Water consumption down as smart meters switched on

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Water consumption down as smart meters switched on

Smart meters have helped to identify leaks on people’s properties in Renwick and Havelock

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink – that may be true but the residents of Renwick and Havelock have shown they can take the bit between their teeth when asked.

During the summer months, Renwick and Havelock domestic water supplies have often struggled to meet the demand.

“These communities rallied around voluntarily in response to the Council’s call to reduce consumption,” said the Council’s Operations and Maintenance Engineer Stephen Rooney. “This has worked very well – and we want to say thank you to the residents of Renwick and Havelock for taking up this challenge.”

In 2020 domestic water meters were installed in both townships, about a year in advance of billing, to help residents better understand, and reduce, their water use. These new ‘smart’ meters have also helped to identify leaks on people’s properties.

“Water meters are the fairest way to pay, as you only pay for the water you actually use, giving people control over their bill. It also helps secure future supplies by encouraging people to conserve water, and it helps to identify leaks and get them fixed quickly. It also reduces the capital and operational costs related to water supply,” said Stephen.

Council’s Operations/Project Engineer Margie Fletcher has been the public face of the programme. “We have received positive comments for our approach and other councils are now looking at similar initiatives,” she said.

Residents with large persistent leaks benefitted from the Council’s ‘30 minutes free’ leak detection service to help pinpoint water wastage.

“The installation of the new ‘drive by meter’ has transformed meter reading in the townships, making it quicker and more effective. The new technology is highly sensitive – the meter will pick up anything from a leaking tap through to a broken pipe,” said Margie.

Renwick’s water usage has reduced by 25% overnight which can be largely attributed to less wastage from leaks. “Havelock residents have also made a real effort to remedy leaks and the residents have been proactive in reducing water usage,” said Margie.

From 1 July residents in Renwick and Havelock will be charged for water usage and residents will receive their first invoice in September. The Council is encouraging anyone who has not yet fixed leaks to do so before this charging comes in as leakage will impact their water costs.

The move to domestic water metering for Renwick and Havelock comes following public consultation, where a majority of the towns’ residents supported metering.

For further information on domestic water metering in Havelock and Renwick, contact Margie Fletcher on Ph: 03 520 7400 or go to our water supplies page.

Go to FAQs web page with metering information