Glasgow Caledonian University

Leak detection helps University avoid £16,000 water charges.

14 May 2021 Reading time: 4 minutes

Business Stream’s data analyst noticed a sudden increase in water consumption in reduced-occupancy buildings, helping to avoid around £16,000 a year in unnecessary water charges.

The client

Glasgow Caledonian University is ranked as one of the UK’s top 10 modern universities, located in the centre of Glasgow. The site has learning and teaching facilities, offices and student accommodation, all of which require water and waste water services to operate effectively.

I would like to thank Business Stream for identifying the problem and alerting us to the situation so quickly. As soon as we were notified and carried out an investigation on site, the problem was found and addressed within a couple of days of starting. Over and above the water saving, the ongoing cost saving was approx. £45 per day or £16,000 per year.
Kenny Allen, Head of Building Services Glasgow Caledonian University

The challenge

The University has an automatic meter reader (AMR) installed on its supply to help track consumption levels. As a result of Business Stream’s proactive monitoring of the consumption data, an unusual amount of water usage was detected during the period of the national lockdown, at a time when students and staff weren’t using the campus.

Business Stream’s data analyst noticed a sudden increase in water consumption from zero litres to 1,200 litres an hour, every hour. The University’s building management team were notified immediately, enabling them to investigate the unexplained water activity at the site. It quickly became clear that a continually flushing toilet cistern on the fourth floor of the University was the cause of the issue.

The solution

The maintenance team were able to fix the malfunctioning toilet the next day and 24 hours later Business Stream engineers checked the University’s water consumption profile to ensure the remedial work was successful and that undetected leaks weren’t attributing to the change in consumption levels. The meter data showed consumption had dropped back to normal levels, meaning the issue had been resolved successfully.

Under normal circumstances, staff or students may have spotted the faulty toilet. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the University, like many public buildings and private premises, was operating at reduced occupancy, with many parts of the building vacant. This meant that the issue may have gone unreported for some time, leading to increased bills.

By installing an AMR and through Business Stream’s pro-active monitoring, the issue was detected quickly and helped to avoid around £16,000 a year in unnecessary water charges.

It’s incredibly satisfying to be able to alert customers to potential issues that they may not be aware of. AMR consumption profiles are extremely useful. It adds real value to the relationship when we work with customers to help them save money and water. Aside from the cost increase, the leaking toilet was resulting in around 29,000 litres of water running straight down the drain each day, so I’m really pleased that we were able to help Kenny and his colleagues address the issue quickly.
Julie Lindsay, Account Manager Business Stream

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