Saving water at leisure

Saving water is a challenge for most businesses but when you run a leisure centre containing a 25-metre swimming pool, children’s pool, gyms and a sports hall with shower facilities, the challenge can seem mighty.

For Stretford Chester Leisure Centre, operated by Trafford Leisure Community Interest Company Ltd (Trafford Leisure) on behalf of the local authority, careful monitoring of water usage is vital to help keep membership fees and prices as low as possible.  In addition, sustainability and environmental consciousness are additional goals today of course.

Trafford Leisure needed to obtain regular, reliable data to fully understand their consumption patterns and cost.  Unfortunately, the location of the water meter, deep inside a manhole on another business’ property which is frequently flooded, meant the water retailer was unable to fulfil this need with regular manual readings. To take control of the situation, Trafford Leisure turned to Deer Technology.  The LimpetReader was developed to be installed quickly without interrupting the supply and with minimal ongoing costs. The LimpetReader attaches to the faceplate of the existing meter and incorporates multiple miniature cameras that capture the entire meter register display at time intervals specified by the customer.  The images are then automatically and securely sent to the Deer Technology’s server where the images are converted into a date and time stamped data value. Trafford Leisure is then able to import the data into the proprietary systems for analysis, allowing trends to be identified and inaccurate estimated bills disputed with the retailer.

As well as making sure the billing is correct, regular readings can help identify leaks.  An unexpected rise in consumption during operational hours or a record of usage out of hours would lead to costly leaks being rectified quickly. Trafford Leisure is impressed with the LimpetReader and the service provided by Deer Technology and has already rolled out to other facilities.  As Kevin Henderson, Head of Assets & IT at Trafford Leisure explained:

“Water is precious. Using less helps us not only financially but critically also contributes to reducing our carbon footprint. Trafford Council declared a climate emergency in 2018, so every drop of water saved really does matter. The LimpetReader has allowed our staff to access accurate, reliable data via Deer Technology’s Cloud portal. This has been a game changer for us in managing water more effectively. There are health and safety benefits for our staff as there is no need to access the meter which is located inside a manhole, and financial benefits for our accounts team in monitoring water bills. I would highly recommend Deer Technology and the LimpetReader to anyone, but especially to industries where water is a key component of their business”.

As the LimpetReader does not suffer from drift, like some other automated meter reading systems, and the readings are ‘visual’, the retailer would never need to take confirmatory manual readings.  This is an attractive proposition for Trafford Leisure’s water retailer which is in discussion with Deer Technology about automatically obtaining monthly meter readings.



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