Original article appeared on City of Kitchener website
“The product’s simple installation and ease of use have made it a big win for the facilities management and corporate sustainability teams.”
- City of Kitchener
The city’s facilities management division is monitoring water use across city facilities and is working to implement strategies to resolve issues and create efficiencies; reducing our energy consumption, associated costs and the environmental impact of our operations.
One such strategy was to more closely monitor and identify possible leaks so they could take action to resolve issues in a timely manner or target initiatives to reduce usage in certain areas. To help accomplish this task, facilities management turned to a local solution -- the Alert Labs Flowie water flow sensor. Alert Labs is a local company located in downtown Kitchener. Their product, Flowie, helps home and business owners, property managers and others closely monitor water consumption to quickly identify issues and trends. This product straps onto the water meter and reports real-time usage data via the cellular network. Users can access the data remotely from their computer or mobile device and receive instant alerts when consumption exceeds a threshold or falls outside of their usual pattern.
These monitoring devices were implemented at targeted locations across city facilities and quickly demonstrated their value. Within days of initial implementation, facilities management staff received their first high consumption alert on a Friday evening. Staff quickly responded to investigate that evening and they found grounds watering had been taking place and was mistakenly left on. Without the immediate alert from the device, the water may have been running for hours or even days resulting in wasted water and unnecessary cost. Having heard about this story, staff have also become proactive in monitoring their own usage and contacting facilities management if they anticipate higher than usual water consumption so when the alert is received a possible cause can be immediately attributed.
In addition to reacting to leaks and incidents as they happen, Flowie also provides support to corporate sustainability initiatives by providing detailed data to help inform key water conservation strategies by identifying trends and project opportunities, establishing benchmarks, and measuring the return on investment of specific projects in reduced consumption and cost savings. Being able to capture and track all of this information remotely creates additional efficiencies in timeliness of data and staff time for collection.
The product’s simple installation and ease of use have made it a big win for the facilities management and corporate sustainability teams as they look forward to expanding their fleet of devices and building the product and the data output into their overall plans for energy monitoring and efficiency.
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