New ground microphone finds water leaks in the most challenging environments

Frequency shifting feature overcomes problems associated with plastic pipes

HWM has launched the DXmic, a new ground microphone offering touchscreen operation and innovative features.

The DXmic finds water leaks in the most challenging environments

The high-quality microphone enables accurate location of leaks on-site. The colour touchscreen is easy to operate and has multiple signal, memory and frequency displays.

Digital features, such as auto-filtering and frequency analysis, allow the microphone to be used in the most challenging environments.

The DXmic is compatible with HWM’s Xmic sensors, giving an upgrade path for existing HWM ground microphone users. The unit is supplied in a robust carry case, which can also be used as a charging station for the system. Battery life ranges from 15 to 25 hours.

Aside from hassle-free headphone use, the ground microphone’s wireless capability also simplifies the transfer of audio or configuration data to PC.

The DXmic is available in a Pro version, allowing the user to record and transfer audio files via the dedicated app.

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HWM and ASL bring GPRS / GSM-based monitoring to RWM 2017

HWM will be displaying its GPRS-based COMLog range of AMR products at RWM 2017, along with a range of radio logging devices. ASL will concentrate on the GSM / GPRS-enabled Delta Plus Advanced Communications Module family, which adds IoT functionality and M2M mobile communications support to any product.

 HWM will be displaying its GPRS-based COMLog range of AMR products at RWM 2017

COMLog offers businesses, asset managers and service providers a cost-effective way to manage water and energy consumption, reduce costs and cut carbon emissions. The logger uses the latest integral GPRS technology to provide rapid data transmission at low cost. Low-power electronics enable the five-year battery life to be maintained even with increased transmission rates. Featuring a tough ABS plastic enclosure, COMLog is fully sealed and IP68- rated.

HWM’s data loggers can be combined to offer data collection parameters beyond utilities, such as temperature, pressure, level and status. Users can stream data to third-party software platforms or choose HWM’s Utilities Manager software for instant bill verification, loss reporting, forecasting and benchmarking.

In addition to the Delta Plus Advanced Communications Module range, ASL will be showing the Delta Plus DINCONNECT, a high-speed pulse-counting GSM / GPRS communications adaptor. The company will also be displaying the Delta Plus Cellular Network Analyser, which provides a Bluetooth-enabled 2G / 3G way of surveying public mobile telephone networks to identify the network and establish signal strength.

RWM takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, on 12-14 September. HWM and ASL will be found on stand 4D22.

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AMR system saves Okehampton College £30,000 in water

HWM data logger helps staff to quickly identify spikes in usage

An automatic meter-reading (AMR) system from utility telemetry specialist HWM has helped Okehampton College save £30,000 on its annual water bill.

An AMR system from utility telemetry specialist HWM has helped Okehampton College save £30,000 on its annual water bill.

“A few years ago, our water bill was £50,000,” explained Keith Webber, technology coordinator at Okehampton College. “Last year, it was £20,000. The logger has made a huge difference to our awareness of how much water we’re using.”

The college’s datalogger is HWM’s MultiLog LX GPRS, which uses an external battery pack for advanced call frequency. The unit sends flow data every 15 minutes to HWM’s cloud-based server and then forwards that data to Pennon Water Services’ graphing system, BAO (Business Accounts Online). The data is also displayed via HWM Online, a customer portal for graphing and site management purposes.

Keith used the example of a single tap left running during a holiday period to illustrate the benefits of the AMR system. On that day, the college’s online interface showed a spike of £100 in water consumption, while electricity for an immersion heater also jumped by 3kW. As water and electricity use increased simultaneously, Keith could identify which one of 12 buildings the tap was located in.

“The hot tap had been on for 14 hours, but the electricity for the immersion heater cost something like three pounds. You think the electricity’s the expensive bit, but actually, it’s the water.

“At the moment, schools are facing particularly difficult financial times. So, what you don’t want to do is waste money where you can save it. And this is an example of where you could be wasting a lot of money.”

Okehampton College has around 1,700 people on site at any one time. When external organisations, who also receive their water through the college’s meter, are factored in, the total is closer to 2,000.

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HWM wins Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2017

PermaNET+ water network monitoring system recognised in Innovation category

Utility-monitoring specialist HWM has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2017.

