Digital Water Meters and how to not consent.
If you have mains water with a meter then you are lined up for a digital water meter. Water suppliers intend for every household in Victoria to have a digital water meter. They have already been placed at various homes over Victoria under the guise of a ‘trial’.
It is very easy to opt-out of this even if you are in a rental. You simply need to have an account with your water supplier. If your name is on the bill then you can withdraw your consent.
Digital water meters have a communications device, which detects your water flow. This communications device uses Telstra and Vodaphone mobile towers to sends information on your water usage.
This means your water supplier eg South East Water; Yarra Valley Water, Melbourne Water, etc will be able to look at your water flow remotely through internet information. They will have a read of your water flow 24/7. The communications device must have at least the strength of a mobile phone signal to collect the data. This signal would need to be fired off at least every hour all through the day and night.
How does a communications device detect your water flow? To gather the flow data there may be a continuous emf field attached to your incoming household water. At my house, the water meter is just outside one of the bedrooms.
Would you choose to strap a mobile phone to your inflowing household water?
Yes you have a choice – even if you are in a rental. If your name is on the bill, you can do it. If not, perhaps ask the person who’s name it is in to pass on an email or get the account changed to include your name.
This is a trial. I have asked the digital water meter department at South East Water if any studies have been done on the health effects on people, plants or animals. They were not able to answer the question over the phone. Please find
Opt-out while you still can…simply send an email to your water supplier.
“To Whom It May Concern:
The residents at x (address) do not consent to have a digital water meter.
We request that you leave our water meter the way it is. Do not change it.
Please respond to this email within 48 hours.
I receive the following response within the 48-hour period this email within the requested 48-hour period:
Thanks for your email regarding a Digital Water Meter.
As requested, we have marked your account to not have a Digital Meter installed for you. For our record purposes and if you are happy to please confirm the reason you do not wish to have a Digital Meter installed otherwise this case will simply close.
Need to get in touch?
If you need more information, just reply to this email.
We’re here to help,
Customer Contact Team”
For other water suppliers, just give them a call to find out the email address
Please note: I did not use the word ‘trial’ in my email and they did not use the word ‘trial’ either. So, if this goes into full rollout I have written evidence that my meter is not to be changed.
Has a digital water meter already been installed?
Did you give informed consent?
Informed consent requires that you have all the information first. Even the call centre at the digital water meter department at South East Water did not have all the information. It seems impossible to have informed consent under those conditions.
Here are the questions I have sent in a separate email to South East Water on the digital water meter. I am currently waiting for their response. If you wish to, please send your own questions. Perhaps the questions will help people at SEW to become aware, wake up, and start asking their own questions…
To whom it may concern
We also request a little more information about the digital water meters.
The digital water meter department could not give me any information about testing of these digital water meters (dwm).
This indicates that basic test information is not available for those making enquiries to the digital water meter department at South East Water.
Certainly there is no long-term health and safety data available as the digital water meters have not been in use long term. However, we are hoping there is initial health and safety testing and that possible health impacts have been addressed as well as information on environmental impacts.
In order to give informed consent it is necessary to have all information on the device available, particularly information related to health, safety and environmental impacts.
If information on the workings and effects of the digital water meter technology is not available then it stands to reason that informed consent is not possible.
So, we are taking the time now to ask the following initial, basic questions about the workings of the digital water meters.
- Have there been tests on the impact of the digital water meter technology on the quality of the water and any health impacts on people, animals or plants?
- Is there any testing on the growth of plants and the impact on food that is grown using water that has a digital water meter in operation?
I understand the communication device attached to the water meter uses Telstra and Vodaphone Towers.
- Does the communication device use the 3G, 4G or 5G networks?
- What frequency range does the digital water meter communication device use?
- What frequency range is the communication device capable of using?
- What spectrum of wavelengths does the digital water meters communications device use?
- What spectrum of wavelength is the communication device capable of using?
- What is the strength of the signal of the digital water meter communications device compared to a mobile phone? ie is the signal the same strength, 10 times the strength of a mobile phone, 100 times ?
- What is the capacity of the strength of the digital water meter in comparison to the strength of a mobile phone?
- How often is the digital water meter communications device signal broadcast?
Water Flow detection
Currently standard water meters use a manual system to track water flow.
