Protecting Drinking Water with Intelligent Metering in Saldanha Bay

Data from smart meters gives the municipality insight into reducing water loss in the face of droughts and brings them closer to their goal of becoming one of South Africa’s first smart cities.

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Smart Metering

BACKGROUND

Saldanha Bay is located in the Western Cape Region north of Cape Town in South Africa. The municipality has a dedicated strategy to become one of South Africa’s first smart cities and to be a role model for their country by being an innovative municipality leading the way through technology, best practices and a caring culture.

Part of the strategy is to combine the utility’s consumption data with the city’s information system to better utilise its value. In 2017, they therefore decided to install smart water meters that are read automatically via a radio network.

“With the new meters and the remote reading system, we are able to provide better service to our customers. The solution also makes it possible to get real-time data of the consumption and water balances, which gives us valuable information about our distribution network.

We have already seen massive improvements since we implemented the smart metering solution.”

-Saldanha Bay Municipality

THE CHALLENGE

Saldanha Bay is situated in a water scarce part of South Africa. During 2017, the region faced one of the worst droughts in its history. The municipality knew they needed to start saving and managing water resources differently in order to ensure sustainability of their supply to the community.

About the project:

  • Pilot with 2,500 meters
  • Meters: MULTICAL® 21
  • System: READy, fixed network
  • Status: Pilot successful, roll-out of 30,000 meters

THE SOLUTION

The project started in 2017 with a pilot site in Vredenburg Town where a network with one concentrator and 2,558 meters was installed.

Within the first 30 days of operations, 317 info codes (alarms) on Leak, Burst, Dry and Reverse flow were identified by the data management system READy Manager. The notifications for leaks and bursts were sent to the municipality where the team either contacted the residents directly or sent a team to the site. After fixing the problem, the night flow water usage dropped back to normal.

THE RESULTS

  • Since the implementation of Kamstrup’s smart metering solution, many leaks have been detected and fixed within just hours of occurrence
  • Adopting this solution empowered the municipality to easily resolve billing disputes and enhance billing efficiency
  • The improved accuracy of their meter reading has increased revenue and real-time consumption monitoring 
  • Since the installation of the fixed network reading of the meters, these improvements have enabled Saldanha Bay Municipality to reduce their water loss by more than 4 million litres
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