Property Management Company Saves $100,000 With Water Flow Sensor

by Support Team January 23, 2019

Property Management Company Saves $100,000 With Water Flow Sensor

Joanna Jackson, Building Performance Specialist, Minto Apartments beside Flowie water flow sensor installed on a compound water meter

“Flowie provides excellent data about our buildings’ water use. Being able to see real-time data is key to determining water consumption issues within our multi-residential buildings. Monitoring property performance within a single dashboard reduces the amount of time and focus needed to compare different properties.”

- Joanna Jackson, Building Performance Specialist, Minto Apartments


how minto apartments saved more than $100,000 on water costs


We sat down with Joanna to talk about how Flowie has saved Minto Apartments more than $100,000 on water costs. Watch the video.





Joanna Jackson is a Building Performance Specialist with Minto Apartments , an organization that manages 8,800 rental apartment units in seven cities across Canada. After relying on municipal water bills to manage water consumption and costs, Joanna installed the Flowie water flow sensor at 12 buildings and began receiving minute-by-minute water use data. A few months after installation, Flowie detected water leaks at two multi-residential buildings. The leaks were promptly repaired and the company saved approximately $100,000 on water costs.


Joanna Jackson of the Minto Group stands in front of a multi-residential building

 Joanna stands in front of a multi-residential building managed by Minto Apartments

municipal water bills not granular enough

Before Joanna discovered Flowie, she was relying on municipal water bills to gain insight into water use. While the water bills recorded overall usage, there was no information about the exact time of day when water was being used. The bills arrived four to six weeks after the water is used which makes it impossible to catch leaks early.

“With the city water bills, we would only know how much water an entire building used in a month or best case, on a daily basis.” 

Installing a detailed Building Automation System (BAS) to manage water use was cost prohibitive so, Joanna found a low cost solution: the Flowie water flow sensor.

flowie easy to install

“I was able to install Flowie quite quickly and have instructed other property managers on how to install it at their buildings.”

Compound water meter with Joanna installing Flowie water flow sensor

$100,000 saved after water leaks detected and repaired at multi-residential properties


Flowie was installed at 12 multi-residential buildings and right away Joanna was alerted to continual water usage throughout the entire day.

“Even during the nighttime periods the buildings were using 30 to 50 liters per minute.”

Due to the high volume of water usage, Joanna’s team reasoned that the most likely cause was leaking fixtures. A toilet renewal program was launched for two of the multi-residential buildings with high water usage. As a result, overnight consumption dropped to low levels - sometimes zero liters per minute. Minto Apartments estimates it has generated $100,000 in annual savings.

“The payback periods have been one year or less.”

Water usage timeline shows significant water cost savings
Alert Labs water usage timeline shows water consumption starts to decrease in early October after the toilet renewal project. Water use data provided by Flowie allowed Minto Apartments to diagnose water consumption problems. See Table 1 for more information.


table 1 savings on water costs


 This table calculates the amount of annual savings on water costs for Minto Apartments.


Usage in Liters

October 1, 2018 (pre-toilet renewal project)


December 1, 2018 (post-toilet renewal project)





Difference (cubic meters)


Water rate ($/cubic meters)


Savings (per day)


Savings (per month)


Savings (per year)



water bills show savings


Water Bills The Minto Group Show 10 000 dollars in savings

Minto Apartments water bills for July and November 2018 show about $10,000 dollars in savings


payback in two months

In addition to the initiative to update the toilets at the multi-residential buildings, Joanna used Flowie to detect an inefficient irrigation system.

Joanna found the water leak in the irrigation system by looking at the minute-by-minute water use data that Flowie generates. Whenever the irrigation system turned on, there was a, “significant spike in water consumption” compared to previous times the irrigation system was turned on.

Joanna hired a contractor to find the exact location of the leak within the irrigation system and she began to see savings almost immediately.

“We estimate the payback for fixing the irrigation leak to be about two months.”


dashboard helps manage water use across different cities


Minto Apartments installed Flowie in cities across Canada. Joanna benefits from being able to streamline water costs despite different municipal billing cycles or billing periods.

“I use the Alert Labs dashboard to look at our buildings in Ottawa, Toronto, Oakville, London and Edmonton, comparing the water consumption between the different municipalities to get a better understanding of water costs. I can drill down and figure out exactly what the water issues are in the buildings, seeing all of the properties I manage to prioritize then repair the most costly buildings to significantly reduce our total water costs.”

Property Management Company The Minto Group Map of Properties

The Alert Labs Dashboard shows a map overview of some of the buildings managed by Minto Apartments

flowie water flow sensor for any multi-residential, commercial, or government building

Flowie is helping property management companies such as Minto Apartments generate significant savings on water costs. In addition to multi-residential or multi-family buildings, Flowie has been installed at civic properties, commercial buildings, and single detached homes to help reduce bills and help prevent damage. In just over a year, more than 50 million gallons (189 million liters) of water have been saved which has lead to water bills being reduced by 18% to 23% on average.


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If you have any questions about how AlertAQ helps your organization reduce water consumption costs, protect buildings and achieve sustainability goals, fill out this short form

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