Monitoring catches utility theft
Pasco County Utilities in New Port Richey, Fla., has numerous electronic flowmeters that customers occasionally turned off before running their water or sewer pumps.
To obtain legal proof of customer tampering, the agency used a dataTaker DT82I industrial data logger from CAS Dataloggers. Workers placed an external port inside a portable Pelican case, added a through-the-case port, inserted the data logger, and chained the case to a concrete pole adjacent to a meter. The data logger’s universal inputs connect to various sensors, while USB stick support makes data collection fast and easy. Data is downloaded in an unalterable binary format.
“We found out the real usage in suspect cases by measuring the water and sewage flow and comparing them with the digital outputs measuring the dry contacts on the pumps,” says electronic technician Clifford Farris. “The documentation is instrumental in proving our case, as the binary file qualifies it a legal digital copy.” 800/956-4437; www.dataloggerinc.com.
Web solutions stretch city budgets
The Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission had a paper-driven, time-consuming process for coordinating projects. There was potential for conflict when the City of Covington, Ky., planned to pave three streets in the same area where the Northern Kentucky Water District had scheduled water main projects.
The Commission purchased the Envista Enterprise Right-of-Way Coordination Platform. The cloud-based solution brought together municipalities, water and sanitation utilities, and fiscal courts from two counties, enabling stakeholders to manage multiple projects simultaneously and avoid conflicts.
Covington identified the overlap in projects and worked with the water district to incorporate resurfacing into its projects, saving the municipality $18,000. “Envista had an immediate effect on our productivity and efficiency,” says assistant city engineer Mike Yeager.
“Covington and utility companies can now coordinate and prioritize projects based upon each other’s needs and budgets.” 978/232-6300; www.envista.com.
Logger supports motor on/off measurements
Upper Allen (Pa.) Township officials wanted to gather motor run times on pump stations and equipment at wastewater treatment plants to help them choose new technologies and processes to reduce energy usage and nutrient flow.
Subscribe: Sign up for the MSW E-Newsletter!
Auditors attached HOBO U9 data loggers from Onset Computer Corp. as close to the motor coils as possible. Mounting options included a magnet, hook-and-loop tape, and 3/8-inch double-sided tape. An internal A/C magnetic field sensor monitored motor on-and-off conditions, recording up to 43,000 state changes. A direct USB computer interface launched the monitors and uploaded data. Filters included percent and seconds of high- and low-run times, total state changes, and total on-to-off and off-to-on cycles.
After four weeks, the data was uploaded, then extrapolated for a year to see how many kilowatt hours each motor used. 800/564-4377; www.onsetcomp.com.
Electromagnetic assessments help city
The failure of a 48-inch pre-stressed concrete transmission main opened a hole across three traffic lanes and disrupted water service to 80,000 people in Ottawa, Ontario. The utility needed a condition assessment program to monitor the line and avoid future service interruptions.
The city, Pure Technologies, and Robinson Consultants of Kanata developed a plan that put the pipeline back in service in months. Following a visual inspection of the main, Pure Technologies technicians launched PureRobotics, a modular electromagnetic inspection robot on a tracked vehicle tethered by a fiber optic cable. The pan-tilt-zoom closed circuit television system produced high-definition digital video footage that was used to analyze the line.
The sensors found 41 out of 865 inspected pipes needing rehabilitation. 855/280-7873; www.puretechltd.com.
- No tags were found