Jessica Kukac is the Environmental & Energy Systems Coordinator with the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB). She oversees utility costs and monitors consumption of electricity, water, and natural gas for over 120 schools and public buildings, across 16 different municipalities. After installing the Alert Labs Flowie water flow sensor at one of the schools, she discovered a urinal and faucet were leaking. The plumbing fixtures were repaired and the amount of money saved in wasted water is estimated to be in the thousands of dollars for a single school. She recommends Flowie for any public sector building.
RISING COST OF WATER
Managing water consumption at schools has never been more important for people like Jessica. With water prices increasing across municipalities, the cost of water is using more of the Simcoe County District School Board’s (SCDSB) budget than it did in the past. “For the first time ever, our water budget is approaching our natural gas budget,” she says. Despite the portion of the budget allocated for water, the SCDSB did not have a workable system for managing daily water consumption.
HIGH WATER BILL ALERTS
Occasionally, Jessica would receive a letter from a municipality to let her know that water consumption at one of the schools was higher than normal and that she should expect a higher bill. Jessica compares attempting to identify the source of the unusual water use with playing a “guessing game.”
“Without real time data, fixing water leaks is a guessing game. Relying on monthly or quarterly billing data is not conducive to conservation.”
Even if her team was able to identify and fix the source of the high water use, the school board was still responsible for paying for the water that had been wasted.
BAS TOO EXPENSIVE
When asked why SCDSB didn’t rely on a Building Automation Systems (BAS) to manage water use, Jessica raised concerns with this approach. The large up front cost of installing BAS and the compatibility of the existing water meters were the biggest barriers. “To be able to get a new server and to store that data would be very expensive and the monitoring that comes with Flowie is so much more affordable and so much more robust,” Jessica said. With a lack of insight into real-time water use and alternatives being too costly, Jessica welcomed Alert Labs solutions for better water use management.
Water flow sensor saves school board thousands of dollars - Case Study