Torfaen County Case Study

We worked closely with Torfaen Council to improve its water efficiency through data loggers.

The Challenge

Torfaen County Borough Council (TCBC) is responsible for delivering services including education, social care and housing to its community of around 91,400 people.

With over 300 sites to monitor, including schools, civic centres and recycling centres across a wide area, the council needed a way to easily keep on top of water usage.

The time-intensive process of taking manual meter readings on a weekly basis wasn’t a practical solution for the council, and on top of this, some meters were not easily accessible for health and safety reasons.

The Solution

We installed data loggers at 50 of their sites, enabling TCBC to easily access meter readings and flow rates remotely and in real-time.

The data loggers allow TCBC to benchmark the performance of their sites against a baseload, helping them to quickly identify any issues or leakage. With an inbuilt alarm functionality, the loggers can notify them if usage goes above an expected level, acting as an early warning system.

One of their data loggers identified a leak of 200m3 per day recently. Thanks to the logger, they were immediately aware of it and could therefore work fast to repair the leak. Without the logger, that leak could have gone undetected by them for up to six months until their meter is read by us, which could have cost them up to £50,000 in wasted water!

TCBC also benefit from our account management service. The Business Services Team are a single point of contact and offer dedicated support for all billing, metering and operational queries. We have supported TCBC by reviewing and cleansing their account data and implementing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) billing so that they can input billing data directly into their accounting software, speeding up processing and payments.

As part of our account management service, we regularly educate TCBC around key topics such as leakage detection, carbon emission reduction and responsibility of supplies to ensure they have the knowledge to make their sites as water efficient as possible.

TCBC also receive email notifications from us advising on any planned or unplanned works that may affect the supply to one of their sites.

The Benefits

A combination of working closely with us and investment in our data logger service has helped TCBC have a better understanding of their water usage and has driven efficiencies at many of its sites.

  • The data loggers enable them to quickly identify any issues or leakage at a site, reducing the amount of money unnecessarily spent on water lost through leaks and increasing overall water efficiency and improving their carbon footprint.
  • By investing in our logger service, TCBC can now view flow rates and usage at the touch of a button and can easily reconcile on site usage with their metered water bills. This has been particularly useful for them if one of their sites is empty. They know immediately if there is an issue at site and can work swiftly to resolve the matter, increasing the buildings water efficiency and saving money.
  • Peace of mind — Our account management service means that TCBC have a dedicated team to support them with any query they have. We work closely with their schools to increase their awareness of water efficiency and assist them with water charge forecasting and budgeting.
  • Increased education — Our regular updates upskill TCBC’s knowledge around key areas such as compliance, water usage and environmental impact which improves efficiency and helps them hit any environmental targets set by Government.
  • EDI billing has streamlined the invoicing process and has reduced management time in reviewing and processing invoices.

Julian Prosser, Energy Officer

Torfaen County Borough Council

I check the logger activity regularly and every week there will be around three or four sites where the baseload isn’t returning to zero, suggesting a leak or other activity that needs further investigation. The loggers are a great tool for highlighting inconsistencies in usage and help me to determine if any remedial works have been effective.

The Business Services Team are very supportive and helpful and always investigate and resolve our queries quickly. We are only a small team so it’s crucial for me that Welsh Water act as an extension of us, which is what they provide with their account management service.

Luckily, we can also rely on Welsh Water to be proactive at identifying leaks in our area and keep us informed, as not all our sites have loggers. Mostly, data loggers have given me peace of mind. They are a great insurance policy — if something goes wrong then they help us to get ahead of it and save both water and money.