Irish Water are gradually installing water meters for about 1 million properties. There have been protests in some areas but generally the installations seem to be going to plan It will be 2017 before all the planned installations are complete – and there are likely to be about 300,000 properties that are never going to get water meters.
The water meters that are being installed are classed as AMR meters – which stands for Automatic Meter Reading. They have a normal analog meter which has numbers that are visible and can be read manually as with gas or electric meters . But – the new Irish Water meters also have the ability to store meter readings on a daily basis and transmit that information to mobile drive by meter readers on request.
So – when water charging begins on October 1st we won’t see hundreds of Irish Water vans driving around taking thousands of meter readings.
The reading, as at midnight on Sept 30th, will be stored on the electronic comopnent of all the meters – and will be available for “on request” transmission to the mobile meter readers for several months afterwards .
Likewise – the meter reading at the end of each month will be stored in the same way and can be picked up by a drive-by reader at any time in the following weeks/months.
These AMR meters also have an inbuilt alarm system which will activate silently if water runs continuously through the meter over a 24-hour period (a possible leak)
This means that when the Irish Water do a drive by reading , the alarm will hopefully be detected and Irish Water should alert the householder about a potential leak.