Developed at Cal Poly, device aims to 'smarten' home water use

Jun 28, 2019

A group of Cal Poly students created a device that helps people monitor how much water they use and identify leaks. It’s called the Flume Smart Home Water Monitoring System. Right now, water customers in San Luis Obispo can buy the device at a steep discount as part of a study on water usage.

“[The device] goes onto the existing meter and it monitors both the outdoor and indoor water usage, and helps detect leaks on the property, and sends all that information to customers via an app on their phone," Eric Adler said by phone.

Adler is CEO of Flume. The start-up company began as a senior project at Cal Poly in response to the California drought. Now Adler hopes the device will revolutionize water usage and conservation.

“If you look at water consumption, it’s kind of like one of the last things in the smart home market that has yet to be solved,” Adler said. “No one has really solved the water problem, and that’s what we’re focused on doing.”

Flume is testing thousands of units in Texas, Nevada, and other California cities. The device normally costs about $200 dollars on sites like Amazon. But as part of the study, San Luis Obispo water customers can get it for $10 dollars. The study by the City of San Luis Obispo and the company is designed to gauge the frequency of leaks and how often they are fixed.

"We’ve seen significant water usage reduction, somewhere in the ballpark of five to ten percent reduction," said Adler.

There are 250 discounted devices available to San Luis Obispo residents.