“Within the first week of the system being installed, I was able to detect a leak speedily, which would not have been so easy in the past,” Annie Symonds, a Masters student in Natural Resource Management said. Symonds is working on a research project that has helped NUST to cut back on high water expenditure.
Symonds’ study resulted in the finding of a faulty main water metre on lower campus that has been out of order for a while. “Since COVID-19, our student numbers have drastically reduced, yet we were still being charged the high-use estimate,” Oliver Quarmby, Director of Facilities at NUST said.
To successfully introduce this initiative campus-wide, all municipal metres will be replaced to allow for self-readings, while additional metres will be placed strategically across upper and lower campus. This will speed up the billing process and ensure that future water readings are accurate. Initially NUST only had two main metres, one on the upper campus and another on the lower campus.
The smart metre system will be able to analyse water readings online via an application in real-time. It also has a feature that immediately notifies one if there is a leak detected. “With this envisaged system in place, one can shut down the entire institution’s water system, or segments of it, if a massive leak is detected to prevent further losses and wastage,” Symonds explained.
The Facilities Department is in the process of introducing and replacing current sanitary water fittings with water wise fittings. This will aid in more water savings for the Institution.