Smart Water Meter Pilot

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Smart Water Meters are being trialled in the Byron Shire

A smarter way to understand water consumption.

Smart water meters provide hourly water consumption data automatically, directly and securely.

Council's Smart Water Meter pilot project is a 12-month study of two areas in the Byron Shire to determine how smart water meters can best work in our community.

The two areas for the pilot study are:

  1. East Mullumbimby (potable water users, commercial and residential); and
  2. Byron Bay (bulk recycled water users only).

The pilot project will involve installation of approximately 400 smart water metering devices. Minor plumbing work may be required in some cases, however all work and materials for this pilot project will be at no cost to property owners.

Although water meters are a Council asset, installation works may require access to private property and water supply may temporarily be disrupted. Council will contact property owners prior to works commencing.

Smart water meters will help:

  • identify leaks earlier;
  • save water, money and potential damage; and
  • optimise the water network and supply to customers.

Council is considering the smart water meter technology for a potential Shire-wide rollout in the future and the pilot project will help assess its viability.

Do you have questions about smart water meters or this project?

Take a look at the supporting information and submit your question using the Q&A tool, or email us.

We will respond via this site (or personally if you’d like your question kept private).

Your questions will help Council make decisions on the next stage of the project.

Supporting info:


How do smart water meters work? The meter registers water use and transmits the data. The data can be viewed by Council and you*. Any leaks can be identified quickly and repaired. Water and money saved! *Customer portal functionality will not be available with the pilot project.How do smart water meters work?
  • The meter registers water use and transmits the data.
  • The data can be viewed by Council and you*.
  • Any leaks can be identified quickly and repaired.
  • Water and money saved!
*Customer portal functionality will not be available with the pilot project.

How smart water meters help everyone Helps you identify leaks earlier. Helps you save water, money and potential damage. Helps optimise the water network and your supply.

How smart water meters help everyone:

  • Helps you identify leaks earlier.
  • Helps you save water, money and potential damage.
  • Helps optimise the water network and your supply.


A smarter way to understand water consumption.

Smart water meters provide hourly water consumption data automatically, directly and securely.

Council's Smart Water Meter pilot project is a 12-month study of two areas in the Byron Shire to determine how smart water meters can best work in our community.

The two areas for the pilot study are:

  1. East Mullumbimby (potable water users, commercial and residential); and
  2. Byron Bay (bulk recycled water users only).

The pilot project will involve installation of approximately 400 smart water metering devices. Minor plumbing work may be required in some cases, however all work and materials for this pilot project will be at no cost to property owners.

Although water meters are a Council asset, installation works may require access to private property and water supply may temporarily be disrupted. Council will contact property owners prior to works commencing.

Smart water meters will help:

  • identify leaks earlier;
  • save water, money and potential damage; and
  • optimise the water network and supply to customers.

Council is considering the smart water meter technology for a potential Shire-wide rollout in the future and the pilot project will help assess its viability.

Do you have questions about smart water meters or this project?

Take a look at the supporting information and submit your question using the Q&A tool, or email us.

We will respond via this site (or personally if you’d like your question kept private).

Your questions will help Council make decisions on the next stage of the project.

Supporting info:


How do smart water meters work? The meter registers water use and transmits the data. The data can be viewed by Council and you*. Any leaks can be identified quickly and repaired. Water and money saved! *Customer portal functionality will not be available with the pilot project.How do smart water meters work?
  • The meter registers water use and transmits the data.
  • The data can be viewed by Council and you*.
  • Any leaks can be identified quickly and repaired.
  • Water and money saved!
*Customer portal functionality will not be available with the pilot project.

How smart water meters help everyone Helps you identify leaks earlier. Helps you save water, money and potential damage. Helps optimise the water network and your supply.

How smart water meters help everyone:

  • Helps you identify leaks earlier.
  • Helps you save water, money and potential damage.
  • Helps optimise the water network and your supply.


What would you like to know about smart water meters or this project? The Project Team will respond.


Example questions: 

Will the meter work if there's an electricity blackout or server outage?

Will there still be a manual inspection of my meter?

How can I read the new meter?

Ask a Question

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    When does the installation process start? Will there be interruption to water service during installations? If so, how can business owners in the Mullumbimby Industrial Estate become informed of when the interruptions will occur? Cheers.

    Nathan asked 4 months ago

    Installations are expected to commence in the last week of August and continue throughout September/October. 

    The majority of industrial estate connections in the east Mullumbimby area are not expected to experience interrupted water supply during installation of meters. Council anticipates 2 out of 52 connections may experience some interruption to water supply for approximately 30 minutes. Council will directly notify residents/business operators at least 2 days prior to any known or planned interruption to water supply. 

    A detailed schedule will be available on the Council website in late August 2020 at https://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/Services/Water-sewer/Water-and-sewer-projects/Smart-Water-Meters


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    Can we opt out of the communication aspect of this meter? Just like with a smart meter for electricity, that can still be manually read and you can choose to opt out of having WiFi running on your property.

