New Technology Could Increase Water Conservation

New Technology Could Increase Water Conservation

Wellspring Wireless Utility Services, a provider of wireless, point-of-use water meters, announced this week a new technology that it says will give property owners a means to substantially decrease water consumption and accurately measure water expenses.

Wellspring's new product, called Aqura, utilizes advanced wireless technology to track each resident's intake of cold and hot water. The product -- which resembles a hand-held radio -- is placed on each water entry point within an apartment: behind showerheads and toilet bowls, and under kitchen sinks. A flow sensor continuously collects flow and temperature data before transmitting it every eight hours to a base station.

"With this new technology, apartment owners are able to record exactly how much water and hot water energy each resident is using, and bill residents accordingly," says Brian Brittsan, president of Wellspring International, the parent company of Wellspring Wireless Utility Services. "Previously, owners were only able to submeter buildings that had single supply lines into each unit."

Brittsan said that, since the new technology would make it easy for apartment owners to bill residents for their water consumption, it would encourage residents to conserve water.

According to the National Apartment Association and the National Multi Housing Council, residents who pay for their own water consume 18% to 39% percent less water than those whose water costs are included in their rent. The association estimates that if all of America's 25 million apartment units utilized submetering, approximately 2.5 billion gallons of water could be saved each day, saving owners and residents about $4.6 billion annually.

Brittsan is betting that, in addition to the cost savings associated with his company's new product, the environmental implications of submetering will help fuel broad demand. "This technology not only helps to conserve water and water heating energy, it also reduces sewage and the amount of stress on infrastructure," he says. "In drought-plagued states, the implementation of submetering will add supply to water reserves."