Smart Water Devices

 

Dubbo Regional Council is delivering a renewal of its existing water meter fleet with smart meter technology across the Dubbo Local Government Area. (Approximately 17,700 residential water meters and 2,300 non-residential water meters).

Once your smart meter device is installed, customers (owners, tenants, organisations) will be able to monitor and manage their water consumption through the 'MyDRC Water' online customer portal.

This free portal will allow you to monitor your water usage (including daily, weekly or monthly reports), set alerts for potential water leaks or high use (via SMS or email) and track trends or inconsistencies. 

TESTIMONIAL

Testimonial of Chris Smart, Facilities Manager - Property NSW/JLL

I have access to the portal and use it weekly. "Fantastic - I really appreciate the access and it's a benefit to me as the site Facility Manager - well done DRC"

How to register

Visit mydrcwater.dubbo.nsw.gov.au  Before using the system, you will have to:

  • Register as a user. Click the 'Sign Up Now' button and provide your details to create your My DRC Water account.
  • Confirm your account. You will receive a confirmation email after creating your account. Follow the instructions set out in the email to confirm your account and begin using your MyDRC Water account.
  • Register your property. After logging in, click the 'Add Property' button and provide the relevant information. After advising your relationship to the property, the address and the assessment number, you can register your property and view your water use once approved. If you are the property owner, Council will approve your registration, if you are a tenant or third party your property owner will need to approve your registration.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a smart water meter/device?

A smart water meter or device is an automatic meter reading system that automatically records water use, has the ability to electronically report water usage information at regular intervals and provides instant access to data that can show leaks, alert to unusual high usage (customers can set alarms in the customer portal), water theft, peak usage and other valuable network information.

Benefits of smart water meters include:

  • Facilitation of early detection of leaks
  • Enables customers to check their water usage daily
  • Allows customers to develop strategies to reduce water usage
  • Enables Council to respond more effectively to usage enquiries

Why am I getting a smart water meter?

Council currently utilises an aging fleet of mechanical water meters which relies on manual readers to capture consumption data. This approach is manually intensive and relatively inefficient. As a large number of the mechanical meters are due for replacement, this is an opportunity to consider digital technology to automate meter reading. Smart metering systems have the potential to revolutionise current water service operations and many other councils are already reaping the benefits of providing customers with the extra services that smart metering offers. The change to automated meter reading will streamline the meter reading process and offer opportunities for system improvements to create efficiencies and cost savings. The smart water meter solution can stream large volumes of time stamped water usage data which will assist Council in the management of the water network and guide planning decisions for upgrades to the water network.

How do I monitor my water usage

Customers with a Smart Water Device will be able to monitor and manage their water consumption through the 'My DRC Water' online customer portal. You can access the portal at mydrcwater.dubbo.gov.au

When registering for the portal, easy to understand instruction Videos are available for your convenience.

Your Smart water meter (PDF 1.4MB) is still able to be read manually

Read the numbers from left to right.

smart meter      

Top line displays Kilolitres.Reading shown is 8 m3 which is equivalent to 8 kilolitres.

Water consumption is charged per Kilolitre.

Bottom line displays Litres.  Reading shown is 329.70 Litres.

The bottom line will change and display other images at intervals. This is displaying diagnostics.

You can check your property for leaks by ensuring no water is being is used within your property. Check your meter and if the bottom numbers are increasing you may have a leak.

How do smart water meters work?

The smart water meter device detects the water meter dial rotating and transmits the current water meter reading as a small radio signal. The information is then stored in a secure database managed by Dubbo Regional Council.

How strong is the radio signal?

The radio signal transmitted by the smart meter is very small – it is about 30 times weaker than the signal transmitted by a mobile phone.

How does the device get power?

The smart meter device is powered by a AA battery. All the power used by the device comes from the battery.

Who is installing it?

Taggle Systems has been selected through a formal tender process and will work with Dubbo Regional Council to deliver this high-quality, innovative technology to residents and businesses across the local government area. An authorised contractor from Taggle will be installing the devices.They will have identification on their persons. They will be knocking on the door in attempt to notify the customer of the installation and they will leave a flyer in the mailbox or at the premises once installation is complete. 

How long will the install take? 

The install will take approximately 15 minutes depending on the location of the meter. 

Will my water be interrupted while install occurs?

Yes, you will experience a short interruption to your water supply whilst the new meter is installed.

Following the installation of a new smart meter, there may be a build-up of air in the properties water pipes. When residents first fun a tap, this air will be pushed out and may cause a popping and spluttering effect in the tap. This is perfectly normal and will pass within 30 - 60 seconds. This can be expected from all taps in and outside the house.

What will my water data be used for? 

Initially your water meter data will be used by Council to identify any hidden leaks to which you will be notified if any are found. On average 10% of homes and businesses have concealed leaks they are not aware of despite best efforts to save water.

What smart meter 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 models are:

1. Honeywell V200HT Integrated Smart Meter - If the customers existing meter requires full replacement due to age or fault.
2. Clip on device - These attach to existing meters which are working fine and are not due for replacement in the coming years. May also be used for different sized meters for larger properties, businesses or council buildings.
3. HP-1 High Power device – these high power devices, which are still very low power just higher in comparison, may be used if a signal is difficult to receive for example from under a metal lid or in rural areas far away from a receiver.

 

The Honeywell V200HT – integrated Smart Meter is installed if the customers existing meter requires full replacement due to age or default

Clip on device – These attach to exciting meters which are working fine and are not due to replacement in the coming years

Also used for different sized meters for larger properties, businesses or Council buildings

 

Who is responsible for the maintenance of the device?

If you notice that your meter or device is damaged or in need of maintenance please contact Council’s customer experience centre on 6801 4000.

Does it cost me any extra money? 

The cost of deploying smart meters will be funded by Council’s water meter replacement program.

How can I monitor my data?

Customers with a Smart Water Device will be able to monitor and manage their water consumption through the 'MyDRC Water' online customer portal. You can access the portal at mydrcwater.dubbo.nsw.gov.au

How do I know I have a leak?

Once you have registered on the MyDRC Water portal you will be able to set alerts for high water usage and leaks. From the home page menu select “Alerts” then select “Manage Alerts”. You will see a list of options which you can customise to monitor your own water usage.

When the water consumption or leak reaches the threshold you have chosen, you will receive either an SMS or Email

What should I do if I have a leak ?

If you have been alerted of a leak at your property by MyDRC Water, you should try to locate the leak as soon as possible. Some common leaks could be taps, showers, toilets, evaporative air conditioning, irrigation systems and rain water tanks that are connected to town water.

You may be able to repair the leak yourself or if you cannot find or fix the leak yourself, you may need to engage a plumber.

If you have a significant leak you are able to turn off the water supply to your property by turning off the tap at your water meter which is usually at the front of your property. This will assist in reducing wasted water or any potential damage to your property until the leak can be repaired.

 

What do I do if my water meter or smart meter device is damaged? 

If you notice that your meter or device is damaged or in need of maintenance please contact Council’s customer experience centre on 6801 4000

Is this big brother? 

The transmission of water consumption data is made available for the benefit of property owners and for the purpose of automating meter reads. The analysis of this data can help Council identify inefficiencies in the water network and inform decision making for upgrades to the water infrastructure. Smart meters are not intended to govern customer’s water usage but give customers a tool to self-manage their own consumption to conserve water and save money. Owners can only view the water consumption on their own property via the online customer portal.

Last Edited: 06 May 2022

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