    Jodieeee asked 4 months ago

    The pilot project has not been designed for an opt in/opt out due to cost and practicality. Council is trialling the smart water meter technology for a specified period of time (12-months) in two defined study areas. It will involve installation of approximately 400 smart water meter devices on existing water meters (Council-owned). 

    The meters will be restricted to monitoring water supply data. Council is not trialling electricity meters. Smart water meters do not use WiFi.

    The difference between Wi-Fi and Smart Water Meters

    Wi-Fi
    Smart Water Meters
    Around 2.4+ GHz

    Typically less than 1 GHz

    ‘Always on’ - constantly communicating

    Transmit once per hour, and in some cases, once per day

    Located in the home, in your pocket
    (along with 3G/4G, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS and AM/FM radios), in the pockets of most other people walking past
    Located outside


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    1. Does the smart meter measure anything other than water? 2.Does the smart meter have the capacity to measure or monitor anything other than water? 3.Is it possible that Council or any other body, corporate or institution can sell or grant access to information obtained from smart meters to others?

    Greg Lucas asked 5 months ago

    1. Council is only seeking to measure water volume in this pilot. The devices also typically transmit their battery level and other diagnostic information. 

    2. No, a smart water meter (of the kind Council is seeking to implement in this pilot) will only be able to monitor the water volume. Smart metering, and ‘smart cities’ technologies in general have many wide ranging applications, but they are not the subject of this pilot.

    3. Council’s record keeping practices will be the same for smart meter data as for existing meter reading data. Third parties who handle the data (such as through the communication network) will not be granted permission to use this data for any purposes other than the performance of their services and will be required to enter a contract with Council that includes provisions for security and confidentiality.

    Council may provide summarised and anonymous data to industry bodies and/or research institutions for industry research purposes where that research would provide benefit back to the community and use such summarised and anonymous data in reporting and to the media. Council would continue to operate under the relevant privacy provision of the legislation (such as the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIP Act) or the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act)).

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    Should the release of microwave radiation by Council cause harm to residents, what insurance does Council have in place for the non thermal effects not covered in the ARPANSA Standard? Is it not the indicated that on page 41 paragraph 2 of this Standard that harm will be caused?

    Anton asked 5 months ago

    Re safety of smart meter technology: Smart water meters emit a tiny fraction of the level of radio waves decreed safe by international standards at much lower levels than cellular phones, microwaves and Wi-Fi routers. A person speaking on a cell phone would experience more than 1000 times the EMF exposure of a person standing in front of a smart water meter. Distance further reduces exposure well below the already small amount as the majority of water meters are located at the front of people’s homes.  

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    ARPANSA claims there are no health effects from smart water meters, are they doctors and are they qualified to give health advice? Have you read the disclaimer on the ARPANSA site?

    Anton asked 5 months ago

    At least eight of the current members of the Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Committee are doctors, though this would be a mix of PhD and medical doctors https://www.arpansa.gov.au/about-us/advisory-council-and-committees/radiation-health-and-safety-advisory-council.

    Further requests about ARPANSA can be made to info@arpansa.gov.au 


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    I am buyong in tallowwood east mullumbimby. Do i apply to get one installed?

    Trish hawkins asked 5 months ago

    Council is rolling this pilot project out as a funded project to upgrade its existing water meters (water meters remain the property of Council). 

    No application is required at this stage as part of the pilot project, but the trial is limited to the areas indicated on the project page. https://www.yoursaybyronshire.com.au/smart-water-meter-pilot

    The continued roll-out of smart water meters, or ability to access them on an application basis, will be considered pending the outcome of the pilot project.



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    Does council or its contractor, need the permission of the landholder to enter the property to install the meter?

    Anton asked 5 months ago

    Council would initially seek to coordinate installations with home owners. 

    The Local Government Act (1993) authorises Council to enter onto private property for this purpose. 

    In many cases, the impact of any works will be very similar to a typical water meter read, which Council currently performs every three months.

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    How much microwave radiation will these meters emit in milliwatts per square meter when they are transmitting , what is the transmitting frequency ?

    Anton asked 5 months ago

    Council has called for tenders for the supply of the smart water meter devices for the pilot project. The precise transmission details will be known when the appropriate technology is selected. 


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    Do these meters require a power supply, if so ,who is supplying the power ?

    Anton asked 5 months ago

    Yes, smart water meters contain batteries. The meters remain the property of Council and Council would be responsible for replacing the devices/batteries as needed.


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    If you want to trial the effectiveness of the meters, why not make data available from the start of the project, so you can also assess people's responsiveness (or lack thereof) to the information.

    Mitra Ardron asked 5 months ago

    Making the data available directly to the users will definitely help us learn more, however getting the system and processes right, in a way that is beneficial to the user and protects privacy needs careful planning and will require an investment of time and money from Council and involvement of the local community. 

    This is an investment that Council would look to make if the trial outcomes are successful, though timing of this may depend on Council’s existing software systems and platforms. 

    There are many examples of this kind of information being available to the public (including neighbouring councils) and Council has learned much from the experiences of other councils about people’s responsiveness to available data.