Like Unitywater’s current mechanical water meters, a digital meter counts and displays the volume of water used on a property as the water flows through it.

However, unlike the mechanical meter, a digital meter will also transmit the meter reading data to Unitywater at regular intervals.

digital transmitter is a small device that attaches to an existing water meter. It counts a pulse as water is used and transmits the reading data at regular intervals.

While our current water meters are read four times a year, a digital device can transmit its reading every day. The extra data allows the account holder and Unitywater to gain a more detailed understanding of water usage and to notice any unusual patterns.

This is particularly useful in helping to detect concealed leaks that may be underground or hidden in walls or other parts of the property.

Our trial of digital metering technology includes inviting account holders within the trial area to opt in to receive SMS alerts of unusual water usage patterns that may indicate a leak.

In Clontarf, properties received either:

  • a digital transmitter attached to their existing water meter or
  • a digital meter replacing their existing water meter.

In Noosa, properties had one of two different types of digital transmitters attached to their existing water meter. 

For further information, please contact us.

 

Initial communications with people in the trial area

In early 2017, all Unitywater account holders and occupants of property within the Noosa and Clontarf trial areas received details of Unitywater’s trial of digital water meter technology by mail.

This document provided information about the trial, the technology and what it meant to the reader, whether they were:

  • an owner-occupier
  • a landlord or
  • a tenant.

Installation

Unitywater either attached a digital transmitter to the existing water meter or replaced the existing meter with a new digital meter. 

Collection and sharing of data begins

In March 2018, Unitywater began sharing digital water usage data with our customers.

Customers within the trial area are able to log in to a website and view daily water usage information. We also send SMS water usage alerts to those customers who have opted in to receive them.

Customer feedback sought

Unitywater is particularly interested in the experiences of people within the trial areas with the new technology and we will be seeking their feedback during this time.

Evaluation

After the trial, Unitywater will evaluate the technology and determine if we will adopt it on a permanent basis.

For further information, please contact us.

 

What will the trial cost Unitywater customers?

There is no cost to our customers or their tenants for this trial.

Why is Unitywater trialling digital meter technology?

A digital water meter can transmit its reading every day, allowing the account holder and Unitywater to gain a more detailed understanding of water usage and to notice any unusual patterns. This is particularly useful in helping to detect concealed leaks that may be underground or hidden in walls or other parts of the property.

The trial will allow Unitywater to understand how digital meter technology can improve the efficiency of our operations and therefore keep our costs as low as possible for our customers. Any data transmitted by the digital device will only be used for water usage analysis during the trial.

How secure is the digital device information?

The digital device transmits via a radio signal. The transmitted data is simply the meter identification and the reading. No information about the account holder or the property is included.

What benefits can customers expect from a digital device?

The regular readings from a digital device will provide customers with the ability to monitor their water usage. Knowing when and how much water is used could save money by limiting the duration of any hidden leak or other problem.

Customers will be able to access usage data online and potentially see any water usage problems before they become expensive.

Similarly, Unitywater may be able to notice and alert a customer to unusual usage patterns that could indicate a water leak much faster than is currently possible. 

How will alerts work?

Account holders who opt in can receive an SMS if we notice an unusual water usage pattern that could indicate a leak. They will then be able to check their property’s water consumption and call a plumber if necessary.

Will the pilot affect the way Unitywater bills customers?

No. Data transmitted by the digital meter will only be used for water usage analysis during the pilot. Customer bills will continue to be based on manual meter reads.

What will happen at the end of the trial? 

Unitywater will use the trial to determine the value of digital meter technology to our customers and to our operations. We will ask customers for their feedback, for example, did they notice any unexpected patterns or make any changes to their water usage as a result of the information provided by the device?

After the trial ends we will decide whether the new technology is viable for Unitywater.

More information 

For further information, please contact us.

 

This diagram explains how the digital meter technology works.

 Digital Water Meter trial

Digital Meter timeline

Feb 2017
Announcement of trial

Unitywater announces the digital meter trial. 

Account holders and property occupants receive letters about the trial and are invited opt in to receive water usage SMS alerts during the trial period.
Mar 2018
Digital data captured
Unitywater will receive digital water usage data and will share it with customers who have opted in to receive SMS alerts.
Jun   2019
Evaluation
Unitywater will evaluate the technology and determine if we will adopt it on a permanent basis.