smart water meter) will default and be locked to displaying a cumulative flowrate in kilolitres (kL) on the hardware main screen when the optical button is covered.

The optical button on the hardware is required to be covered for three (3) seconds to unlock the display. Covering the optical button will switch the screen between cumulative flowrate (kL), instantaneous flowrate (kL/h) and water temperature (Celsius).

The display will disappear after two (2) minutes of the optical button not being covered.

The display will default back to the cumulative flowrate (kL) display after 15 seconds of inactivity.