SINGAPORE - SP Services will install Singapore's first 300,000 smart water meters from early next year as part of the national plan to digitalise the water system.
At no cost to customers, these meters that use digital technologies to monitor water usage and leaks will be rolled out to homes, commercial and industrial buildings at seven locations, said national water agency PUB on Thursday (April 15).
The locations are the new housing estates of Tampines North and Tengah, as well as Bukit Batok, Hougang, Jurong West, Tampines and Tuas.
The first phase of PUB's smart water meter programme is set to be completed by 2023.
The award of the estimated $123.7 million project to the subsidiary of SP Group follows an open tender exercise which attracted seven local and foreign tenderers.
PUB added that SP Services was selected as it demonstrated a strong track record and the necessary technical resource capability to undertake this project, alongside its network solutions provider Itron's experience in deploying nearly 800,000 smart water meters in Baltimore and Cleveland in the United States.
SP Services will be responsible for the supply and installation of the smart meters and supporting infrastructure, as well as their operation and maintenance for 15 years.
Households and businesses in the first phase of the programme will receive notification letters from PUB prior to installation.
"In selecting these locations, PUB had considered a range of factors including property mix, efficiency of deployment and the need to replace older conventional water meters," it said.
With the new meters, the agency can automatically access meter readings without the need for labour-intensive manual reads, which are currently conducted once every two months.
Paired with a customer portal, users will be able to monitor leaks and high water usage in near real time.
Pilot trials carried out in 800 households in Punggol and Yuhua in 2016 and 2018 found that about 10 per cent of them experienced leaks that often go unnoticed until they received a higher-than-usual water bill.
With the smart meters, these households had savings of about 5 per cent due to early leak detection and the adoption of water-saving habits.
PUB said the meter selected for the tender is not the same model used in these trials but it meets the same international standards.
PUB director of water supply (network) Ridzuan Ismail said: "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, in order to safeguard Singapore's water security.
"Smart water meters that can provide near real-time water use information will help to change consumer behaviour, (and) can give a major push to our water conservation efforts."
Following the first-phase roll out, PUB intends to review the results before implementing the programme for the rest of Singapore.
The first phase was initially slated to begin early this year, but it was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, PUB said in response to queries from The Straits Times.
"It was challenging for tenderers' engagement with their overseas and local partners to coordinate their efforts for the tender," it added.
Mr Stanley Huang, group chief executive officer of SP Group, said: "In deploying a smart water metering system for Singapore, SP Group is building on our track record in establishing and operating our nation's islandwide smart electricity metering system."
As at March 31, SP Group has installed over 500,000 smart electricity meters nationwide and intends to complete installation for all 1.4 million households by 2024.
Those who wish to find out more about the smart water meter programme can visit this website.