Recommends proactive strategies to monitor water usage data to minimize cost.
As most of the country prepares for another frigid winter, the water infrastructure is beginning to freeze and crack below. As a result, when the thaw does come, pipes will break above and below ground causing massive water loss and high utility costs.
Costs can be substantially higher for commercial, multifamily and institutional properties if proactive steps are not taken.
“As water freezes, it expands within the pipe or wherever it is trapped,” states John Lie-Nielsen, CEO of WaterSignal. “With an aging infrastructure with old pipes dating back many years, the likelihood of the pipe bursting is higher now than any other time of the year. The problem is that no one will see the effects of the break until the ice thaws.”
“While most assume that main breaks – the ones you see – do the most damage, it’s the underground breaks no one sees that really costs us the most water, time, and money. In most cases, people only realize there is a leak when they receive their water bill 30 to 90 days afterward and the cost is 10 times higher.”
Lie-Nielsen recommends taking a proactive role in monitoring water usage during this turbulent season. Much like property and facility managers do with energy use, monitoring water use on a daily or hourly basis can pinpoint problems if water spikes above a preset limit – indicating a leak. Taking these proactive steps can help save thousands of gallons, as well as a great deal of money.
Before the thaw begins, Lie-Nielsen recommends:
- Installing a WaterSignal system to begin monitoring water usage at the meter on an hourly basis to note trends and spikes that may indicate a leak. If a water spike occurs, an alert is immediately sent to the property manager.
As the thaw begins:
- Tour the property and look for wet spots and alligatored, heaving, or cracked pavement – clues to underground leaks.
- If you suspect a leak, check your water meter and write the usage down. Turn off the water and after a two-hour period when no water is being used, check the meter again. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
Other clues of an underground leak:
- Clear water running into storm drains when it hasn’t rained recently
- An area that is green, moldy, soft or mossy surrounded by drier conditions
- Sinkholes or potholes that suddenly appear.
Utilizing breakthrough technology, WaterSignal is a self-contained, non-intrusive monitor that continuously reads the water meter and sends real-time data wirelessly to a website portal to view the property’s water consumption by the month, day or even down to the hour.
If a major leak occurs, much like an energy surge popping a circuit breaker, the device immediately alerts the manager or engineer that a water spike above the preset limit has occurred. The alert can be sent to both a computer and a smartphone for the manager to act upon, and can be customized for business hours as well as after hours and weekends.
While the WaterSignal monitoring system can help reduce the catastrophic costs associated with undetected leaks, the data the system collects plays a vital role in the building manager’s water conservation efforts as well.
On average, WaterSignal saves the property 14 percent annually.
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WaterSignal is a green technology company focused on water conservation. WaterSignal measures water flow in real-time to detect leaks and monitor domestic meters, irrigation systems, and cooling towers for commercial, multifamily, medical and educational properties. WaterSignal is located in Alpharetta, GA, and currently has operations in 18 states.