Paths have been dug up in Portlaoise town centre in recent weeks to allow for digital water metres to be installed at businesses in Portlaoise as part of Irish Water’s change in how water metres are going to be read in future.
The new replacement water meters have Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology.
This means that a transmitter periodically sends meter data to a receiver unit in one of Irish Water’s meter data vehicles as it drives by the area.
This switch to digital technology is intended to cut out the need for Irish Water to send staff to visit business premises to take a meter reading manually or open a boundary box.
The company says it is planned that it will also cut out the need for many estimated meter bills.
A spokesperson for Irish Water told the Leinster Express that this new high-tech system will also help them to identify potential leaks in the town.
“This means we usually won’t need to open the boundary box or visit the premises to take a meter reading as it can be read remotely.
“This results in a better service for business customers with fewer estimated usage bills being issued.
“It will also help us to identify potential leaks.
“A number of commercial meters are being replaced in the town this week as part of these improvement works,” they said.
Irish Water and Laois County Council have also been carrying out night time assessments and monitoring of the water network in the town to refine areas where leakage may be high.
New valves have been installed so they can isolate sections of the network which allows for Irish Water staff to limit the number of customers impacted by outages during future operational maintenance.
Irish Water’s work in Portlaoise is part of a water conservation and network improvement initiative across the country.
This is part of a larger plan to update Ireland’s water network between 2017 to 2021.
This work is being carried out through the implementation of a targeted programme of works called the national Leakage Reduction Programme.
Irish Water distributes 1.7 billion litres of water every day but almost half of this water is lost through leaks.
Irish Water did not say if the new meters would replace Laois County Council devices that were installed before the utility was set up.