After a good Easter holiday, the schools headed to Belmont City College for our May meet-up. We were greeted by Melissa and Russel who took the group on a tour. Melissa (having a passion for plants and gardening) showed us their impressive array of different types of garden beds and gardening systems. Belmont is part of the Zoo Food Garden program, so they grow various plants for zoo animals and the Perth Zoo comes and collects the food to feed the animals. Around the school they have plaques that talk about the plants and which animals can eat them.

Melissa told a story of how one day a chicken disappeared and within the day, students came he and said the chicken had been stolen by a student for a Halloween costume. We’re not sure what kind of costume they were going for (farmer maybe?) but having a live chicken was quite an unusual twist! Thankfully, the chicken was safely returned to it’s home at Belmont, much to Melissa’s relief.

Belmont is actively pursuing putting a solar PV installation on their school along with making a transition to LED lightbulbs. They’ve identified the library as a major area to target and Russel has taken the arduous and brave stance of decommissioning and downsizing unnecessary and inefficient fridges around the campus.

During this meet-up we were able to show all of the schools their electricity, water and gas usage and costs for 2016 and 2015. We showed a number of graphs comparing the schools and it sure sparked some discussion! It was pointed out that some schools of a similar size use more electricity yet pay less and Belmont’s water usage was through the roof in comparison to similar schools. This set Melissa and Russel on a mission to investigate just what might be going on with their water usage. With the amounts that they’re using, it has to be a leak of some sort.

Lo and behold just a few days later Russell emailed us to let us know he’d asked the cleaners to keep an eye out for any water leaks. Shortly after his request, a cleaner came back and notified him that there is a boys urinal that appears to be flushing every day non-stop even with no one around. A-ha! They may have found the culprit, but it will be a few more weeks before they can be certain that is the issue. We’re huge nerds about data but we just LOVE when schools are able to use data to investigate odd goings-ons at their school! How great will it be when they fix the leak and save valuable school dollars from literally going down the drain? Well done Belmont for all that you are doing and great job at beginning the detective work of finding your missing leak!