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Smart Meters Project - Twizel

Council contractors are installing smart water meters at every property in Twizel, including businesses. Where a property already has an existing water meter it will be replaced with one of the new ones.

Why are we doing this?

Twizel has the highest consumption of water in Mackenzie. Drinking-quality treated water is expensive to produce, and it is important that we do not let it leak out of pipes or valves and go to waste. We know the quantity of water that is leaving the treatment plant. By installing meters at the point of consumption we can calculate our real water loss between the plant and the consumer and identify the places where we are losing water. By identifying areas with leaks and other losses we can target our repair work to address these issues.

The meters will also let us know where a property has a potential leak so that we can alert the homeowner that there may be a problem. This could mean we can help prevent unexpected large bills from undetected leaks. This can be particularly useful for absent or holiday homeowners.

Does this mean that water will cost more?

There is no intention to change the amount we charge for water. Currently, the first 700m3 are included in your water rate. Anything over 700m3 currently incurs a charge, and this extra will continue to be billed.

Water Rate Facts:

  • Every household (connected to the mains supply) pays a water rate. This covers basic consumption and the cost of supplying and maintaining the infrastructure.
  • The amount of water included in the water rate is 700m3 per year.
  • This equals 700,000 litres.
  • This is an average of 1917.8 litres per day (700,000 litres / 365 days).
  • The average person in NZ uses 227 litres per day (mainly for toilets, hygiene - bathing etc - and laundry)
  • 8 average people can live in a house and still not use the whole of the annual amount of water covered by their rates.

There is no current intention to change the amount of water (700m3) that is included in the property’s water rate charge.

What you can expect

The meters will be installed at the toby (the toby is the water shut-off valve, which is generally located at the boundary of the property, and sits between the council water main and your private water pipe.) This means that our contractors will need to access the property around the toby. We expect that some will be easy to do. However, we also know that there are some older tobys which need to be replaced as part of this work. Where our contractors do need to replace your toby there will be no charge to the homeowner.

Our contractor is Paul Smith Earthmoving and their vehicles will be clearly signed. If you have any doubts about anyone approaching your property, feel free to ring your one of the Council offices and ask to speak to Geoff Horler in the water team.

Most tobys are already situated at the property boundary on the road reserve. However, we will need to access the toby wherever it is situated. If a toby is somewhere else on the property, if we can, we will also move it to the road reserve. If this is not possible, it will remain inside the property boundary.

When will this happen?

Initial work on this project started before Christmas but no work was undertaken while our contractors took a break over the very busy Christmas/New Year peak holiday period. Work recommenced on 15th January.

How will the meters work?

The meter will log the flow of water passing through it, and will send that information via the mobile data network to Council’s systems in the office every day.