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.”
More than 50 of Smart Watering Systems clients have installed the Alert Labs Flowie water flow sensor at their properties. Flowie has helped save these clients thousands of dollars on their water bills by detecting leaks, floods, and unusual water use.
In a recent 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 Flowie.
“We’re trying to be proactive about water loss and water waste and Flowie is a tool that allows us to do that.”
- Chris Le Conte
Flowie was 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 Flowie and the Alert Labs platform was an effective way to reveal the likely cause of the high water bills.
“We use Flowie 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.
“Flowie allows us to see an overall picture of the water use.”
- Chris Le Conte
Flowie has also helped Chris’ residential clients save money on water costs, achieving payback within a week.
Chris strapped Flowie onto the water meter at a newly built mansion to monitor the water use. Within one week of being installed, Flowie sent Chris and the property owner a continuous 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.
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.
“Flowie has saved me so much money already. It’s great.”
“The Alert Labs solution is 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 Flowie 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.
It was discovered that the restaurant was using the most water but the usage was still abnormally high. Chris set up Flowie 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 Flowie water flow sensor. Chris also appreciates quick and easy Flowie installation is:
“It’s not an afternoon; it’s like 5 minutes because the app walks you through it.”
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