Steve Nurdin, marketing manager at Cannon Hygiene, explains how smart water meters could enhance water management in the hotel sector – cutting down bills and improving sustainability.
Managing a hotel is a masterclass in multitasking, so it’s unsurprising that issues like monitoring water use can be superseded by more urgent jobs.
Traditionally, assessing how, when and where water is being used – and how to reduce use without compromising services for guests – has been a large undertaking. But, new technology is making it easier than ever to gather this insight. Using a smart water meter, hotel managers can immediately see where water is being used and take steps to reduce it, with minimal effort.
At a glance
Most water in a hotel is used in kitchens and guest washrooms. Yet identifying how each component contributes to water use – and therefore potential water waste – can be a daunting task. The technology can help managers understand more about how water is being used across hotels. It gives a clear view of where water is being used across a hotel via an online platform. For instance, it could show that push taps aren’t particularly efficient or that flushing toilets are using the most water.
This then helps identify where investing in newer, more efficient systems could have the greatest impact. In fact, one key area that might go unnoticed is washrooms by reception areas. These washrooms are more likely to have urinals, which use vast amounts of water. Until very recently, it was thought that the more water you flushed through a system, the more hygienic it was. However modern urinals that are fitted with microbiological cartridges, which keep systems clear even if water isn’t actively flowing through them, are much more efficient.
Smart Water Meters can help identify where investing in these is going to prove most beneficial. Coupled with intelligent water management systems in urinals, they can help reduce bills by up to 90 per cent.
Smart Water Meters also come into their own when solving the problem of leaks. Issues with pipework can lead to huge levels of unnecessary water waste. Often it won’t be spotted until a utilities provider sends through an inevitably larger water bill and, even then, it’s difficult for hotel managers to diagnose where in their estate the leak is.
Having a smart meter looped into the water network can help diagnose leaks far quicker. Systems can be set so that if water levels rise above a pre-determined level, it will send an email and text to a manager to notify them of a leak. What’s more, the technology can then be used to turn the water off remotely – which can be a failsafe for catastrophic leaks during quieter periods.
Take a small-scale example. During the off season, when rooms can go unoccupied for several days, a running tap or leaking shower could easily go unnoticed. While this can seem a minimal problem, if one tap is left on for three days every month it could lead to thousands of gallons of water wasted every year. The installation of a smart water meter would prevent this waste and stop water being wasted.
At the other end of the scale, a major leak could cause flooding, a poor guest experience and complaints, and even cause damage to buildings themselves leading to expensive refurbishment work that may also lead to some room being off limits. The latter can have a huge impact on costs, particularly in heritage or listed hotels which need specialist works.
According to the Environment Agency, it is predicted that there will be a deficit of 3 billion litres of water per day by 2050 in the UK alone. With water supplies diminishing, water sustainability is an increasingly important issue for guests and hotel owners alike.
Investing a smart water meter, then, is not only financially smart, it can also help you ensure your hotel stands the test of time and keeps attracting guests long into the future.
Using this technology, hotel managers can get to grips with their water use without taking their eye off the day-to-day running of hotels.