Tuesday, 11 October 2016

My flood story - why we need smart water meters too

I am somewhat obsessive about energy use and read our meters weekly, as I have said before. But I am not so diligent regarding water use. If I was, I could have saved us £100s on our water bill due to a massive leak we did not notice!
Our water bills should say:
Your consumption:

This period: 230 litres/day
Last period: 200 litres/day

Your consumption has increased 15%

We do have a water meter but it is not so convenient to read; I have to go out onto the pavement and lever up the metal cover with a big screwdriver. So, I don't bother. I often check our consumption rate when we get our bill, but that means checking my files for the old bills. This could be made much easier - for example if there was something on the bill as in the panel, right.

Well if my bill in July had spelt it out like that, or if if I had bothered to work it out, and then if I had decided to investigate - then it would probably have saved us a lot of water and money.

The leak was under the suspended floor, in the pipe that brings the water from the meter to the stopcock in the downstairs loo. We discovered it last week when I noticed the sound of water flowing under the floor. We measured it by taking a meter reading and another an hour later after not using any water in between - we had lost 60 litres in one hour. The leak was now losing 1,400 litres/day, costing around £3.60/day.

By this time the space under the floor was flooded to a depth of several inches.

We would have found this out a lot faster if we had a smart water meter, like some lucky Thames Water customers. Please, Cambridge Water, can we have smart meters too?

1 comment:

  1. Would it be unkind to say water companies have inadequate incentives to prevent leaks like this? (Even in dry areas like ours.)