IoT and water management around the home
There are a number of ways in which IoT is revolutionising water management. These efficient new solutions both current and in the making have come at the right time given the current challenges that the global water industry now faces due to an increasing population, eco-system pollution, and water rights amongst many more.
In the current climate, making sure that water usage is being properly regulated, and consumed efficiently is critical, says freelance writer Jocelyn Brown. This is all the more pressing considering the current estimate that 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2030, and almost half will experience water scarcity issues.
Fortunately however, this has come at a time of rapid growth in the technology industry, with the IoT bringing great new advantages to many industries. This article will look at some of the new technologies available for improving water management, that will help contribute towards tackling these forthcoming global issues.
Harvesting rainwater for toilet flushing
Looking at more sustainable solutions that involve working with nature and recycling old materials is a great way forward where possible. With this in mind, a popular water saving solution idea is to harvest rainwater to use for flushing toilets.
Underground vs. Overground systems
There are two options for a rainwater harvesting system, the most conventional approach is to go for an underground system, however this isn’t always possible as it involves a lot of power, maintenance and a large underground excavation. The other option would be an above ground gravity fed system, which can also double up as garden irrigation system, given that the tank is at the right level above the garden.
There are a few important considerations to take into account however when installing an overground system such as the need to install an air gap to combat atmospheric pollution, taking measures to minimise hydraulic losses, and removal of the flow restrictor in any downstream float valve. An overground system is also not a good idea in areas that are at risk of freezing.
Automated garden irrigation systems
There are some fantastic new smart systems for your garden such as ‘Gardena’, which gives homeowners maximum and streamlined control over their garden through a smart app. Their products include a robotic lawnmower, garden lights, sprinklers and soil moisture trackers.
An upgrade from more conventional systems
The smart moisture sensors are a water saving upgrade over and above conventional systems, as they will only activate when the soil moisture gets below a certain level, whereas their less advanced cousins will water the plans like clockwork regardless.
Beyond this, the smart sensor provides further optimal watering solutions by taking into consideration factors such as the soil type in the garden, the type and amount of plants, as well as their locations. Small water saving solutions such as these mount up and make a huge difference over time.
If you happen to be a fan of water features, having an indoor water fountain is much more economical on water saving than a garden one, not only that, they also make for an impressive and eye-catching display.
Water leak detectors
Flooding in the home is a very common cause of property damage, even for homeowners that don’t live in an area prone to weather induced floods. The fact is, it come from a number of different sources such as a clogged toilet, a broken supply line under the sink, a split hose connected to the washing machine, a burst pipe or a failing water heater.
The damage caused by such incidences, not to mention the water loss, can be significant, so it is important for any homeowner to be prepared for this eventuality. There is now a range of water leak detectors for smart homes that will alert you at the earliest signs of a leak.
Some of the latest models will also alert you to high humidity levels or freezing temperatures that can lead to other problems, and in the event that you are not at home and a leak is detected, many of the newer sensors will shut off the water supply to prevent any imminent damage.
The author is freelance writer Jocelyn Brown