'Prepaid meters to minimise water loss'

HARARE - The prepaid water meters that Harare City Council (HCC) will soon roll out are equipped with a system that will prevent illegal reconnections and tempering as is currently common in the capital.

HCC acting town clerk Josephine Ncube said with demand for the water meters surging, council will soon avail coupons at retail outlets in the city to ease pressure at their offices.

“Our meters have a 10-year life-span after which we will buy them back from the consumers and re-calibrate.

“If anyone attempts to tamper with the meters, it is automatically detected at Rowan Martin and their water is closed,” Mpofu said.

Most suburbs have been going without water for long periods of time and HCC says the introduction of the meters will ease the problem.

In June, HCC started introducing smart water meters in Bluffhill and Sunningdale suburbs as part of its pilot project on water conservation and revenue collection.

The project will roll out 3 000 meters in selected suburbs.

Ncube told the Daily News that since water meters were introduced on a pilot scale, residents are now paying for water they use and not estimated bills as has been the common scenario.

The latest water billing schedule shows that for approximately 10 000 litres, residents can pay only 25 cents in the high density areas while in the low density areas they pay 40 cents.

“There is a growing concern among those who have had the pilot water meters that accessing tokens from district offices may be a problem when they are closed on holidays and on Sundays.

“We are looking at introducing these water tokens to various outlets so that they sell on behalf of the city,” Ncube said.

She added that after the six-month pilot trial lapses, council will determine whether to introduce the meters citywide.

Ncube added that once credit on the water meter is used, residents are given 3 000 litres of water for free until the next top-up.

Companies providing the pilot meters are Hukoshwa, Industrial Products, Syvern, Tricon Investments and Utility Systems and only three will be contracted once the trial run is completed.

Tricon Investments managing director Allen Mpofu said their meters are connected to Rowan Martin offices and can detect tampering.

Another contractor Tafadzwa Rugara of Hukoshwa Resources said their meters can show the resident their daily, weekly and monthly water consumption.

He said the meters are also online and residents can easily buy coupons via mobile money networks.

“The meters can detect a leak anywhere in the house and automatically close to avoid any more loss of water,” he said.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.