FL city deploys new water conservation technology to help customers locate water leaks

Cooper City, Fla., has invested in a new water conservation technology that will benefit customers and the environment. The Innov8 water meter, provided by Transparent Technologies, uses the Verizon Wireless network to send meter data to utility workstations via the cloud.

COOPER CITY, FL, Dec. 9, 2014 -- Cooper City, Fla., has invested in a new water conservation technology that will benefit customers and the environment for years to come. Acquired in 2012, the Innov8 water meter, provided by Transparent Technologies, Inc., uses the Verizon Wireless network to send meter data to utility workstations via the cloud.

The data is provided to LeakerSeeker, Inc., which uses proprietary software to check for anomalies in the data (larger water flows, irregular patterns, unusual usage times, and other inconsistencies). When these irregularities are found, the system generates a letter informing the customer about the issue, amount of use and cost per month of the use.

Three years ago, the city's award-winning "You Win ­- We All Win" conservation program included rebates for toilets, alternative supplies and a competitive program that provided an opportunity for homeowner associations to compete to see who could save the most water.

Cooper City's goal was to reach sustainability -- that is, to use the water already allocated as the community grows and redevelops. To do that, the city needed to reduce water use by 5 percent in three years. In fact, it saved 10 percent in half that time.

"In the old days, if we needed more water, we applied for it, built new treatment plants to prepare it for customers and built new lines to deliver it to them," said Mike Bailey, P.E. utilities director for Cooper City. "But, today, things are different."

With a recognition that water resources are limited, the competition for limited resources is growing along with the cost to treat and deliver water to customers. "We constantly look for ways to save customers money and to manage our rates," Bailey said. "Conservation has done a lot for us already, but it can do more."

System testing ended in May, 2014. In June, nearly 1,400 readings were processed with more than 30 letters generated to customers. "Since testing began, the largest leak we've found amounted $127 per month additional cost for the customer," said Bailey. "The average savings will be somewhere less than $50.

"This new system saves us much more than that in staff time, processing by hand and letter generation," he added. "There is an investment cost for this system, but it's a fraction of the cost of fighting for additional allocation and building new treatment facilities."

See also:

"Drinking water in Cooper City is best-tasting in Florida"

"Florida DEP funding to expand water storage capacity in Northern Everglades"

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