Water Flow Sensor Helps Clients Save Money On Water

September 5, 2018
CEO of Irrigation Company Smart Watering Services, Chris Le Conte holds Flowie and Floodie from Alert Labs

Chris Le Conte, Founder and President of Smart Watering Systems shows off his Flowie water flow sensor and Floodie flood sensor

Clients of Smart Watering Systems are saving money on their water bills with Alert Labs solutions. More than 50 of them have benefitted from the AlertAQ water intelligence platform. They're saving thousands of dollars on their water bills thanks to alerts for water leaks, floods, and unusual water use.

Smart Watering Systems provides specialized solutions and services that include a remote water monitoring service that tracks irrigation water use for landscaping. The company also upgrades existing plumbing infrastructure to be more water efficient and manages several properties for pension funds. The Smart Water Systems’ approach is focused on “providing value for clients and saving the environment.”

In an interview with Alert Labs, Chris Le Conte, president of Smart Watering Systems, shared three examples of how his clients have saved on water costs with the AlertAQ platform.

High water use alerts reduce bills for commercial property

“We’re trying to be proactive about water loss and water waste and AlertAQ a tool that allows us to do that.”

- Chris Le Conte

Alert Labs solutions were installed at a commercial building shared by multiple tenants. The water bill at this property was unusually high for the number of occupants and businesses. According to Chris, the real-time water use data provided by AlertAQ was an effective way to reveal the likely cause of the high water bills.

Real time water use platform shows example of leak detection
Water leaks are detected down to the minute and the rate of water flow is shown in the Alert Labs Dashboard and App

“We use AlertAQ to identify indoor water use profiles to determine if there is further investigation needed. It gives us all sorts of data. It’s opened up some issues with billing. We looked at the water usage profile for this commercial building. Someone was using water from 4 AM to 6 AM. A tenant was making glass. We had no idea that this one tenant was using this much water,” Chris told Alert Labs.

Now that the source of the high water bill had been identified, Chris recommended that water submeters be installed. This way water costs could be distributed according to actual water use.

Payback in 1 week for residential property

“AlertAQ allows us to see an overall picture of the water use.”

- Chris Le Conte

AlertAQ has also helped Chris’ residential clients save money on water costs, achieving payback within a week.

Chris strapped the Alert Labs water flow sensor onto the water meter at a newly built mansion to monitor the water use. Within one week of being installed, AlertAQ sent Chris and the property owner a continual water flow notification indicating that water was being used at a rate of 1.6 gal (6 litres)/minute for an extended period of time.

Alerts for continuous water use are sent when someone leaves water running
Water use alarms are triggered when a tap is left running

The water use was due to a faucet that had been turned on by the property owner’s child in the middle of the night. Because that faucet is in a part of the house which is used less frequently, the running water may not have been discovered for days or weeks. This could have resulted in a substantial water bill or caused water damage if the drain had been closed or plugged.

“AlertAQ has saved me so much money already. It’s great.”

- Homeowner

Water submetering works perfectly with real-time water use monitoring

“The Alert Labs solutions are not only more cost effective, but we can share access to the data with property managers we work with."

- Chris Le Conte

A client who manages commercial properties was eager to try AlertAQ at a property that had received a surprise high water bill. Initially, Chris installed submeters for two dentist offices and a restaurant to identify which tenant’s water use was high.

Cooks busily prepare food in a restaurant they're not thinking about water use
In a busy restaurant, water use is often the last thing staff think about

It was discovered that the restaurant was using the most water but the usage was still abnormally high. Chris set up AlertAQ on the restaurant’s water submeter and discovered that there was 1.8 gal (7 liters)/minute of continuous water flow throughout the night when the restaurant was empty. This indicated that a faulty appliance or fixture needed to be fixed to solve the water usage problem.

For property managers or anyone who manages water efficiency at properties, Chris recommends first benchmarking clients’ water use with the AlertAQ platform. Chris also appreciates how quick and easy it is to install Alert Labs solutions:

“It’s not an afternoon; it’s like 5 minutes because the app walks you through it.”
Partnering with Alert Labs helps your organization expand its product offering to include unparalleled insights from smart building solutions with AlertAQ™.