Progress Report

Status update #2 - 1 March 2021

New Plumbing Solutions (NPS) on behalf of Goulburn Valley Water will begin exchanging meters in Wandong and Heathcote Junction this week as the first towns on the Intelligent Metering Trial schedule. 

As of tomorrow NPS representatives will be attending properties in Wandong to remove mechanical meters and replace each one with a small digital unit. The units are weather proof and water proof, and have a small viewing panel which will allow customers to view their water use reading at any time.

Water will be turned off for several minutes for installation. Customers receiving the meters who are at home at the time will be advised that NPS are undertaking the work; customers who are not home will find a card in their letter box to advise that the work has taken place.

If you wish to speak to someone at Goulburn Valley Water regarding this project please call 1800 45 45 00 or email mail@gvwater.vic.gov.au and someone will contact you to discuss.

Status update #1 - 1 February 2021

Goulburn Valley Water is exchanging analogue water meters for digital meters in a number of our towns to record water use for billing and data analysis.

The first batch of digital meters is to be installed in coming weeks, a major milestone with over 12 months of preparation towards this step. Communications are currently going out to those recieving the new meters, including the mail you may have received that has directed you to this web page. While all customers in trial towns are being alerted to the works via mail and other methods at the moment, you will be contacted again close to installation date, with information regarding when GVW contractors NPS are intending to visit your property. Depending on where you live, this will happen some time in coming months - you will be kept informed of when NPS will be onsite.

In the meantime, you are welcome to contact GVW with questions or to discuss, via email mail@gvwater.vic.gov.au or phone 1800 45 45 00. 

If you live in Wandong, Heathcote Junction, Mansfield, Broadford, Kialla, Waterford Park or Kilmore, your analogue meter will likely be on a list of those to be exchanged as part of the program, and customers in Barmah and Woods Point will be receiving new intelligent meters to replace their current digital meters.

Unconfirmed timeframes below given an indication of expected timing - however these timelines are subject to change. This web page will be kept up to date.

Town Expected installation timeframe* Status
Wandong, Heathcote Junction 2 March - 15 March Approaching
Mansfield 9 March - 7 April Approaching
Barmah, Woods Point 16 March - 24 March  Approaching
Broadford 9 April - 3 June Approaching
Kialla 23 April - 21 May Approaching
Waterford Park 12 May Approaching
Kilmore 21 June - 28 July Approaching

*Timelines subject to change, tentative dates provided only

As mentioned above, if you are a GVW customer in any these towns you will be provided with more detailed timelines as your transfer date approaches. Keep a look out for information in your town about installation dates and remain informed as the project progresses by bookmarking this page, which will be kept up to date throughout the project, or opting in for project updates via mail@gvwater.vic.gov.au.

 

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.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) resource available

It is estimated that over 15% of Goulburn Valley Water's customers speak a language at home other than English. If someone you know needs help to understand the purpose and impacts of GVW's Intelligent Metering Trial then please share this video with them.

 

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.   

Intelligent Metering Trial resources available for download

  • The DL flyer is available as a PDF here (101kb).
  • The CALD video resource explaining the project is available here.