The new water meters use a radio-based system where the operator can download the data just driving by a water meter 150 metres away.
The system does not incur running costs due to its using the radio frequency 433 mhz.
The new equipment also has four built-in alarms, one for detecting potential leaks, one for detecting burst pipes, one for tampering and one for battery status.
“The data collected gives a view of not just consumption over a week or month but a profile, to see maximum and minimum flow rates and when those events occurred as well as peak demand” says Marcus Durrant of Deeco.
Deeco, an importer and distributer of water specialist equipment based in New Zealand, has been on Rarotonga contracted by the Water Division of WATSAN, Infrastructure Cook Islands.
This data collected gives important information for future planning in water supply management and conservation, risk management and infrastructure.
And once the new ring main under the Te Mato Vai Project is completely commissioned, the meters will operate as usual, due to them being connected to the sub-mains.
Local water demand technician Raututi Taringa ran a programme to have all ICI-commissioned water meter reading equipment upgraded on Rarotonga.
The meters are designed by leading manufacturer, Sensus, a German company. Other equipment Deeco supply are filtration and control valves and many are already used on Rarotonga. The meters are supported by Android software.
Two Deeco personnel are installing the meters and instructing Taringa on how to install, operate and maintain the equipment. The meters are located right round Rarotonga in valley and community locations.
“Deeco supplied and installed the previous equipment on the island and with the improvements in technology we can now install automated meters that will record measurements of water consumed at regular intervals and much quicker and easier to retrieve” says Taringa.
“Previously, we could only record when we were actually at the meters, that one point in time which doesn’t really provide us the information that we need.”
The next Water Division project will involve installing rainfall gauges in Mitiaro and Mauke. Divisional manager Wilson Rani returned from the northern group in early April where he did some maintenance and downloading of data from gauges installed there.