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Ipswich school puts smart water meter to the test

An Ipswich school is putting smart water meters to the test.

And a top result could see big savings in money and water for the school.

St Augustine’s College in Augustine Heights is one of 15 schools selected to be part of Queensland Urban Utilities’ recently launched school water conservation program.

The program is trialling the use of digital smart meters and is designed to make it easier for schools to monitor their water usage and identify leaks.

Queensland Urban Utilities spokesperson Michelle Cull said the trial provided schools with the technology and tools to be more water efficient.

“A smart water meter is a small device that attaches to the existing meter and transmits the readings wirelessly,” she said.

“Water consumption data can then be monitored live by teachers and students from an online portal.

“Alerts are received if the smart meter detects irregular water use that could indicate a leak, meaning issues are found early on, saving water and money.”

St Augustine’s College Year 12 student Elina Sawale said the smart meter would be a useful tool for the school’s stewardship committee.

“Saving water is an important part of looking after the world around us,” she said.

“The portal will let us see how we can save water, and reminds us that pitching in just a little bit can make a difference.

“In winter there’s less evaporation, so one idea we had was to rely more on nature and not use our irrigation systems as much to water the oval.”

As part of the program, students can analyse the real-time data in the classroom and learn about the importance of water conservation.

“With the combined dam levels of South East Queensland now around 68 per cent capacity, we’re all being encouraged to be more water wise and there are some simple ways all schools can do this,” said Ms Cull.

“The most important thing is having a monitoring and maintenance program so schools can better understand their water use.

“This includes taking regular meter reads at the same time each week to compare usage, as well as routinely checking all the taps and toilets.”

Other tips include using a water wise irrigation system, watering grounds at night to avoid evaporation, mulching gardens to retain moisture, and installing push button taps and dual flush toilets.

Further information on how schools, homes and businesses can be more water wise can be found at QUU’s website; https://www.urbanutilities.com.au/residential/help-and-advice/water-efficiency

The school water conservation program will continue until early 2020.

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