Headquartered in Portishead, the service has 22 fire stations across the area. Although fire training water is provided free of charge, their stations have large water networks and they all use water for normal domestic purposes and for cleaning fire and rescue vehicles and equipment.
Avon Fire and Rescue Service wanted to have better oversight of their water consumption to help reduce usage and improve leak detection.
Most of their other utilities are automatically metered and reported online and they wanted to look at options to introduce Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) for water usage as well. The amount of water used at each station varies and they have a range of different meter sizes so they needed to be able to manage each site individually.
Wastewater and drainage
Monitoring water consumption across their sites was not the only thing Avon Fire and Rescue Service needed our support with. A drain interceptor needed to be cleared out at Kingswood fire station and Patchway fire station required assistance with their wastewater and drainage networks.
Patchway was of particular importance because the site has an old network in poor condition and was experiencing rodent problems, which were thought to be entering via the wastewater network.
To overcome all of these challenges, business account manager, Phil Sinclair and service delivery manager, Chris Morgan were on hand, together with the rest of the team at water2business, to provide advice and solutions.
We visited Avon Fire and Rescue Service to demonstrate the water2business AMR technology and the online account where the service could view their consumption data. Alerted by an unusually high 6 monthly water bill, we arranged temporary logging at Kingswood fire station to determine if this was caused by a leak or faulty equipment, and to demonstrate the benefits of the technology.
water2business assisted with setting up appropriate high usage alarms for all logged stations which send automatic email alerts to warn of high usage so this can be investigated and acted on quickly. In addition to support with AMR, water2business carried out water efficiency reviews at two of the largest fire stations, making recommendations for water efficiency improvements.
Consolidated paperless billing has also been introduced with access to bills and data via the online account. water2business also provided experienced personal support ensuring that Avon Fire and Rescue Service's billing queries are dealt with by the same team.
Wastewater and drainage
Following a site visit to improve the condition of the wastewater and drainage networks at Patchway fire station, we arranged for the following work to be conducted:
- High pressure jet wash - this removed sedimentation and blockages in the network, improving the longevity and efficiency of foul and storm water flow.
- CCTV Survey and Inspection Report - a CCTV crawler was sent through the pipe network and produced a DVD of the footage along with a written report highlighting the condition of the network, repair work required and any potential areas of rodent entry and recommendations.
- CAD map drawing - a site drawing of the entire pipe network enables Avon Fire to view their network and understand where key work needs to take place. It will also become useful should any future work on the network or site in general take place in the future.
We also arranged for the drain interceptor at Kingswood fire station to be cleared out promptly and efficiently to ensure minimum disruption to the day-to-day operations and staff on site. This was an essential maintenance task and following the clear out, a detailed report of the removal contents with photographs was produced and sent to Avon Fire and Rescue Service for their records.
The temporary logging at Kingswood fire station showed an elevated water baseline of nearly 4,500 litres per day. By analysing the usage profile we could see that this was caused by faulty fittings (e.g. urinals, toilet overflow) rather than leakage.
Following further investigation a faulty urinal was confirmed and repairs were made, which saved the service the equivalent of £4,500 in water and wastewater charges annually if the fault had continued.
AMR trial demonstrated the benefits of AMR and subsequently water2business has provided AMR facilities at eight of the service's major stations with further logging planned. Continuous elevated usage at two stations has since been identified, including Southmead fire station where a leaking toilet was identified and repaired saving over £1,000 annually.
The service has initiated a rolling programme of urinal removal from all stations and is upgrading toilet cisterns to lower flush over the next year. In the meantime, they are installing Save-a-flush bags in larger (7.5/9L) cisterns.
Avon Fire and Rescue Service has also gained much better insight into water consumption patterns.
Wastewater and drainage
Once the work was completed at Patchway, we visited Avon Fire and Rescue Service to present the written report, discuss the outcomes and agree next steps.
The report detailed collapsed wastewater pipes, severe cracks, faults and blockages which were putting the fire station at risk from wastewater leakage and their network failing. There was also evidence of built up deposits, for example, fats, that were potentially attracting rodents.
We recommended and then implemented the most cost effective strategy to ensure the station's network became fully functional again.
Repair and restoration work on the wastewater and drainage network at Patchway is now complete and due to the success of this project, Avon Fire and Rescue Services has since asked for the same work to be conducted at Southmead fire station.