Very few people actually know how much water goes into a car wash, a bath, a shower, a flushing toilet or even filling up your swimming pool. By monitoring water consumption, we are able to start managing water use and can become aware of the amount of water applied to certain everyday tasks.
Do you actually know how much water you use during a day or month, and what you use it for? The analogue water metering system only takes snapshots of water consumption. “Seeing is believing” they say, but with no real information at hand, we as humans fill the gaps without actually knowing the facts.
With 24-hour delayed live data monitoring of water consumption, water usage per facility or service becomes a reality, because we can see the numbers, as they happen. Now we act proactively on water leaks instead of reacting on the consequence of the leak (a continuous high water utility bill that usually only happens after 60 – 90 days).
Leaks are one of the biggest “consumers” of water.
Infrastructure upgrades only occur when there is a need in regards to bigger pipes or severe leakages, and until then leaks will occur. The question remains, how do we know there is a water leakage? The short answer to this is, it must impact the end-user on a financial level, before anything is done. Somehow our respect for one of the most valuable resources on earth has disappeared. Not necessarily based on monetary value, but based on the property that it is life giving, to everything on planet earth.
Water cannot be created by humans. The volume of water on earth is fixed. Water only changes state or condition, from ice to liquid or from fresh to salt water, to name a few. We need to drastically manage the clean water we have, not just as a country, but on a global scale. What do you do when you see a water leakage, even if it doesn’t have an impact on your wallet? Do you turn a blind eye?
Most water leakages start small and grow over time. These leaks are not visible, since they are located either under infrastructure or under natural ground. This is clean water, for which costs have already been incurred for treament, that goes to waste without anyone noticing.
What happens when you are not looking at your water meter, do you know? Let’s assume a scenario where a small leak in your water infrastructure occurs during the first half of the month. Your water utility readings are taken on the 17th of each month. Because of the timing of the leak, it will only show a small increase on the statement you will receive by the end of the month. The leak will thus continue until the next reading, which will be on the 17th of the next month. The statement for this reading will be issued by the end of that month.
Let’s assume you respond quickly after receiving the statement, that you know it is a water leak, know exactly where the leak is (this is very unlikely) and send a contractor to physically detect and repair this SMALL leak, the result will likely be:
- 50 Days x 6240 litre per day = 312 000 litre at R27.10
- Money wasted = R8 455.20
- Water wasted = 312 000 litres of drinkable water = about 10 average households without water for a month = approximate 10 000 people without water for a day in South Africa’s rural areas
Why monitor Consumption?
If you can measure it, you can manage it. Your water consumption can easily and quickly escalate out of control if not monitored continuously. With deteriorating infrastructure, a leak can easily run for more than 60 days before being picked up due to a high utilities bill. This problem is worsened when taking into account that estimate readings are taken on a regular basis, thus not picking up on increased consumption. With continuous water monitoring by means of electronic logging equipment, excessive consumption can be highlighted within 24 hours. The proposed monitoring system for the identified sites updates hourly, to ensure no inefficiencies are left unchecked.
Installing an electronic logger on your incoming water meter, will provide the following information:
- Exact daily consumption
- Minimum nightflow (MNF). This will indicate presence of any leaks
- Flow profiles
- Peak demand (important when designing specifications of backup system)
- Burst pipes, running toilets, irrigation times and volumes
- Automated alerts
- Daily, weekly, monthly reports
- Data stored for 4 years
- No billing surprises
Logged data is made available every 24 hours at 05:00. This indicates the past water consumption for the facility. Data is kept for five years on the secure web based platform which is accessible via the Internet. The platform will also allow the client to set up reports that will be automatically sent out to pre-specified recipient via email. Data can also be exported from the platform for analysis when needed. The data can be used to crosscheck the council reported and billed consumption. Dates can be customised to show data for a specific time frame. The platform also displays data like the respective meter reading, the average per day for the time frame, the minimum and maximum daily consumption and the total consumption.
Across our client base, we have already saved more than 200 million litres of water, just by highlighting inefficiencies and leaks as they occur.