Saving water to the tune of $10,000 a month

By Tina Perinotto

Melbourne’s Wholesale produce market has slashed $10,000 from its monthly water bill after commissioning a water metering system through Sydney based company, Watersave Australia.

Managing director of Watersave, Paul Marsh, said his company’s Smart Meter resulted in a water use dropping from 93 million litres a day to less than 17 million a day – a reduction of 80 per cent.

In addition, new research commissioned by his company has found significant carbon savings related to the move.

According to Melbourne Market Authority Chief executive officer, Peter McLennan, water charges fell from $13,000 a month to less than $3000 a month, even after a 20 per cent rise in water levies.

Melbourne Market Authority installed the internet based Watersave Smart Meter in May 2008, enabling the organisation to monitor on-site water usage data in real-time via a log-on and password, with updates from the system every 15 minutes.

The system almost immediately revealed highly abnormal and expensive usage of up to 370,000 litres per day.

Watersave Australia’s Paul Marsh said that two 8000 litres per hour underground leaks were located and repaired and these action immediately cut water usage to around 70,000 litres per day.

“The two leaks were located in underground 100 mm pipes, one leaking into the storm water system, the other in a fire sprinkler system under a concrete floor.

“Since that time daily usage had been further reduced using the Watersave Smart Meters to monitor and track down losses.

Mr Marsh said that his company had recently commission industry consultants Water Conservation Group to identify saving of carbon emissions through reductions in potable water use.

“This is the first time a study has focussed on the carbon savings that result from reduction in water usage through implementing water monitoring and management solutions,” Mr Marsh said.

The study found that the amount of carbon embedded in water in the chain of harvesting, storage and supply was equal to 1.22 kg per kL for Sydney; 1.05 kg per kL for Melbourne; 1.63 kg per kL for Brisbane; and .77 kg per kL for Perth.

“The findings point to important considerations for infrastructure development in the future.

“Today’s building designers and infrastructure managers need to consider all aspects of sustainable practices in the reduction of the carbon footprint of buildings. Clearly, reducing water usage should be part of that strategy.”