Centre Wellington Showcasing Water Innovation (SWI) Program

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.

Chatham-Kent PUC Hydrant Data Rod Case History

The initial Hydrant Pressure Transmitter was installed in the Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Distribution System.

During the project the transmitter was moved to a new location in the vicinity of a commercial greenhouse as a part of a study trying to evaluate the impact of adding new commercial greenhouse units. During the study period, each day between 12:00 and 13:30 hours, a significant pressure drop at the monitoring site was noted. See the “before” trend. An investigation of the existing greenhouse water consumption practice was completed. The owner noted that water was typically only drawn between the hours of 09:00 and 16:00.

Further investigation revealed that an abandoned 2” flushing line was still opening to atmospheric pressure on an automated timer, this coincided with the noted pressure drop. The flush line was decommissioned and the pressure profile stabilized. It is estimated that at the typical pressure in the system at this point, this action saved the PUC approximately 0.5 ML of water per day.

This is one example of an excellent use of this technology. Given the low cost and mobility of this device, others include; monitoring suspected low or high pressure points within the distribution system, monitoring and feeding real-time pressure data back to the SCADA system and 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.

Note that the technology uses a battery for its power source. At the time of writing of this material, the device, had been in service in a Canadian installation (cold climate in the winter) for 15 months, still operating effectively.