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Hinchinbrook Automatic Water Meter Reading Project

Automatic water meter reading devices

Hinchinbrook Shire Council is undertaking a project to upgrade all water meters across the Shire to Automatic Meter Reading Devices.  The initial implementation of the project, is being jointly funded by the Hinchinbrook Shire Council and the Queensland Government under the Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program.  This project was planned through Council’s Capital Works Program for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 as well as part of the 2019-2020 Operational Plan.

Automatic water meter devices explained

An automatic water meter is a digital device that measures, in real time, the amount of water you use. An automatic water meter is different to a standard meter because it includes a low frequency radio transmitter that securely sends your water use data to us. The automatic meters installed in the district will record and send data every 60 minutes. Once fully installed and operational, this data will be available to you via Aqualus Water, our online portal, making it easy for you to set up and monitor your water use.

Automatic water meter device benefits 

Benefits for you include:

  • the ability to monitor your hourly water use online via Aqualus Water, and
  • a better understanding and management of your water consumption, with near real-time water use data and the ability to identify and be alerted to issues within your own water system, such as plumbing leaks.
  • Automatic water meter devices also improve what we know about our water assets and the infrastructure we use to supply you with safe, clean drinking water.
What automatic meter reading device will I be receiving?

There are three different styles of meters.  Depending on the age of your existing meter it may need to be fully replaced or retrofitted with a clip on device. Larger meters will require a separate retro fit device.  The three models are:

  1. Honeywell V200HT Integrated Smart Meter - If the customers existing meter requires full replacement due to age or fault.
  2. MRC clip on device - These attach to existing meters which are working fine and are not due for replacement in the coming years.
  3. ADC-1 clip on device – used for different sized meters for larger properties, businesses or Council buildings.
How strong is the radio signal?

The radio signal transmitted by the automatic water meter reader is very small. It is about 30 times weaker than the signal transmitted by your mobile phone. If the transmitter stops working for any reason, Council will be able to detect the loss of transmission and will investigate and take the appropriate action. The device is able to be fully submerged in water.

Access to your data

Following a testing phase, you’ll be able to register with Aqualus Water and access information on how you use water.  We will provide residents with more information on how to use Aqualus Water as the installation process progresses.

Reading the meter

The Automatic Water Meter devices will accurately record and send data. Automatic meter devices do not need a physical meter read, but Council will continue to monitor the integrity of the meter reading data by performing spot checks on water meters in the Shire. The installation of the automatic meter device will not change how you currently receive your bill, whether that’s via email or the post.

How will I be notified if I have a leak at my property?

Initially Council will contact you directly if a leak has been identified at your property. As the project progresses, this feature will become available to you directly, along with the ability to view and monitor your daily usage information via the customer portal. 

Data protection 

We take the management and collection of customer information very seriously. Smart meters will only send water use information, not personal information. Access to your account is protected by your Aqualus account username and password that you will need to keep confidential. We also have appropriate security measures in place to ensure the protection of your water use data. If you have any questions, get in touch by using the contact details below.

Who will monitor the battery life of my automated meter? 

The battery of your meter will be monitored by the system and will be replaced when required

Will the switch to automated meter readings save Council money?

Yes it will - this system will save staff having to manually check all water meters in Hinchinbrook Shire.

Savings will also be made with on average 10% demonstrated savings in property leakage and 10% savings in system losses.

Are failed units a cost for Council or the ratepayer?

Any unit failures will be picked up by the system and covered by standard product warranties. If a unit fails then a meter can be read manually until it is replaced. 

Your contact point 

For more information, please contact Council's Utilities Department on 47764673 or email council@hinchinbrook.qld.gov.au

The Hinchinbrook Automatic Water Meter Reading project is a joint initiative of the Hinchinbrook Shire Council and the Queensland Government.

AMR module attached to an existing water meter

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