Centre Wellington is a partner with the City of Guelph and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent in a Showcasing Water Innovation project to optimize water distribution system operation. One of the goals of the project is to reduce overall energy consumption through “smart” pumping of the treated water based on system demand as determined by pressure measurements in the distribution system.
The hydrant pressure transmitter was installed in the distribution system downstream of a PRV that is used to control flow from a newly established high pressure zone into the old lower pressure zone. The purpose of the PRV is to open when demand in the lower pressure zone increases beyond the supply in the zone, thus allowing water to flow from the high pressure zone to the lower pressure zone and maintain the pressure in the event of a fire, or other system event.
During installation a number of tests are completed to confirm the installation does not impact upon the distribution system. These tests include confirmation of fire flow capacity, communications (through monitoring of pressure), and demonstrated reprogramming of the sampling frequency to confirm two-way communications with the equipment. During these tests it was noted that the pressure did not rise above approximately 6 PSI during the fire flow tests indicating that the PRV was not functioning as intended. The Township took immediate action to resolve the issues with the PRV.
This is one example of an excellent use of this technology to review system operation and confirm that the system functions as intended. Given the low cost and mobility of this device, others include; monitoring suspected low pressure and high pressure points within the distribution system, monitoring and feeding real-time pressure data back to the SCADA system, hydraulic model interface for real-time calibration in those difficult to monitor areas, and implementation of new control monitoring points for strategies that involve operating at a lower distribution pressure.