How accurate are domestic water meters in the real world? An EMPIR-funded research project.



  • Are water meters as accurate under unsteady flows such as those generated by washing machines or toilets?
  • Does water quality influence meter accuracy?
  • How well can water meters detect leakage?

In this webinar, presented by Sarah Jones from TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory, attendees can expect to hear about the work carried out to answer these questions as part of the collaborative MetroWaMet project.

There are accuracy requirements for domestic water meters, which are currently tested under steady flow. But are these still met by meters during the unsteady flows experienced in the real world? If not, how much does this affect the measurement of total consumption? If there is a significant effect, then either the water company is not billing for all the water used or the customer is being overcharged. This also impacts on water companies’ leakage calculations.

Are the available meter types affected differently by water quality? Should water companies be aware of this when Water metering logo.selecting which meter type to install?

Domestic leakage is both a cost to the consumer and a potential risk of damage to property which should be identified as soon as possible. How smart are ‘smart meters’ at detecting leakage in real time? Can this be improved with more intelligent algorithms?

To answer these questions, project participants have built experimental facilities and developed protocols to test domestic water meters under fluctuating flows, low flows and with varying water qualities. Commercially-available domestic meter types have been included in the test programme and the results have been used to create a ‘virtual flow meter’ model. The implications of this work for national and international standards for meter test and certification procedures are currently being evaluated.


Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (Germany), Physikalisch Technischer Pruefdienst des Bundesamts fuer Eich und Vermessungswesen (Austria), Cesky Metrologicky Institut (Czech Republic), Teknologisk Institut (Denmark), TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory Limited (UK), RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB (Sweden), Turkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Arastirma Kurumu (Turkey), Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy (Finland), DVGW Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches - Technisch-wissenschaftlicher Verein e.V. (Germany), FORCE Technology (Denmark), Università degli Studi di Salerno (Italy), Centre Technique des Industries Aérauliques et Thermiques (France).


Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones has worked as a Flow Measurement Engineer at TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory for the last two years. She chairs ISO/TC 30/SC 7 responsible for ISO 4064 and is co-convenor of OIML/TC 8/SC 5 responsible for R 49, which are the standards relating to water meters. She has spent most of her career working in the UK and international water industry on various aspects of pumped and gravity systems for raw, potable and waste water, including secondments into one of Anglian Water’s leakage teams and Thames Water’s waste water team.

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