Flow Control and Monitoring

Flow Control and Monitoring

Community saves more than $20 million by finding leaks with data

Peristaltic metering assists with arsenic removal in wells

Problem: 

The drinking water resources in the town of Mammoth Lakes in northeastern California consist of nine wells and freshwater sourced from Lake Mary. Arsenic is present in the well water, and the Mammoth Community Water District developed two ground-water treatment stations and one surface water stations to combat the arsenic issue and purify the drinking water. Sodium hypochlorite and ferric chloride is used in the multistep arsenic removal process. Initially, the well stations utilized solenoid type pumps but found that the off-gassing nature of the sodium hypochlorite created vapor lock in the pumps.

Solution: 

The district installed Proseries-M M-3 peristaltic metering pumps from Blue-White Industries to assist in the treatment of water and the removal of arsenic. The unit is capable of feed rates to 33.3 gph, with a 10,000-1 turndown ratio. Maximum pressure rating is 125 psi.

Result: 

The peristaltic design allowed the excess gas accumulation to be pumped through the tubing, while also maintaining smooth, accurate, and constant flow rate with no potential for vapor lock. 714-893-8529; www.blue-white.com.


Cloud-based system helps business owner clean up leaks at multiple locations

Problem: 

The owner of a car wash and laundromat chain in Santa Paula, California, noticed a significant increase in the water bill at one location. There were three main uses of water that needed to be metered, each being a different line size. The car wash uses a 2-inch line; the laundromat uses a 1 1/2-inch line; and the bathrooms use 3/4-inch lines.

Solution: 

Unable to find a system to meet his needs, the owner called Flows.com for a quote on a custom solution. Their solution combined the three different-size meters, each with pulse output from Assured Automation with transceivers and a wireless gateway. The gateway collects the information from the transceivers and sends the data to the cloud for remote access. In addition to metering the water use, the system sends alerts if there is no stoppage of flow in 48 hours. Other alerts include a freeze warning, meter tampering, power loss, and a transceiver low-battery alert.

Result: 

The owner found the leak and fixed it, saving him thousands of dollars. He also now enjoys the confidence of knowing the exact water usage through each meter and the convenience of being able to view that info anytime, anywhere. The owner was so impressed, he is adding similar systems at every location. Each location will be accessible from the same web-based dashboard. Each meter can be viewed individually within each location. 855-871-6091; www.flows.com.


City solves nonrevenue water challenges with smart metering

Problem: 

With 650 metering points, the town of Dexter, New Mexico, was billing customers based on consumption data from mechanical meters that were 20 to 30 years old. The moving parts of mechanical meters wore over time, and they became less accurate. This led to meters not registering the complete water use, which hurt the town’s revenue. In addition to inaccuracies that contributed to nonrevenue water, the meters were manually read, which took three workers two days to read four meter books. The city was looking for a meter reading system to fight water loss and save time.

Solution: 

A Kamstrup Water Metering AMR meter reading solution helped the town increase its efficiency. The meter locations are plotted on Google Maps and read via drive-by.

Result: 

Since the new meters measure significantly lower flows than mechanical water meters, the utility is billing for every drop of water and therefore customer bills increased. Dexter utility personnel used historical data stored by the meter to explain to customers why their bill got higher. Once the new meters were installed, 40 to 50 percent of the meters had leak alarms. Now, the utility personnel can notify customers of leaks and incidents. Smart metering lights up the distribution network and enables utilities to fight water loss and beat the leak. 404-835-6716; www.kamstrup.com.


Community saves more than $20 million by finding leaks with data

Problem: 

White House Utility District, Tennessee’s largest geographic water utility serving more than 90,000 consumers and businesses, began 2015 with a dilemma: how to meet growing demand for water within budget and capital constraints. Early projections showed the district might need to invest $15 million to $20 million in transmission upgrades and treatment plant expansions to meet its commitments. Expanded capacity would also mean higher costs for energy (about 30 percent of the cost of producing water), employees, chemicals and maintenance.

Solution: 

Instead of expanding, the district developed a system to pinpoint underground leaks through software and smart meters. Using Matchpoint Water Asset Management equipment, staff found the district was losing 32 percent of its water through main leaks. In less than four days, they discovered that a stream was in reality a leak spilling some 147 million gallons a year, enough for 2,239 homes.

Result: 

In two years, the district recovered $900,000 worth of water. Smart metering also helped avoid $200,000 of SCADA upgrades and recover $30,000 in employee time and productivity. The time to prepare reports on potential problems dropped from six hours to 10 minutes. They also avoided the multimillion-dollar capital expansion; bond interest alone would have been $600,000 per year. Projections say a major expansion won’t be needed until 2028. 910-509-7225; www.matchpointinc.us.


Pressure monitoring alerts utility of system abnormalities

Problem: 

Water personnel with Hixson Utility District in Tennessee would travel to sites to manually gather pressure information with gauges or other short-timespan recording devices. With 500 miles of water main, this methodology took valuable personnel time, and it only provided a snapshot of what is occurring in the system at that precise moment.

Solution: 

The district installed two Mueller Water Products Hydro-Guard remote pressure-monitoring sensors. One sensor was strategically placed to monitor a specific area’s pressure; the second was placed in one of the pressure zones to see what data it would actually provide. Flow tests were then performed in areas monitored by the sensors to simulate different levels of water loss due to a variety of water main break scenarios. The recordings during these simulations were studied to determine when a text alert from the sensors was sent to management, then the severity of the issue could be determined based on the pressure drop.

Result: 

The sensors have provided alerts notifying personnel of water pressure drops in the system that should not occur if the system is operating as planned. Several times the alerts received by the sensors have enabled the district to put employees in the field to find leaks and turn off water prior to customers calling in to report problems, saving large volumes of treated water and potential property damage. The continuously updated analytics have proven valuable for planning and maintenance. 800-523-8618; www.muellerwaterproducts.com.


City retrofits control valve with automation for water efficiency

Problem: 

The city of Sheridan, Wyoming, needed more control over their water storage tanks and an increase in system redundancy.  

Solution: 

By repurposing an existing Singer pressure-reducing valve, the city leveraged gravity flow from an upstream treatment plant to fill a water storage tank. They reconfigured the valve operation with instrumentation and automation and realigned buried valves in the yard, bringing this otherwise hidden valve to life in their system. The project saved energy since the booster station was no longer needed to fill the tank but served as a backup for system redundancy when needed. The existing model 106-PR was repurposed to a model 106-2SC-PCO. The valve now has flow and level control, plus the capacity to interact with and be controlled by a control panel using valve-mounted solenoids that replaced the hydraulic controlled mechanical pilots. An electronic valve position indicator and differential pressure transmitter were also added to the valve. 

Result: 

Having two options to fill the tank means the city can use real-time data to choose to run either option as best suited. The automation enables operations to be performed remotely from the control room at the head office. 888-764-7858; www.singervalve.com. 



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