Monitoring water in schools

'us' - Utility Services
Wednesday, 23 January, 2008

Early leak detection results in savings

HydroShare is a web-based water consumption monitoring system which monitors actual use, trend and water flow in real time which means that water leaks can be identified immediately and repaired faster.

The system was developed by 'us' - Utility Services, an alliance between South East Water and the Siemens-Thiess Services Consortium. Data loggers installed on the water meter or flowmeter feed information into a central internet portal via existing GSM network on a daily basis while also producing exception reporting immediately via SMS messaging and/or email.

South East Water has used the HydroShare system to identify water leaks in the pipe networks at several schools in Melbourne.

The sustainability director at Bentleigh Secondary College, Bill Thomas, said the technology had already saved the school more than $6000 a year in water fees.

"The monitoring system recently identified another leak which was under the concrete. We were losing about 1.67 L/min, that's 24,000 litres a day!"

"The new technology is great because I can log on every morning and see how much water we've used the previous day and compare that with recent usage."

In another case, HydroShare identified a high overnight flow at a Frankston secondary college. Usually the overnight flow at the college was zero; however, on this particular night the usage rate was 93 L/min. Contact was made with the maintenance manager of the school to first check the water meter and then look for any surface water. He confirmed the water meter was spinning at a fast rate however he was unable to locate any surface water. A leakage technician was then called and the location of the water leak was identified and fixed. This case also illustrates the benefit of continuous monitoring, as if this leak was left unattended for one month, over 4000 kL could have been lost, costing around $6500.

Business development manager for 'us' - Utility Services, Bernd Vetter, stated that the combined loss for the 26 schools that were monitored would have accumulated to an annual figure of several million litres or over $100,000 worth of water.

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