Water leak detection

Watersave Australia Pty Ltd
Friday, 26 March, 2010

Saving water at school

Holroyd High School is forty-one years old this year. The school buildings have the usual plumbing ‘issues’ you would expect in a school of this age, including pipes that may be in less than pristine condition.

Early in 2009, Holroyd High installed the Watersave Smart Meter which enables online real-time identification of any excess water usage. As soon as the smart meter was installed, the school detected an enormous water leak that started at four litres and grew to a gushing 43 litres per minute. When the plumber was called, he found it difficult to believe that such a large leak could be occurring but was unable to find the leak.

The school called in Watersave’s specialised leak detection service and the leak was accurately located 1.2 m down, underneath the girls’ amenities block, quietly and invisibly growing in volume. The plumber was immediately called back to the school and the problem was fixed.

“Had the leak gone on undetected,” said Holroyd High Principal Dorothy Hoddinott, “it would have been close to two million litres lost for the month! Quite apart from the possible structural damage to the building if left unchecked, the cost of the leak to the school was approximately $6000 per month in excess water, or $72,000 for the year!” she said.

The Watersave Smart Meter system is an online real-time water monitoring system which features a solar-powered transmitter. It provides immediate notification via SMS to a nominated user if the system detects abnormal water usage. It delivers real-time data acquisition to a secure website in fifteen minute packages. At Holroyd High, this has meant an average of one SMS per month when a hose, tap or leaking toilet cistern is left running out of hours. This allows the school’s general assistant to attend to the problem before significant wastage occurs overnight or in school holidays. Overall this has resulted in further savings from the water bill, money that can be better spent in other areas of the school.

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