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Saving Water at Woodhouse Activity Centre

July 11th, 2018

Managing utilities infrastructure across a large and busy site can be a challenge. As part of the Woodhouse Activity Centre's sustainability initiatives, SUMS data loggers were installed to monitor water usage 24 hours a day. This initiative has delivered significant water and cost savings for the complex and continues to simplify water management.

Woodhouse Activity Centre provides experience-based group accommodation in the stunning Adelaide Hills. The space offers 5 different styles of accommodation across 54 hectares with a conference centre and camp ground.

Managing utilities infrastructure across such as large and active site can be a challenge. As part of the Centre’s sustainability initiatives, SUMS data loggers were installed to monitor water usage 24 hours a day. Water usage is monitored at multiple locations to help pinpoint where and when abnormal usage occurs.

One particular incident occurred over the 2018 Easter weekend. Site Managers received a SUMS high usage alert and the portal revealed a significant leak running at 10 litres/minute. A visual inspection revealed no major concerns but watching the water usage over the course of the Easter weekend, and isolating various areas to identify the location of the leak, finally highlighted a problem that wasn’t visible above ground. A leak was running underground, directly into the sewer system.

Site Managers strongly suspect tree roots had split both a sewer pipe and a 25mm poly pipe between sullage pits, creating a lovely watering system for the tree above. With a flow rate of 10L/min, this represented a significant leak. Having isolated the problem, rectification was swift and water usage soon returned to normal.

The Site Managers words were: “The savings from stopping this leak alone, over just one weekend, have more than paid for the SUMS system for the entire year.”

Another incident occurred on 6th April. A 100mm pipe burst and it took just over 1.5 hours to bring the flow under control. Fortunately, because Caretakers were made aware of the problem, they were able to isolate the section quickly and prevent huge water loss.

SUMS Graph illustrating a leak at Woodhouse Activity Centre

The graph above illustrates how this leak appeared in the SUMS portal (before and after rectification).

Since the installation of SUMS, Site Managers at Woodhouse Activity Centre have instigated a number of initiatives to create ongoing resource savings:

  • Alarms have been set up on main and sub-meters to identify high usage quickly
  • SUMS Alarms function as a ‘call to action’ resulting in Caretakers completing a drive around the property – on the look-out for visible leaks
  • Abnormal water usage is isolated quickly and rectified promptly
  • Toilets are inspected regularly for leaks and running cisterns
  • Showers and taps are inspected to ensure they have been turned off completely

Collectively, these initiatives are resulting in significant water and cost savings for Woodhouse Activity Centre.

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