Smart water meters

The challenge

For the Partners organisations, trying to gain accurate water meter readings is a difficult and expensive process. This often means that they are unable to obtain a robust understanding of precisely how and where water is used across their estates.

Manual meter readings are the standard approach, but require human intervention from water company employees. This process has a high cost associated with it, and leads to estimated data if the meter cannot be read.

Some sites have AMR systems, but may not have full control over how these systems operate. In addition, sites often have water meters in hard to reach places, making access to these meters an issue.

The Partners are seeking solutions that will allow for remote reading of meters, increased reliability of data, and reduced manpower associated with water infrastructure management.

The solutions we are seeking

The ideal solution is an additional piece of technology that can work with current meters, and not replace them. However, truly innovative replacement water meters may still be suitable for some of the Partner organisations.

The meters must be able to provide data at 15- or 30-minute intervals accurately and reliably. Any solution should be compatible with management software solutions that are currently being used, as well as work within the strict security requirements of their operations.

A number of the Partner organisations hold, or are in the application process for, Water Self-Supply licenses. Despite this, all metering infrastructure is still owned by the water wholesalers, so selected innovations must meet with approval from both Partners and wholesalers.

The Partners have previously investigated a number of solutions, including camera and RF technology. These solutions were not robust enough and did not suit the varying installation sites of existing meters. Any new solution must demonstrate how it would overcome these issues.

The solution will enable the identification of leaks and support the Partners’ water use reduction projects.

Selection criteria

Ease of application to existing systems.

Quick and low cost to install and maintain

Highly accurate

Solutions must be scalable, and work robustly in 1000s of installations.

Solutions must provide frequent meter readings, 15 minutes or 30 minutes intervals.