Home News & Features Smart Valve Aims to Make Measuring Actual Water Use Much Easier

Smart Valve Aims to Make Measuring Actual Water Use Much Easier

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NATIONAL REPORT—Hoteliers may not realize it but the water meter measuring water coming into a hotel property measures more than water. It measures fluid volume and that fluid includes both water and air. As a result, “water” bills are higher. At least two companies are now representing a product called “Smart Valve” that, when placed on the hotel side of the meter, compresses the incoming air, eliminating its volume before it reaches the meter. The end result: water cost savings of up to 10 to 15 percent or more, regulated water pressure, and less stress and maintenance on plumbing systems. The Smart Valve, according to Patrick Mason, Channel Manager for Energent in Malibu, Calif., works on single-jet, multi-jet and turbine category positive displacement meters. These make up more than 98 percent of all water meters in use.

Doug Borden, an Independent Sales Representative for the Smart Valve in Rumson, N.J., says the Smart Valve can help to reduce sewer and water heating costs. Oftentimes, water coming into a property does so at a pressure higher than needed, resulting in more water than is needed. The Smart Valve acts as a shock absorber against pressure surges and drops. Sometimes pressure irregularities arise because pipes coming into a property are improperly sized. Mason says any reduction in water pressure by the Smart Valve is not noticeable by guests.

Rudy Scott, President, Flo Pro Valve, Scarsdale, N.Y., says the Smart Valve eliminates the “over spinning” of the water meter—something that can happen especially during periods of high water demand.

Pricing Based on Pipe Size

Mason says hotels interested in installing the Smart Valve must first have an on-site inspection by an engineer working at the property, or a local plumber. “A pressure reading will be taken over a 48-hour period,” Mason says. Customers will also be asked for water bills from previous months. Pricing is based on the size of the pipe. Each Smart Valve is built to exacting specifications based on the specific water system parameters.

Scott says a proposal submitted to the customer includes the expected return on investment. Hoteliers need not buy the Smart Valve upfront. Scott says his company offers a program where it will take 75 percent of the water savings the first year and then 50 percent up to five year. “With the shared savings plan, we will give them up to the first year to buy it,” Scott says.

According to Borden, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tarrytown in New York installed a Smart Valve and has seen consistent savings of 10 to 15 percent on its water bill.

Mason says for larger hotels with multiple meters the Smart Valve can be installed in multiple locations.

Glenn Hasek can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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