Overview and project summary

Meters at GVW

GVW currently monitors water usage at customer properties via an analogue meter. This meter is owned by GVW but its condition is the responsibility of the customer. However normal wear and tear of the property isolation valve, meter or service pipe is considered GVW's responsibility.

Meter reading at GVW

The analogue meters track water use in litres, and the usage is read every four months by a contracted meter reader. They do this by walking from property to property, and checking and recording the reading.This data is then fed into the system, and an account is generated based on the difference between the previous read, and the current read.

Limitations of current meter reading process

There are several limitations to the current meter reading process - however any changes will take time, in fact years, to implement.

For example, if GVW has been unable to access your meter for any reason your water usage will be estimated based on usage history. This means your actual water usage may differ from that shown on your account. 

Also, currently, GVW is able to conduct broad brush analysis of water use behaviours. Water use data can be broken down into systems, with for instance, usage over 2019/20 Summer varying from 3818ML in the Shepparton system, down to 134ML in the smaller Alexandra system. To see a map of last year's Summer usage across the region click here.

It becomes more difficult to analyse when domestic connections (including household and garden use), commercial connections and industrial connections are all included in the figure and limits GVW's ability to promote messaging on this in a meaningful way.

Planned project to change over meters in trial towns

Customer water use information will be increasingly more detailed with the installation of Intelligent Meters in a number of towns approaching, helping to reduce water wastage and detect leaks early.

Intelligent meters will be trialled in four high-growth towns – Kialla, Kilmore, Broadford and Mansfield. Older intelligent meters in Woods Point and Barmah installed several years ago will also be replaced, as they’ve reached the end of their life.

Water use data

The digital data received will help GVW to make more informed decisions for managing its water supply systems, including how repairs are prioritised and infrastructure upgrades are scheduled.

Other benefits of collecting near-real time data include more accurate billing, detecting leaks earlier in both the GVW water pipe network and at customer properties and eliminating the need to send meter readers to access customer properties.

This near-real time data will allow for improved analysis and will be useful for planning, reporting and for understanding customer water use, and highly valuable for use with the community and customers.

Customers and community can be assured that the water use data is transmitted through low level radio frequency waves, which are well within Australian safety standards. The meter trial is voluntary in that customers will be offered an opportunity to opt out of the project and retain their current meter.

Installation information

Customers in towns who will be receiving these meters will be contacted and kept informed as the installation stage approaches, via a range of methods including social media updates, letters, media releases, SMS messages, and this webpage.

Installation will involve removal of the existing analogue meter, and immediately replacing it with a new meter. Customers can expect up to 10-15min water supply interruption, but will be advised when this is occuring.

Project details

Waste collection, recycling and water treatment specialists SUEZ have been announced as the successful contractor for the project.

Installation will begin in early 2021, with results from this trial stage informing GVW’s decision regarding future commitment to installing meters across the rest of the service area.

Feedback

Customers are encouraged to provide feedback on this project or GVW's services on 1800 45 45 00, and any customer wishing to discuss an opt-out arrangement can do via initial enquiry email to mail@gvwater.vic.gov.au.