Smart solution improves water supply network efficiency

Published on 16 March 2018

Data logger.

Horowhenua District Council is installing a new water pressure management system to improve the efficiency of the District’s water supply network, as part of its water demand management plan.

The system, supplied by United Kingdom-based company i20, comprises data loggers, network analytics and a pressure relief valve controller.

“It makes the water supply network ‘smart’,” said Horowhenua District Council’s Water Services Engineer, Albert Hoffman.

Data loggers are sensors permanently installed throughout the water supply network. They monitor water pressure in the network and send daily digital data to a network analysis centre over the cellular phone network.

The data is then analysed to monitor the condition of pressure relief valves and detect any problems, such as leakage or transients. Transients are a pressure problem caused by valves opening and closing very rapidly, causing a damaging ‘water hammer’ effect.

Pressure relief valve controllers optimise the opening and closing of flow valves to achieve a consistent flow at an optimal pressure, and avoid unnecessary fluctuation.

The new system is part of Council’s commitment to reduce loss and wastage of water from the network.

“Water pressure management is an affordable and effective way to improve the efficiency of our water supply network,” Mr Hoffman said.

Mr Hoffman expected the new system to deliver significant benefits, including a reduction in leakage, energy savings, and a reduction in pipe bursts. Fewer pipe bursts would extend the operational life of water supply infrastructure, he said.

He expected Council to save on operational costs, as there would be fewer leaks and pipe bursts and therefore less need for Council officers to find and fix problems.

“Members of the public can expect a more reliable water supply service, with fewer network-related complaints,” Mr Hoffman said.