Combatting Wasted Water: How Smart Water Meters Help Us Conserve

Some of us have very busy lives from the time the alarm goes off in the morning until the sun sets on our commute back to home. After a long day, what is one of those things that we look forward to doing? Taking a shower.

As we all enjoy our showers, the last thing on our mind is how much water we’re using. Let alone, how much water we’re losing every single day. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 1 trillion gallons of water is wasted annually nationwide due to household leaks either inside your home from dripping faucets and leaking toilets or outside your home from aging infrastructure and leaking pipes.

So, how can we detect leaks? Luckily for us, “smart” water meters and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) are capable of generating an abundant amount of real-time water consumption data that can be leveraged by the utility to identify leaks and much more. Unlike more traditional methods of meter reading, such as walking up to a digital meter to visually record a reading or driving by house-to-house to collect a read packet, AMI uses a cellular or fixed communication network to transmit these reads to the utility’s central data management system. Now, utilities are equipped with vital data that they can analyze for outstanding water usage behavior. For instance, utilities can trend daily water consumption to identify unusual spikes in water usage before more water is wasted. Through early leak detection, the utility can repair leaks before it becomes an expensive line item in their capital improvement plan and save thousands of dollars in non-revenue water loss to the utility. It can also prevent unnecessarily high-bill charges to the customer, help reduce wasted water, and conserve the water supply.

Thanks to water experts and utilities working innovatively to combat water loss through smart meters and AMI, we are provided the opportunity to be more water conscious by saving water and our money, instead of wasting water and watching our money go down the drain.

Written by: Lisa Nguyen, MeterSYS Consulting Analyst