Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

David E. Rosenberg


David E. Rosenberg


Jeffery S. Horsburgh


Kelly Kopp


Non-residential users contribute to a significant portion of the total water delivered by water supplying agencies. However, a very limited number of studies have attempted to investigate the water use behavior of non-residential users. With the emergence of newer “smart” meters, water use now can be measured and recorded at a very high temporal frequency. Smart meters can help determine total water use, timing, and component end uses to better understand water use practices by non-residential users.

Water end use disaggregation is the process of separating the water used by each fixture or process within a facility. This is useful because having a breakdown of the consumption of all end uses may encourage users to consume less water and gives them indications on how to do so. This project involved collecting and working with three different datasets with three different temporal scales (monthly billing data, 5-minute water use data, and 5-second water use data). We analyzed monthly billing data to solicit potential participating facilities for the study.

For each participating facility, new smart devices were installed on their existing water meters, including an advanced water meter register and a pulse counting data logger. The newer registers logged and transmitted data to a web-accessible data portal at 5-minute intervals, while the pulse counters recorded water use at 5-second intervals. These devices enabled us to measure the timing and volume of different water uses (e.g., indoor versus outdoor versus industrial processes uses). In this project, we identified different water use events, average water used by each end use (from plumbing fixtures to industrial machinery), variability in end uses (faucets/toilets versus showers), variability in use by the type of user (manufacturing facilities versus assisted living homes), and the impact of the business type on the water use.