Aqualauro technicians work on the installation of the smart meters. J. R. C.
Malaga town detects 'faulty' water meters which didn't register high consumption accurately
Drought crisis

Malaga town detects 'faulty' water meters which didn't register high consumption accurately

As new 'smart' meters are rolled out, Alhaurín de la Torre town hall found the old devices did not serve to control excessive usage, which was also detected in the properties where the faulty metres were found

José Rodríguez Cámara

Alhaurín de la Torre

Tuesday, 30 April 2024, 11:22


Alhaurín de la Torre's municipal water service, Aqualauro, has already uncovered 26 'faulty' meters under a new plan to update them. Councillor Abel Perea pointed out the meters did not work properly and therefore did not serve to control excessive water consumption, which has also been detected in the properties where the faulty meters were found. They were mostly discovered at private dwellings, with the issues quickly rectified in a bid to prevent further wastage of the precious resource.

Last summer, the local council announced an investment of half a million euros to install "smart" meters, capable of instantly monitoring the consumption of each user on the network. Since then, 1,900 of the 17,000 meters have already been replaced, at a rate of 60 or 70 per day, the municipal official pointed out. This process has led technicians to discovering the faulty metres. If they continue to be found at this rate, some 300 could be found, although the councillor is confident those who have wasted water will become aware that this behaviour will not be allowed.

The new smart metres in the Alhaurín municipality transmit consumption data in real time, via a radio system that involves the installation of repeater stations, with a margin of error of one litre. In contrast, the traditional ones can give incorrect readings of up to one hectolitre.

Combined measures

Amid the ongoing drought, Alhaurín town hall has launched another initiative in addition to the installation of smart meters. This is a system of flow control and pressure reduction valves. Some 26 have already been installed, so the impact of the measure affects 56% of the population, some 25,000 people. The aim is to reach 100% as soon as possible, the councillor pointed out.

Councillor Abel Perea said the pressure of the entire network has already been reduced by between one and one and a half kilograms. Discrimination valves are used to further adjust the operation of the network and make it possible to distinguish between times of high and low consumption in order to open the supply flow accordingly.

Other initiatives

The municipality is also implementing other initiatives, such as those affecting ornamental fountains. At the same time, the regional government is investing more than nine million euros in water infrastructures in Alhaurín de la Torre. The aim of this measure is to provide the municipality with new sources of supply, as an alternative to its current dependence on aquifers. In this way, the municipality forms part of the interconnection of the systems, which is already active through the La Rosaleda pumping station and will be increased with the already approved Rojas pumping station. The town population will then be able to receive water not only from Malaga city, but also from other areas, such as the western Costa del Sol or Axarquia.

The work consists of the connection to the municipal network of Malaga city, through two connection points, as well as the commissioning of a pumping station to pump the necessary flow to the Tomillares reservoir, which already exists at the headwaters, and which has a capacity of 10,000 cubic metres.

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