Electromagnetic water meters from Siemens Building Technologies have been monitoring water consumption for over a decade in critical areas across the city of Melbourne, improving the billing process as well as ensuring sufficient supply of water for fire emergencies.

Accurate measurement of water consumption across a large metropolitan area is a challenging process; for the water company supplying water, it can mean the diffe­rence between profitability and throwing money down the drain. One of three Melbourne metropolitan area water corporations, City West Water is a major water supplier to residential, commercial and industrial sites in and around the city of Mel­bourne.

City West Water provides drinking water, trade waste, recycled water, stormwater harvesting and sewerage services to approximate­ly 276,000 residential and 31,300 non-residential customers in Melbourne’s central business district as well as inner and western suburbs. They also manage more than 4,000 kilometres of water mains.

Given the complexity of their operation, it was important for City West Water to continuously monitor water flow from the mains to the inlets at high-consumption sites such as schools, hos­pitals, high-rise apartments, retirement villages, shopping centres, hotels, airports and factories. Accurate flow measurement would not only ensure correct and fair billing of customers for their water usage but also make it possible to oversee fire service installations, including hydrant and sprinkler systems so that an adequate supply of water is available in a fire emergency.

When Siemens introduced the battery-powered SITRANS F M MAG 8000 electromagnetic water meter in 2005, City West Water decided to take advantage of the highly advanced metering technology and install the devices at high-consumption sites and in fire service applications. Today, over a decade later, more than 1,000 of Siemens’ electromagnetic water meters monitor customer water usage across Melbourne.

Siemens’ MAG 8000 electromagnetic water meters deliver multiple advantages over conventional mechanical meters including improved accuracy, obstruction-free operation, low maintenance, tamper-proof design and ease of use.

Improved accuracy

With the ability to measure flow at a very high accuracy rate of 0.4%, the MAG 8000 can drastically reduce unaccounted-for water usage to provide more precise billing for City West Water’s customers.

Obstruction-free operation

The full-bore MAG 8000 never obstructs flow, delivering water without any significant drop in pressure, which is especially important for demanding fire service applications.

Low maintenance

The battery-operated water meter can operate continuously for six years. With no moving parts to wear down over time, maintenance requirements are minimal.

Tamper-proof design

The MAG 8000 carries a tamper-proof design with several layers of security helping to safeguard the device against tampering, including an optional wired seal, password protection and a hardware key that is required to change critical parameters.

Ease of use

Featuring a very intuitive and user-friendly display with only a single push button, the MAG 8000 allows meter readers and customers alike to obtain information with the tap of a finger.

Andrew Geary, Metering and Backflow Specialist for City West Water, says they are fully satisfied with the accurate and stable performance of the MAG 8000 as well as the consistently high level of customer service delivered by Siemens.

City West Water continues to work with Siemens to install SITRANS F M MAG 8000 electromagnetic flowmeters as part of any new fire service application involving sprinklers or fire tanks. In mid-2015, the company placed an order with Siemens for 18 meters in size DN150, taking their total installed base to more than 1,000.