A step towards water sustainability with “Planet SIM”
Though the importance of saving water is well known, many fail to acknowledge the ways of utilising it sustainably. As a responsible citizen, it is crucial to be aware of the techniques of saving water on not just a personal level but on a larger scale including our housing society’s water management. From washing and cooking to bathing and brushing, all the household chores are heavily dependent on the water that our housing society procures for us. This makes it crucial for us to understand the process of society’s management of water supply and the ways in which it can be optimised to save maximum water.
Water management in residential societies
The municipal corporation sources water from either surface waters (rivers, lakes, reservoirs) or groundwater with facilities of storage, transmission, treatment and distribution. In societies, there are the underground tanks (UGTs) that store the treated water sourced from municipalities/borewells and the overhead tanks (OHTs) that take water from the underground ones and pump it to all houses.
In this process, the role of sensors (part of Planet SIM) installed in both UGTs and OHTs is to monitor water levels that help in detecting leakages and consumption patterns, ultimately leading to sustainable utilisation of water.
Through a specialised network connecting these sensors, Planet Smart City’s SIM app platform shows the water levels, consumption patterns and notifies when the levels are low. Under ideal circumstances, the quantity of water supplied to overhead tanks from the underground tanks should be in sync. Anomalies in this data would mean that there is a leakage in the pipes that needs to be checked for.
Planet SIM platform helps in detecting water leakage
The Planet SIM (smart infrastructure management) IoT solution has been instrumental in detecting leakage by enabling the facility manager of a prominent housing society in Pune, with 700+ residing families, to detect a major leakage due to a burst in the underground drinking water pipe!
While using the app on a day-to-day basis, on 30th May 2022, the management realised from Planet SIM’s visualisation of level sensor data that although the pump has started to push water from underground tanks to the overhead tanks, the overhead tanks are not getting filled.
Based on this information, they investigated to find the source of the leak and used a JCB to dig out the underground pipes, discovering the leak which was 7 feet below the ground in a pipe of 6-inch diameter. The management team of the housing society estimates that 150,000 to 200,000 liters of water were lost in the 12-16 hours that this leak was unresolved. This indicates that without the Planet SIM platform and IoT sensors that enabled the detection of this leak, they could have continued to lose 300,000 litres of drinking water per day.
The potential value Planet SIM can provide to societies
From the above incident, it can be said that for the following 3 categories, the Planet SIM platform provides concrete value that can be analysed in numbers over a period of time.
- Manpower – The traditional method involved a designated person who was required to check the water levels with a stick visiting around 10 to 20 tanks (depending on the size of the society) twice a day and turn the refill pumps on accordingly. This method has three drawbacks: it is time-consuming, increases the work of labour thereby increasing the cost and is inefficient as the residents have to wait till the water supply is back. With the Planet SIM’s app and level sensors, these lags in the process can be avoided. A dedicated person to check if water levels would no longer be required, saving the cost of that much manpower for society.
- Electricity – Installation of the SIM platform optimises the pump operation timing, thereby reducing energy consumption and the cost associated with it up to 5% or even more.
- Damages and water wastage – The integration of sensors and the Planet SIM app help in providing and analysing the data for any anomalies, indicating potential leakages. If checked on time, this could in turn save the huge cost of wasted water and long-term damage repairs that would have otherwise gone undetected.
With a platform like Planet SIM, any society can be transformed into a digitally empowered one that is sustainable in terms of both cost and environment. This is not just a convenient solution, but the need of the hour considering the water scarcity and ever rising society maintenance costs.