Redrow/United Utilities pilot new water meter technology

Michael Hunt

Redrow Homes claims it has achieved two firsts as part of a United Utilities water metering pilot scheme in Buckshaw Village, near Chorley, in Lancashire.

Redrow said it was the first time in the country that an "intelligent" water meter has been fitted within a wall box on the rear elevation of a new home.

Most new developments have water meter boxes placed beneath driveways or footpaths.

However, with automated meter reading technology, the meter can be sited on any wall of the property, including the inside of a home, and the water authority can collect readings remotely.

The new technology has been designed to make water meters easier and quicker to read for the home owner and the water company via a radio signal.

It is anticipated that in the future, the AMR meter will allow patterns of high use or possible leaks to be identified.

Marcus Maugham, of Redrow Homes, who has assisted United Utilities, said: "The pilot has demonstrated that it is now technically possible and cost effective to locate a smart water meter on any aspect of the dwelling whether it be front, side or back. The ability to locate a wall box on any aspect of the dwelling will satisfy the aesthetic demands of all concerned.

"It removes the need for a footpath meter chamber or any other underground stop tap as the wall box has this included. It also takes away the cost and inconvenience of rectifying damage caused to underground meter chambers during construction work that, according to the results of a survey of housebuilders, affects 53% of all connections on all sites."

Redrow's first wall mounted meter was fitted in a project initiated by United Utilities, as a pilot to delivering automated meter reading as a 'business as usual' offering from 2010.

It has taken 10 years for new water meter technology to be created.

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