11. How do digital water track water flow?
12. Does the tracking device produce a constant electromagnetic field?
13. If so, what is the strength of the electromagnetic field?
Currently standard water meters use a manual system and do not need a power supply.
Digital water meters are most commonly powered by batteries, but could be powered by mains electricity.
14. If South East Water digital meters use batteries, what type of batteries are used?
15. Where are the batteries sourced from?
16. Where are the elements such as lithium within the batteries sourced from?
17. What inventory processes have been followed to discover whether the batteries are sourced using ethical labour or using unethical labour?
18. Where digital water meters use mains power please provide data on the extra loading on the Victorian or other States electricity supply?
19. If the digital water meters use a combination of power supplies, please supply the information requested on both types of power supplies.
Please respond within 2 business days ie by 5pm Tuesday October 18, 2022.
We are expecting all 19 questions to be answered adequately. Otherwise, as noted at the beginning of this email, informed consent will not be possible.
Why is this important?
A few things to consider
Our bodies are 70% water.
Water quality affects the water in our body including our blood, the cerebrospinal fluid, the digestive systems, kidneys and bladder and all the interstitial fluids that keep our muscles, joints and connective tissue supple. Fluid bathes each and every cell in our bodies. The list goes on.
The quality of drinking water is likely to impact all of these body systems. We don’t know the effects of the digital water meters on the quality of water.
This brings into question the health of our children and pets as well as ourselves.
I think most of us are already aware that
Plant health and food growing
There are many obvious questions here and it would be great to bring this to the attention of food growers.
How would this water affect the ability for us to grow our own food? How would it affect the quality of the food?
Would organic food growers still be classified as organic?
It would really depend on how the digital signals and electromagnetic fields are affected. There are ways to positively affect water and negatively affect water. What do you feel is happening here?
Why the water suppliers say digital water meters will be beneficial
The reason given by South East Water for digital water meters is that it is saving water because they can detect water leaks early. The trial has been taking place over the last 18months and the woman I spoke to at South East Water told me they have saved millions of litres of water.
However on Monday Oct 10, I listened to two speakers who represented farmers from the Murray Darling Basin. The speakers came to Melbourne to speak directly to city folk of what has been going on with farmers in this region. It seems a great deal of water has been sold to large corporations for water skiing, jet boats and other leisure activities. Water is held by corporations and ‘sold’ back to farmers at prices which they cannot pay. Water has been bought from farmers when they have been at the point of selling their farms. Farmers have been told it would be sold back at around $100 per gigalitre. It is in fact being sold at around $5000 per gigalitre. See Mission to Melbourne posts to hear these speakers.
For me this is highly corrupt and deceitful. It is all the wrong way around. Firstly water is not a commodity to be bought and sold on the stock exchange. It is a precious resource that needs to be cared for and made freely available to all who need it. Our constitution protects our water. To make water unavailable to farmers is a direct contravention of our constitution.
Make water available to those who need it. Enforce our constitution by not allowing corporations to buy our water. Then if there is still a problem, look at education and awareness. Don’t put it on to people to ‘have to’ denature their water and have someone looking over their shoulder keep an eye on their hourly usage in order to ‘save the water’.
Digital water meters do not detect leaks in pipes on the water suppliers side of the meter. It would only detect flow on the household side of the meter. These water leaks are normally picked up when the next water bill comes in. Education and awareness may be all that is needed to keep an eye on leaks at on the water supply side.
As an example: I have noticed a water leak under a nature strip in a nearby street that has been ongoing for months. The digital water meter would not pick up these types of leaks. It is not at my house, but I finally rang South East Water and they told me no-one had reported it. Education and awareness may well be enough to sort these leaks out.
Currently Europe is heading into winter. A number of European countries are putting a limit on the temperature that people can heat their own houses. It is not hard to see how water flow could be controlled down the track.
The staff at South East Water – Digital Water Meter department has told me that the water cannot be turned off remotely, however in an article on digital water meters at Utility Magazine the following paragraph appears:
However, in the years to come, it’s worth noting that should we see a return to drought conditions, where water restrictions are reintroduced, smart water meters will provide an effective means for actually enforcing restrictions such as those relating to time and quantity of use. https://utilitymagazine.com.au/digital-water-metering-the-future-of-water-management/