How long does it take to recognize that your operation is using too much water? Processes can be inefficient and water leaks do happen. From a financial perspective and a conservation perspective, waiting until your next water bill to recognize a problem is too late. Water conservation and cost savings are why the demand is growing for smart water meters that measure and collect water usage data in real-time. They help facility managers and commercial real estate owners make informed decisions about water usage while decreasing costs.
We installed smart water meters on the cooling towers at a senior living facility in Corpus Christi, TX. The data from the smart meters measured the water going into the cooling system (makeup water) and the water that was being discharged into the sewer (blowdown water), which enabled us to evaluate the operational efficiency of the system.
Any water that leaves a cooling tower, whether from evaporation or blowdown, will require more water to continue to meet cooling demands. And in Corpus Christi, cooling demands are high! Therefore, from both a conservation and financial standpoint, it was important to know whether the cooling tower was operating efficiently.
Typically, 80-85% of the water used in cooling tower operation will evaporate due the heat exchange process and 15-20% will ultimately be discharged to the sewer. However, when we looked at the smart water meter data for this community, we noted that 72.18% of the water was evaporating and 27.82% was being discharged to the sewer. Well outside the normal range.
The data confirmed there was an issue that needed to be addressed. Was there a faulty valve or a malfunctioning sensor? Did the chemical ratio or the cycles of concentration need to be adjusted? All possible causes were on the table as we presented the issue and the data to our client so they could make an informed decision on how best to move forward.
Our smart water meter provided the critical data needed to make the right decision. Without the data, the problem couldn’t be identified, our client would have spent tens of thousands of dollars per year unnecessarily, and an opportunity would have been missed to ensure the proper conservation of millions of gallons of water per year.