At USC University Park, new water submeters are being installed on several older buildings and cooling towers to detect leaks and promote sustainability, all with the hope that it will eliminate water waste at USC. These ultrasonic submeters will count every gallon, allowing those who oversee facilities to track data trends and detect potential leaks. A newer flow meter in each building is likely to save USC time, money, and valuable resources.
In line with California’s efforts to reduce water waste – as they face severe droughts – USC’s initiative comes just after the state-issued emergency drought conditions. The state of emergency applies to 50 counties, including Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties. Larger counties have not seen as many issues with drought due to regional supply by federal and state systems.
Ultrasonic meters send sound waves within the water to collect data on velocity for flow calculation purposes, are made to attach to exposed piping and have a much larger collection system meter process, and are far less invasive. There are no moving parts, and they do not require pipe cutting and digging. USC’s devices are considered submeters because they work in a downstream motion of their three main Los Angeles Department of Water and Power meters.
27 meters have been updated, with an estimated 30 more installed by the end of the year. A close watch has been placed on those without newer meters to ensure water usage is at an appropriate level. It is possible that fountains and other irrigation mains will be the next places to be updated.