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Saving Water Resources with Modern Technology

How Roots' partnership with Metron saved our residents from paying heavy water bills due to undetected leaks.


Roots + Metron Farnier Success Story

Rushing to save 11,000 gallons of water a day... The impact water management has on sustainability.

At Sunnyvale, 11,147.9 gallons was roughly a 7.8 gallon per minute leak. It was constant. $139 a day in water and $94 a day in sewer. Wow. Okay.

The flood was coming out from underneath the home, flowing straight out. And on top of the rain we're having, it was constantly just flowing everywhere. So we had a good river out here. It was more water than what was called for with the rain we had. So it was no, no one was there to inform us. So it made it very difficult.

Sometimes you'll find leaks and you don't know about those leaks until way after. It's usually like that water bill will rack up and by the end of the month, they're billed for it and the bill is astronomical. And so then they're like, then they identify it. But if they would have caught that, you know, two to three weeks earlier, would have saved them hundreds of dollars, you know, thousands. And so we'll jump in and say, you know, how can we better monitor these leaks? And so that's when Metron popped into the game.

An alert came across and when we saw it said, hey, this site has used, it was like 11,000 gallons of water in the past 24 hours. And we said, hold up, you know? And personally, I'm like, man, like thinking of the bill that is about to hit that resident, you know, we put our whole team on it right away. We're like, okay, I wouldn't want to be that resident and paying a bill like that. So let's jump in there and help them out right away.

What we're trying to achieve here at the communities is tenant relations. We're trying to do our part in conserving water. It's becoming a crisis all across the country. So with this technology, these, these meters are going to give you a one minute analytics. I can tell you the minute a leak starts, the minute it stops, the flow rate of the leaks, how many gallons it was. Well, our water bill usually stays the same. We were here when they first put it in. I don't know if y'all know how they used to do it – they hired a guy from in here to run around and read the meters. You want to pay that water bill when that guy couldn't understand what numbers were?

RUBS is short for ratio utility billing system, which essentially means the water bill that comes into a community, it's divided up amongst all the residents. So everyone's paying the same amount. But you know, if one person leaves their hose on all night or has a leak that hasn't been fixed in a timely manner, everybody is paying for that. It raises the usage up so much. As soon as we switch to water meters and use the Metron Smart Tracking, that overall community usage decreases 30%, like overnight, and we're able to see that real time. As soon as people know that they're being tracked for exactly what they're using,

People are a lot more conscious of saving water, saving the environment, saving their wallet. So it's a win-win for everybody, but it's just about shifting that mentality about only paying for what you use. A great way to approach things, and the prime reason is is perhaps this house is using 20 gallons a day and this house is using 200.

This poor old lady is paying for somebody else's water. She's probably not too happy about that. So she's gonna see a tremendous change in her monthly financials as far as what she's paying. And they're gonna appreciate it only paying for what they use. That's a great way to build tenant relations in the community. People do appreciate it. By sub-metering, Roots is increasing each pad $3,900. The dashboards that we've gotten when we get these meters set up, it's been an absolute game changer for us. This is an old community. So we had a lot of these really old meters here.

So some of them didn't work, some of them didn't work accurately. So there was just kind of a guessing game as far as how much water they used and how much we were going to bill them for that month. When they first put this system in, we were the first ones to get it. And that guy told me how the whole system works.

People out here don't realize if you have a problem, she's gonna get notified. It's gonna pop up on her computer. Then they all say, well, we need to shut the water off. Or she can call them and say, hey, you got a toilet that's running. No problem. I don't have to worry. Like before, when they read them by some guy reading them, we were all paying, seems like I was paying my neighbor's bill. Said, well, this ain't right.

I got a thousand dollar water bill. Right before they put in the new system now. This lady come over and said, oh, your water bill is $950, you're crazy. I don't have a leak under my trailer, I check. I make sure everything's smooth. My water bill usually runs between 40 and $45 a month. Best thing they ever did was change these over. I know a lot of people out here are happy because we've been here a long time. These people talk, everybody's happy with them.

I guess things is, it goes round and round and round, right? It starts with the tenants, it starts with roots, and once everything's implemented, sky's the limit, really, but there's just a ton of benefits in the way of, in conservation and sustainability. We care about the tenants, we care about fair billing. It's proven and proven time and time again, so we're excited. You flip over to the residents' perspective, and you say, like, how much money this could save all the residents out there?

And some of them that can't afford it, you know, they're being forced out of their homes because they can't pay their water bills. So then this is a huge opportunity for us to make an impact there and say, hey, we can keep you in your home, you know, here's a program that we're gonna offer to you. And in turn, we'll help them keep it in their home. And from a business perspective, you know, we'll retain occupancy. It's a win-win for everyone. It's really helping the resident in the end.