Australia campaigns to allow sub meters in apartments to measure water use

Nepture adds FATHOM to partner program

Australian metering company Fair Water Meters is lobbying for changes to measurement regulations to make it easier for multi-dwelling residences to install sub meters.

The organisation is appealing to the National Measurement Institute to make it cheaper and more convenient for apartment owners to install their own sub meters so they only pay for the water they use, reports trade publication Sourceable.

Bulk metering continues to be in place for many old apartments in Australia that have only a single water meter for the entire property, resulting in all residents sharing the burden of costs irrespective of how much water they have consumed individually.

Measurement regulations

Under the NMI’s current ‘200 rule’, owners are only allowed to install bulky meters with capacities of between 2,500 and 4,000 litres an hour.

In order to cater to apartment occupants, Fair Water Meters has developed a more compact 1600L/h meter that can be installed in apartments for around AU$650 (US$580).

Chris Terblanche, director of Fair Water Meters, said these kinds of smaller water meters had been used in Europe for two decades, providing a far more equitable form of metering than the bulk billing that currently prevails in Australia’s older apartment buildings.

Mr Terblanche said: “Our device could put an end to this inequitable system, but to make it commercially available, the NMI needs to relax our repeal its 200 rule and allow smaller meters.”

The sub meters also have leak detection and detailed monitoring functionality.

Consumer campaign

Fair Water Meters is now calling on the public to sign a petition for the repeal of the 200 rule, and believes it has the backing of peak bodies and government agencies to bring Australia’s water regulations in line with international norms.

NMI is currently considering the adoption of the updated international water metering regulations (OIML R49) 2013, and will remain open to submissions on the issue until September 30.