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The Water Corporation has been working with LIWA Aquatics to trial data logging technology to monitor water use in aquatic centres. The technology has helped to identify hidden leaks and faulty equipment and improve plant management, all leading to significant water savings. A data logger is a small electronic device that attaches to the water meter and measures water use throughout the day (Figure 1).

The loggers record water consumption data which is transmitted back to a website via the mobile phone network. The data is then available to be analysed and water use patterns reviewed to identify potential water wastage.

One of the biggest advantages of the technology is the potential to identify if a site has a baseflow. Baseflow is defined as continuous water flow at a property, which is often a good indication that a leak is present. In cases where a site is not open 24 hours a day, an estimated baseflow can be calculated from the average minimum night flow (in litres per minute), between midnight and 5am. This is the time when there is expected to be little water use activity.

In an aquatic centre, if irrigation is excluded, it is expected that there be little water use overnight. If the flow rate does not hit zero between midnight and 5am this could indicate a problem and should be investigated further.  A logger installed on the water meter at Riverton Leisureplex in the City of Canning discovered the site had baseflow (Figure 3). A report emailed to staff alerted them of the issue and the cause was located quickly. "The leak showed up on the water use graph late on Friday", said Riverton Leisureplex Centre Coordinator Michael Gosatti.

"We were alerted on the weekend by the City Futures team who monitor the graphs and started investigation immediately. The leak was located early Monday and isolated". "At 100 litres per minute the leak would have been wasting 144,000 litres per day and costing the City $2,000 per week. The cause of the water loss was a faulty sensor on the balance tank automated fill level sensor system. The fault was causing water to continually flow which was picked up by seeing a spike in the meter readings.

Staff did a check of all services and was able to find this very quickly." "Without the ongoing monitoring provided by the logger, the leak may have remained until the next water bill was issued. This would have cost the Leisureplex tens of thousands of dollars in water and sewer charges," Mr Gosatti said. 

Bold Park Aquatic Centre also monitor water use daily with the assistance of the logger and have been able to improve management of consumption in their plant room. "From the logger we could see we had a water loss overnight which was investigated and isolated to the plant room," Bold Park Centre Manager Karin Kelly said.

"The balance tank was being filled with makeup water to a designated level followed by the dosing pump injecting chlorine, which would cause the tank to overflow. Rather than filling up the balance tank from the makeup first, we now inject the chlorine first and then make up, before backwashing." "All the management staff at Bold Park has found the logger to be a really useful tool," Ms Kelly said. 

As LIWA President, Jeff Fondacaro said that data loggers provide pool operators with a low cost solution to help manage their water usage. "I strongly encourage pool operators to embrace this simple and effective technology. It alleviates the need to manually take daily meter readings, saving you time and money and gives you the option to save data to file if required. Installing a data logger can be seen as a best practice initiative by your local community and will encourage them to consider how they use water at your facility and at home. "It makes a lot of sense so why not find out more by contacting your local water authority," Mr Fondacaro said. 

The Water Corporation has a limited number of data loggers available to centres participating in the Waterwise Aquatic Centre Program. To join the program visit www.watercorporation.com.auor contact the program manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (08) 9420 3904.

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