Smart meters are seen as the solution to reducing domestic water usage. Thames Water have recorded post installation savings of 12-17%1. However, the data from smart meters has also highlighted unidentified leakage and it is estimated that over 25% of water supplied could be lost in leakage.

Current targets for 2050 are to half leakage rate and reduce demand to 110 litres of water per person per day.2 Whilst smart meters can go some way towards that, there is a simple solution to achieving further demand and leakage reductions.

Reduce usage, a fit and forget solution.

‘Over supply’ of water, i.e. water flow rates that are higher than required to provide an adequate supply, results in waste of water. Running taps when brushing teeth, showering, or rinsing cups uses more water than necessary.

Approximately 40% of domestic water usage is from bathroom and kitchen taps and showers. ‘Eco’ or water saving shower heads are designed to restrict the water flow to a single outlet are highly effective but fittings these come at a price, especially larger properties with multiple bathrooms. They also do not address reduction in wastewater from customer side leakage.

The alternative is whole site flow reduction. Fitting a device such as Groundbreaker’s LoFlo®, at the meter or at point of entry regulates the level of flow entering customer premises – regardless of network pressure. As the flow of water into the premises is limited, then the amount used in ‘time controlled’ activities is also limited – but without providing a degradation of service. More importantly not requiring any intervention or behavioural change on the part of the customer, so leading to ‘natural’ reduction in consumption. The reduction of water supply also ensures a limit to the water wasted through unidentified or unresolved customer side leakage.

In a recent trial by Northumbrian Water, NRv2 LoFlo® was shown to reduce domestic consumption by approaching 10% and had 100% voluntary customer retention post trial.

Groundberaker’s NRv2 LoFlo® is fitted at the meter and is ideal for ‘new build’, where a property has an existing meter, or during any meter upgrade program. Fitted between the manifold and the water meter the NRv2 LoFlo® can be used in conjunction with any boundary box or meter, smart or otherwise. It’s simple screw in design needs no special equipment and can be installed in seconds.

In combination with meters, NRv2 LoFlo® can be another weapon in the ‘war on waste’. With virtually no installation cost, when fitted alongside a meter installation or replacement program, installing a LoFlo® can cost less than £20 per household. Making it the most cost-effective solution for reducing domestic water consumption.

No meter, savings can still be made.

For our historic housing stock, some properties have a water supply structure where metering is not immediately practical. Schemes such as Severn Trent’s ‘Green Recovery’ have been working towards replacing historic lead pipes with new metered supplies. However, this is not a quick fix. To enable households without meters to make similar savings, Groundbreaker have recently introduced an inline version of LoFlo®. Ideally fitted just after the internal stop tap, the inline LoFlo® provides all the benefits and features of the NRv2 LoFlo®.

Groundbreaker has been developing innovative new products for over 20 years. Their focus is on reducing waste and maximising efficient use of time and materials. For further information on the full range