Digital metering trial now underway

With Melbourne’s population set to almost double within 50 years and forecasts of more extreme weather conditions,

we are working on new ways to build the capacity of our water network.

Our research shows that Melburnians expect us to continually find efficiencies to better manage our water now and into the future. City West Water is trialling digital meters in Richmond and Docklands until April 2021.

The aim of this trial is to determine whether digital water meters can significantly reduce water loss in the network as a result of more timely alerts to both City West Water and the customer.

What are digital water meters?

Digital water meters are standard water meters that have the potential to provide you with timely information about your water usage and bill.

The device can help identify leaks within a property and in our water network, so that they can be fixed quickly. It can also help you make informed choices about your water consumption.

How will digital water meters benefit me?

Because digital meters can collect and relay Information more frequently, they have the potential to provide more timely information about:

  • water usage, enabling you to be more aware of how much water you’re using
  • potential leaks through alerts, so that they can be fixed quickly, saving water and money.

How much will digital water meters cost?

There is no cost to have a digital meter installed as part of the trial. The trial will help us understand the benefits of digital meters and the practicalities of a future digital meter replacement program, including understanding what the financial implications may be. A digital meter replacement program would only proceed if digital meters can enable us to deliver benefits and value to our customers.

Why are you doing this trial?

Digital meters will give Melbourne metropolitan water retailers much more timely information about water use. This will help to identify leaks in the network and on properties, which will help save water and potentially avoid large bills for our customers and make the water network more sustainable.

Why are you doing it in my area?

We’re working with the other water retailers across metropolitan Melbourne to test the meters in different areas of the city, such as older areas or densely populated areas. Each trial area has been identified following careful consideration.

Will the digital meter affect water quality or pressure?

No. The digital meter has no bearing on water quality or pressure.

How are you securing personal information?

We take privacy very seriously. We manage customer information in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. No personal information is stored on digital metering devices.

Are these meters a risk to my health?

The meters transmit radio waves which are well inside government safety standards. It’s similar to mobile phone using data for about 30 seconds a day.

Where are digital water meters already used?

Digital water meters are already being trialled across Melbourne. Benefits, such as early leak detection, are already being realised in areas which have installed them.

There have been a number of successful rollouts in Asia, Europe and North America over the past five years. These examples are just the first of a larger global movement towards a smarter and more reliable future for water.

What do digital water meters look like?

City West Water are trialling a range of digital water meter devices to determine the most suitable technology for customers’ and our needs. As part of the comprehensive trial, customers may receive either a digital meter, which is about the same size as existing water meters, or a digital plug-in device that goes into the existing water meter.

How are digital meters powered?

The digital devices are battery operated. Batteries and meter are maintained by City West Water.

How do digital water meters transmit data?

Digital water meters usually communicate information to the water retailer through low level radiofrequency (RF) waves, a form of electromagnetic energy present all around us from natural and man-made sources. We are trialling communications technologies that are well within the Australian safety standards and likely to produce even less than a twentieth of the RF measured by a mobile phone.

How long will the trial run?

City West Water, alongside South East Water and Yarra Valley Water are each running digital water meter trials. City West Water’s trial will run for approximately 12 months, and the results will be a key input into the assessment of the practicality of a broader digital replacement program.

We want to get it right the first time so we will go through a robust review, decision, and approval process before any potential upgrade to the meter fleet. We’ll continue to engage customers and stakeholders as the program progresses.

I would like to be removed from the trial - how do I do this?

If you do not wish to be part of the trial you can opt out by contacting us via the details below.

Do you have questions about City West Water’s digital metering trial?

Call us on 9313 8276
Email us at

Digital water metering joint program

We work with South East Water and Yarra Valley Water to explore digital water metering. 

More information

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