Their primary concern wasn’t to monitor their mains water supply, rather ensuring their school is making the most efficient use of their 90,000L tank supply.
Established in 1877, Little River Primary School serves a semi-rural community approximately 30 km north east of Geelong. With a school population consisting of 104 students and 16 staff Little River Primary School is considered a small school.
Despite being pocket sized in comparison to other schools in the state, the schools core value of promoting a genuine concern for the planet and its resources make it big player when it comes to efficient water consumption.
Registering for SWEP in May 2012, Little River Primary School faced a unique set of challenges. Their primary concern wasn’t to monitor their mains water supply rather ensuring that the school is making the most efficient use of their 90,000 litre tank supply. The schools tank supply accounts for more than 85% of its total annual usage.
Where a mains supply exists, the normal method of attaching data loggers is to connect it to the water supplier’s water meter for the schools drinking water supply. The process of attaching a data logger to the tank supply proved to be a little more challenging as there was no water meter already in place.
As the data loggers only record and transfer information registered from water meters the program installers attached a water meter to the tank and pump. This meter provides a “pulse” for every ten litres of water that passes through it and is in turn recorded by the data logger.
As Little River Primary School also had a mains water supply which ensured the school wasn’t without water, the data logger was fitted to the tank in just a few hours without the school’s water being shut off.
This means schools drawing much or all of their water usage from facilities such as tanks or bores are eligible to have data loggers fitted to these devices to provide them with the best possible analysis of their water consumption.
SWEP is available to every school across the state and the program will subsidise the cost of the supply and installation for all participating schools. Schools are still required to commit to paying access fees for the program in years two and three of $150 (ex GST).
Where the majority of the schools consumption is supplied by non-reticulated means, such as tank or bore water, SWEP will also subsidise the cost of installing a meter so a data logger may be installed.
SWEP is delivered and funded by the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action and the Department of Education and Training. Yarra Valley Water is the project manager for the program on behalf of the Victorian Government.