Village of Old Westbury Launches Pilot Program to Help Homeowners Reduce Water Consumption
OLD WESTBURY, NEW YORK — The Village of Old Westbury has announced that the Village’s Water Department has launched a pilot program in which “smart” water meters were installed on 25 residential properties to determine how much water has been used by each household and to help identify any leaks that may be occurring on the property.
What makes these meters “smart” is that they can measure water usage down to the minute and make the results available to Village residents via an app they can download to view the results. “By having these meters installed, homeowners can learn how to conserve water and save money on their water bills,” said Tom O’Connor, Water Superintendent, Village of Old Westbury.
Mr. O’Connor recalled that a meter installed at one home measured a usage rate of 837 gallons of water an hour. “What happened was, the resident had been away for several days,” he said. “During that time, the pool’s auto-fill had malfunctioned and that caused the pool to overflow. That’s almost 14 gallons a minute.”
Most of the water consumption comes from the residents watering their lawns, which becomes more frequent when the weather becomes hotter and the sun stays out longer. But if there is a leak in the irrigation system, it could lead to higher water bills without the homeowner’s knowledge. One Village homeowner was reported to have used 307 gallons an hour. “We found an irrigation leak in the back of the property that they otherwise would have never known about,” Mr. O’Connor said.
Mr. O’Connor said the feedback from the program has been positive so far. He foresees the program expanding throughout the Village so that all 1,300 water connections will have the “smart” meter system installed. “The system will not only help residents preserve precious resources and put less strain on the water system, but also lower their water bills,” he said.
For more information, call (516) 626-0800 or visit www.villageofoldwestbury.org.