Water management the real benefits of meter reading - Aneurin Bevan Health Board

15 Aug 2013 - 12:00am

Aneurin Bevan Health Board use Automated Meter Reading as both a performance tool and an alert tool, allowing them to effectively manage consumption, respond immediately to anomalies and save money.

Aneurin Bevan Health Board was established on the 1st October 2009 and covers the areas of Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, Torfaen and South Powys.

The Health Board employs over 14,000 staff, two thirds of whom are involved in direct patient care. There are more than 250 consultants in a total of over 1000 hospital and general practice doctors, 6,000 nurses, midwives, allied professionals and community workers.

The Estate includes two major A&E hospitals, one of which is a university hospital, two minor injuries units, one acute hospital, four community hospitals, five psychiatric hospitals and 100 GP surgeries and clinics within its geographical borders.

Public sector organisations need to effectively monitor water consumption across their estates, particularly in a period of austerity, in order to control costs. Without such monitoring, understanding staff behaviour patterns and identifying any costly maintenance issues (such as leaks) is difficult. Originally the only way to identify a leak was via monthly meter readings, which may not fully alert the Health Board to a leak and when it did there would already been a month's worth of wasted water up until that point.

The Health Board has been using Automated Meter Reading (AMR) to profile and manage its estate's water consumption for a number of years via an organisation that specialised in Water AMR and in turn enhanced its water management activities. It has also been using an alert system to identify any leaks and/or maintenance issues. The system allows the Health Board to set the expected consumption parameters and in turn set the levels that trigger an alarm/warning for excessive consumption. The alerts received are via e-mail to the Energy support officer, who in turn alerts the Estates Officer/Supervisor.

This monitoring system allowed the Health Board to understand both staff behaviour and anomalies in water consumption. It is therefore a tool for both performance monitoring and an alert tool. Thanks to the system, Health Board staff can:

  • Respond quickly to any peaks in consumption or leaks;
  • Interpret staff behaviour in order to develop tactics to reduce water consumption;
  • Forecast water consumption and associated costs;
  • Compare costs immediately before and after leaks are fixed; and
  • The AMR service allows the user a more granular look at each sites’ base load and consumption profile.

Even if an alarm isn't raised simply due to unknown leaks, once installed the user will be able to visually identify any leaks or abnormal activity that exists.

As an example, this system allowed them to discover a long-term leak in a county hospital. This was fixed and as a result, the Health Board received a £60,000 pay-back of return-to-sewer payment. Having the ability to identify a leak almost immediately means that the health board save on consumption costs associated with a leak, costs which cannot be recovered.

The Health Board is now using a new version ofthis service with more applications. The new service now alerts the Estates Officerl Supen/isor direct as well as the Energy Support Officer.

It feels this system is easy to understand and a worthwhile system for the Health Board to implement. As with all AMR services the user is now more informed about how utilities are consumed, their consumption patterns and able to manage usage anomalies/wastage far more effectively.

Name: Fitzroy Hutchinson
Title/role: Energy Support Officer
Organisation: Aneurin Bevan Health Board
Email: Fitzroy.Hutchinson@waIes.nhs.uk
Telephone: 07879 472367

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