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New smart water meters unboxed in Emfuleni

Service provider BXC SA has revealed the hi-tech and consumer-friendly smart water meter it will be rolling out in Emfuleni over coming months to help eliminate water consumption estimations and corruption in the municipal billing system.

Currently only a few test smart water meters are installed in Emfuleni, but it is envisaged that more than 5 000 will be installed in coming months and years.

Once installed, they give unprecedented benefits and control to consumers to manage their water account and usage daily – exactly as do electricity smart meters of which about 3 000 already feature in Emfuleni homes and businesses.

The sleek black water meters – about the thickness of a telephone pole – stand about a meter-high and feature an advanced high-tech user-interface with a lime-green cover – all electronically-linked to a user-app installed on the consumer’s mobile phone and in permanent communication with the BXC control center in Vanderbijlpark.

Like its electricity counterpart installed in pavement electrical boxes, the smart water meter will also be installed separately outside premises but will be embedded in the ground on pavements outside businesses and homes but still be clearly visible.

Smart water meters also have anti-tampering and vandalism mechanisms like electricity smart meters which are monitored in real time and 24/7 from the BXC control room, says BXC Office Manager Seipati Seleki.

BXC General Manager Seipati Seleki with the new smart water meters to be installed in Emfuleni.

She has oversight over the entire BXC programme in Emfuleni and this week gave MooiVaal Media a sneak peek at the new smart water meters.

“Like our electricity smart meters, our smart water meters have also been sent for impartial and independent testing by experts to make sure no over-charging can take place as with paper-based estimations and billing.

“And the app consumers can use on their phones will really place them in control for the first time of their water account – and BXC also plans to later introduce a phone app for electricity smart meter users as well,” says Seleki.

BXC is presently contracted by the Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) to vastly expand its smart meter programme as required by the National Treasury Municipal Debt Relief Programme, which is shouldering the municipality’s more than R7 billion debt to Eskom.

In addition to the 5 000 smart water meters envisaged, an additional 12 000 electricity smart meters will be installed in the region in coming months.

BXC did not say when or where in Emfuleni the smart water meters or additional electricity smart meters would be installed.

ELM has confirmed its Councillors are being trained in smart meters  to assist directly with the upcoming installation drive.

Seleki said BXC also planned to engage directly with organised business in the near future on its installation plans.

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