PUB appoints SP Services to install Singapore’s first 300,000 smart water meters

Starting next year, the meters will be installed at seven locations across the republic

Singapore’s national water agency PUB has assigned SP Group’s subsidiary, SP Services Limited, to install some 300,000 smart water meters in the republic from early next year. This marks the rollout of the first phase of the Smart Water Meter Programme, an initiative under the Smart PUB Roadmap, which aims to transform the organisation into a smart utility of the future.

In a statement, PUB pointed out SP was selected for their “strong track record” and the necessary technical resource capability to undertake this project, alongside their network solutions provider Itron’s experience in deploying close to 800,000 smart water meters overseas, such as in Baltimore and Cleveland, the US. Besides supply and installation of the 300,000 smart meters, SP will be responsible for the provision of the wireless communications network, developing the supporting IT systems, and providing operations and maintenance for 15 years.

With smart water meters, meter readings will be transmitted digitally and automatically daily to PUB. This removes the need for manual reads, currently carried out once every two months as it is labour intensive. Paired with a customer portal, customers can view and track their daily water consumption.

Through the portal, users can also receive alerts about suspected leaks and high water usage in their household or premises. This will allow them to take prompt action to fix the leaks and reduce water usage. In PUB’s earlier trials of the smart water meters at two districts in Singapore, about 10% of the 800 households experienced leaks, which mostly occurred at the water cisterns. Suck leaks often go unnoticed until the users receive a higher than usual water bill at the end of the month.

The smart water meters are also pivotal in enabling PUB to achieve greater operational efficiencies. With the daily water usage data, the agency will be able to optimise water production and network management by understanding water demand patterns at different times of the day across various zones. The data collected can also be used to detect and locate potential leaks within the water supply network.

Ridzuan Ismail, director of water supply (network), PUB, said: “The Smart Water Programme is an important pillar in PUB’s Smart Roadmap, which outlines our vision to digitalise Singapore’s entire water system. With access to near real-time monitoring and data across the water network, this allows us to transform our operations and planning to meet Singapore’s water needs.

“With increasing water demand and challenges posed by climate change on our water resources, we are also constantly challenged to find more efficient ways to supply water and conserve water, to safeguard Singapore’s water security. Smart water meters that can provide near real-time water use information will help to change consumer behaviour, can give a major push to our water conservation efforts.”

PUB will review the first phase rollout, build up its capabilities and expertise, and take into account advances in technology before implementing smart water meters for the rest of Singapore.