Taking Control of Water Usage

by JRSBlogWriter August 8, 2014

woman walking down flooded stairsThe rupture of a 90-year-old city water line caused 20 million gallons of water to go to waste and will result in millions of dollars in damage in drought-stricken Los Angeles.

Most building owners have experienced similar situations, although not to that scale, when pipes burst, bathtubs or toilets are stopped up, or water is simply left running.

Commercial building owners, schools, universities and even apartment complex owners are looking for ways to save water and encourage good environmental stewardship. Master-Trol software could help achieve those goals.

Master-Trol® was developed 20 years ago to provide jails, prisons and even secure mental health facilities around the world, a way to control the water usage of inmates and patients and provide a safer environment for maintenance staff. A side benefit was soon realized.

The facilities using the software saw that their water usage had gone way down, and so did their costs associated with that usage.

In recent years government facilities, universities and sporting arena’s have also turned to Master-Trol as a way to reduce maintenance costs and save on water. Master-Trol allows you to remotely control an entire locker room, bank of sinks, or individual valves right from your keyboard.

You need not rely on a report of flooding in a shower room and then wait for maintenance to get to the building to fix it. You would be alerted to the problem immediately via the software, and with a few keystrokes, you could shut down the water supply.

While setting time limits on shower usage and the amount of times one can flush a toilet is quite common in a correctional facility, it would not go over so well in an apartment complex or dormitory. In that type of situation, a reward system might be more beneficial.

The reporting feature of the Master-Trol software system will give you complete data on the amount of water being used by each tenant. Instead of charging one flat fee to everyone, you could bill everyone based on their individual usage.

You could encourage tenants to reduce their water usage further by providing them added incentives for each month they reduce their normal usage by a certain percent. Perhaps play into people’s competitive nature by challenging college dormitories to compete for biggest reductions in water usage.

While every facility owner wants to reduce costs and is motivated by a genuine concern for the environment, they worry about the upfront cost of a system like this. They want to know how long it will take for the system to not just pay for itself, but when can they expect to realize savings.

Yes, there is a cost up front but we’ve been collecting data for the past twenty years. That data allows us to calculate accurately what your savings could be, based on facility size and number of tenants.

Another point that makes plumbing contractors a bit nervous is the idea of using electrical equipment right along with the plumbing. Again, this system has been installed in hundreds of facilities around the world without a problem. We’ll work with both the plumbing and electrical contractor to ensure there are no safety concerns.

While no one can control the weather in areas suffering drought, everyone can control the impact he or she has on those areas by reducing his or her water usage.

Master-Trol is just one way of helping building owners get a better handle on how their water is being used and then take actionable, intelligent steps to reduce it further.

For more information on Master-Trol, you can download our brochure here. Alternatively, you can call us at 800-488-8999 or email us at info@acorneng.com

If you have ideas for incentives to reduce water usage, we’d love to hear about them. Please head on over to our Facebook page and let us know in the comments.