Douglas Shire Council Water and Wastewater Department has installed Smart Water Meters on a significant majority of properties in the Douglas Shire.
All residents are currently able to sign up to the ‘MiWater Customer Portal’. Those properties with Smart Water Meters installed will be able to see the water usage on their property, those properties yet to receive a Smart Water Meter will still be able to sign up. However, water usage data will be unavailable until a Smart Water Meter is installed.
Benefits to the community so far as of end of the 22/23 financial year.
- 4,392 residential leaks ceased.
- 202,167,420 litres of water saved. An alternative way to view this is as 24.7 days of Mossman Water Treatment plants water supply.
Not only have numerous residents benefitted financially through the early detection of leaks the community are also seeing a benefit with a reduction in need for water production, which creates a flow on effect of reduced wear and tear on equipment and also reduces the amount of expensive chemicals involved in the water treatment process.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does a Smart Water Meter Work?
A Smart Water Meter has two components.
a) A traditional water meter which records water flowing through the meter the same as a ‘traditional’ water meter
b) An Automatic Meter Read (AMR) that is connected to the traditional water meter.
As water flows through the traditional meter, an internal wheel spins, recording the amount of water flowing through the meter. This technique is used in Car Odometers and Measuring Wheels we all used at school.
When the wheel does a full rotation (equal to 5 Litres) a magnet in the water meter flips. The number of flips is recorded by the AMR. Every hour, the AMR sends a ‘pulse’ or ‘transmission’ with a recording of the number of times the magnet flipped that hour.
The transmission is picked up by an aerial in the Douglas Shire, relayed back to a computer which updates the data on MiWater.
In total, this process can take time, and often there is a delay in updating the MiWater platform.
I own a property that is a part of a body corporate or unit complex, how do I sign up?
The body corporate will need to elect a representative to sign up on behalf of the entire property. The representative can be an organisation that manages the property, an owner of a property within the body corporate or an employee tasked to monitor the MiWater platform (this is the properties ‘Main Account’).
Once a Main Account has been created, each unit will then be able to be signed up as a ‘Tenant’. Tenant applications will be administered by the Main Account with applications being approved by the representative of the Main Account.
As soon as the Smart Water Meter was installed, we received a Leak Alert. Did the Smart Water Meter cause my leak?
Douglas Shire Council is frequently questioned as to whether the Smart Water Meter installation caused a leak on the property. The short answer is no.
If after installation, you received a Leak Alert, this would indicate your property already had a leak. With analogue meters, small leaks may have gone undetected for years in turn costing the residents extra in their Water Rates.
It is only since the installation of the Smart Water Meters that a leak of less than 1L per hour can be detected and reported to the Resident.
How does the Smart Water Meter detect a leak and is it possible that the Smart Water Meter is just picking up high usage?
As the Smart Water Meter never sleeps, it has the ability to monitor the amount of water that flows through a meter 24/7, 365 days per year. This includes Christmas, Easter, and every long weekend.
Even the smallest leak, will cause the water pressure in the water pipe to change, moving the water in the pipe and causing the internal wheel of the Smart Water Meter to rotate. After analysing the data of the area, as well as consumption, the Smart Water Meter can differentiate between, human consumption and a leak within 48 hours.
The Smart Water Meter is clever enough to know when peak times are (this is the time of human consumption), as well as detecting the consistent trickle of a leak.
Human usage will vary, and irrigation and machine usage will be in sporadic bursts, but a leak will be a consistent amount, 24 hours of the day, until it is fixed. A Smart Water Meter can analyse this and notify the resident with a leak alert.
I am struggling to sign up – What can I do?
Don’t fret, you are not the only one who has faced difficulties.
Struggling to enter your address?
This is a web browser issue. When typing in your address, a ‘pop-up’ should show, (example below)
click on the pop-up for the system to recognise your address. If pop-ups are blocked in your browser, you cannot click on your address and the system will not let you proceed.
Struggling with your email address?
Each email address can only be used once.
Tenant application won’t recognise my unit?
Type the address without your unit number. In ‘comments’ explain to the Body Corporate main account administrator which unit you are. They will then be able to approve you. If you are still experiencing issues, we recommend you contact your main account administrator.