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How to Monitor Water Usage in Apartment Complexes


water flow from a kitchen faucet

If you're a landlord or a property manager, you should always find new ways to minimize utility bills within your apartment complex or multi-family building. One important step towards this, although often overlooked, is knowing how to monitor water usage in apartments.


Many property managers don't pay attention to water consumption in their apartment buildings, but excessive water usage can lead to many issues.


That's why in this article, we'll bring you a guide on how to monitor water usage in apartments and explain why water management really matters.


The Importance of Monitoring Water Usage in Apartments


Imagine a leaky faucet that drips one drop per second. In total, it can waste more than 3,000 gallons annually, enough to take over 180 showers. But if you own an apartment complex with multiple units, the numbers of daily water usage are staggering.


A fairly common occurrence is the chain inside the toilet tank gets caught so the flapper doesn’t close, or the flapper itself comes loose, causing the toilet to keep running. A running toilet can waste more than 4,000 gallons in one day! If the problem isn’t fixed quickly, your water bills can skyrocket. At typical water and sewer billing rates, a single toilet can increase your water bill by $2,000 per month, or more.


Here are the most important reasons why you should know how to monitor water usage in apartments:


  1. Sustainability: Tracking water consumption is not just about catching leaks. It's also key for environmental conservation. With global freshwater supplies under increasing pressure, every drop saved counts toward sustainability efforts.

  2. Cost-effective: Another crucial reason is related to reducing utility costs significantly. If you detect and reduce water waste, it will lower water costs and help you save money.

  3. Tenant satisfaction: When residents see their management taking proactive steps towards efficiency and sustainability, they feel part of something bigger, a community that cares for its footprint on the planet while keeping living costs down.


Traditional Methods of Water Monitoring


In the past, people have relied heavily on manual meter readings. But this often led to errors or delays which only translated into headaches during billing periods. Moreover, these methods didn’t catch wasted water for months, until after excessive use had already occurred.


Landlords and property managers had to keep tabs on water usage in apartment complexes using the old-school method. With manual water meter readings, they had to actually walk around, squint at dials, write down numbers, and repeat this process month after month.


The limitations associated with traditional approaches have pushed many towards seeking smarter solutions, ones where precision meets convenience head-on.


Downsides of the Traditional Methods


First off, traditional methods of tracking household water often include human errors. This comes as no surprise because the meters are usually hidden in the darkest corners of basements or tucked away in closets.


Beyond just being time-consuming and cumbersome to manually read each meter, there's also no way to detect real-time issues such as leaks or spikes in consumption. You get a high water bill, and you have no idea what the problem might be or where to start looking. Is it a leaking pipe underground, a running toilet, a contest between tenants for who can take the longest shower, or any number of other things? Hiring a plumber to figure it out can cost a fortune.


Lastly, manual methods don't pinpoint individual tenant over-users within multi-family properties. Without submetering capabilities, everyone might end up paying equal shares regardless if someone takes one shower a week while his neighbor hosts daily concerts in the shower.


Technological Advancements in Water Monitoring


Luckily, the days when landlords and property managers have to rely on guesswork, tenant reports, or expensive plumbers to keep tabs on water usage are over. Thanks to technological leaps, monitoring water consumption is now a slick, data-driven affair.

We're talking about systems that don't just track how much water flows through pipes but also provide insights into when and where it's used.


Let’s peek at some game-changing innovations.


Smart Meters

Smart water meters use advanced sensors and communication technology. The devices provide real-time data on total water consumption. Users and water utilities can monitor usage patterns and detect leaks promptly.


Smart Infrastructure


Smart infrastructure solutions, such as smart pipes and valves, are fully automated. They can regulate and control water flow based on demand. These systems can be used remotely to optimize water distribution.


Internet of Things (IoT) Technology


IoT devices can be placed at key points in plumbing systems to monitor water flow and water issues. These devices often connect to a centralized system via Wi-Fi or other communication protocols.


How to Monitor Water Usage in Apartments with Innovative Systems


DrizzleX tool

DrizzleX allows you to detect hidden leaks, such as running toilets and leaky faucets, to stop millions of gallons of waste each year. It also alerts you to excessive water overuse by tenants. Typically, buildings that use DrizzleX reduce their water bills by 25-45% or more. And you can expect a pretty quick return on investment (ROI). Buildings with DrizzleX save enough water to cover the entire cost of DrizzleX within about 9 months on average.


Usage Alerts


One of DrizzleX's solutions is usage alerts. Since many people aren't really aware of their excessive water usage, the alerts can be very helpful. With this system, you can communicate with your tenants about their water consumption habits, and back it up with precise data too.


Leak Detection


Leaks can be sneaky because they aren't always visible. With property inspection, you can see the obvious ones. But, silent leaks will only show up on your utility bills. DrizzleX gives you water control because you can monitor the water flow in your building.

The system will notify you about where and how much water is being lost.


E-mail Notifications


Once DrizzleX spots the leak, it will notify you via email. The message you receive will include all the details about the exact apartment and fixture that is the culprit, how many gallons were used, how much it will cost you if the problem isn’t fixed, and even possible causes for the water waste and suggestions for how to fix it.


Billing


DrizzleX also allows you to bill your tenants. Tenants conserve water when they are the ones paying for it. You can easily create water bills based on accurate water consumption and bill them fairly.


Benefits of Using DrizzleX for Landlords


Talking about reducing water in apartments can feel like a discussion where many can get confused by the numbers and stats. With DrizzleX, every drop turns into data, making water monitoring as straightforward as checking your email.


Easing Financial Pressures


By using DrizzleX, property owners see their wallets plump up thanks to significant cuts in water bills. It pinpoints where tenants can curb excessive use or fix those sneaky leaks that drive costs sky-high.


Tenants aren't left out either. They get a clear view of their usage patterns, helping them dodge the bullet of unexpectedly high bills.


Leak Detection Early On


For landlords staring down the barrel of potential damage from undetected leaks, this hits home hard. The thing with leaks is they're not always visible. This means it can be difficult to identify silent ones and prevent further water leaks.


DrizzleX can track water usage, catch drips before they become deluges, and save properties from turning into indoor pools nobody wants.



FAQs In Relation to Monitoring Water Usage in Apartments


How can I monitor the water usage?

Landlords and property managers can keep track of water consumption by manually reading water meters or installing devices that automatically track it.


How much water do people use in a one-bedroom apartment?

While numbers can greatly vary, people in a one-bedroom apartment use 3,000-5,000 gallons in one month.


How much water do I use in one shower?

The amount of water consumed during a single shower depends on the specific shower model. The count starts at 2 gallons per minute and can go up to 2 gallons per minute.


How is the daily consumption of water monitored?

Water consumption can be monitored by reading water meters or using advanced technology devices that provide water data.


Is there a water-monitoring device?

There are many water-monitoring devices that allow constant monitoring and provide real-time notifications about usage.

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