Utility-monitoring specialist HWM has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2017

The Innovation award recognises HWM’s PermaNET+ system, which constantly monitors water networks to detect signs of leakage. Able to detect a problem as soon as it occurs, the system significantly reduces both the size and impact of leaks, reducing damage to the network and saving water.

PermaNET+ was chosen for the largest ever deployment of leak noise detection equipment by Affinity Water. 20,000 units were installed to cover a water network serving over 3.6 million people.

Now in their 51st year, the Queen’s Awards are the UK’s most prestigious industry accolade, celebrating and encouraging business excellence in the UK. The Innovation award is given to companies that have shown outstanding commercial success due to innovation over two years, or continuous commercial success over five years.

Winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise means HWM can now use the official emblem on all publications for five years, showcasing the best of British business.

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Water pressure management project saves Severn Trent 5 Ml/d

HWM’s Pegasus+ pressure controller replaced DMA and flow loggers

HWM has helped Severn Trent (ST) make significant water savings through a pressure management programme. Since April 2015, ST has installed 200 of HWM’s Pegasus+ pressure controllers, saving 5 Ml/d in the process.

HWM's Pegasus+ pressure controllers have helped Severn Trent save 5 Ml/d

“The Pegasus+ has proven to be excellent value for money and it’s given us a calmer network,” said Graham Hollier, network pressure advisor at ST.

ST’s network already contained thousands of HWM critical point (CP) and flow loggers. Linking Pegasus+ with its existing CP loggers allowed ST to operate the pressure controller in a learning mode. The data gathered automatically updated the product’s online software, giving the water company a more optimised network than if the data had been entered manually on-site.

“It’s a really good, simple system,” explained Graham, “that allows us to see the data remotely, make adjustments and have good visibility as to where all the pressure controllers are in the system, which the guys here like using and which we’ve made considerable use of.”

Since Pegasus+ allowed for detailed multi-point pressure relief valve (PRV) control without a flow logger, the water company was also able to save money by replacing some of its district metered area and flow loggers, which were often located next to PRVs.

ST considered several potential suppliers for the project and tested each pressure controller on its network calming rig in Warwick.

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Affinity Water changing the economics of leak detection with PermaNet+

HWM chosen as partner in move towards permanent monitoring to reduce leakage

Affinity Water, Britain’s largest water-only utility serving 3.6 million people in south-east England, has partnered with HWM to target significant reduction in leakage rates using PermaNET+ fixed network telemetry.

Affinity Water has partnered with HWM to target significant reduction in leakage rates using PermaNET+ fixed network telemetry

“Using the HWM PermaNET+ solution, we can continuously monitor 25 per cent of our network, identifying leaks in a matter of hours, rather than the days it takes using conventional techniques and technologies,” said Drew Ritchie, managing director of wholesale operations at Affinity Water.

Affinity already uses HWM datalogging technology to monitor its network’s performance, but the addition of PermaNET+ will significantly enhance leak detection across the network.

PermaNET+ represents the next stage in the development of noise logging. Data generated by the noise logger is automatically sent to the user, removing the need to visit sites to carry out data collection. Data transmission is achieved through a combination of GPRS cellular communication or SMS. The unit also sends an audio file for remote monitoring and correlation to localise the leak position. PermaNET+ is located entirely below ground, making it less intrusive and more practical for large-scale deployment.

These features are critical to the long-term leakage reduction plan of Affinity Water, which has set ambitious targets for improvement of its network. “Of all the UK water companies, at Affinity Water we’ve set ourselves the largest percentage leakage reduction over the current five-year [AMP6] planning period,” explained Drew. “We’re achieving this with HWM’s PermaNET+, challenging industry thinking and methodologies to change the economics of finding leaks.”

By permanently monitoring water network infrastructure without extensive site visits, PermaNET+ identifies leaks more quickly than traditional methods and allows for rapid deployment to fix any leaks that do occur. This significantly reduces both water loss and the cost of identifying leaks within a water network.

The programme will be completed in May 2017, with the installation of 20,000 PermaNET+ systems. This represents a long-term commitment to improved leakage reduction from Affinity Water, as Drew explained: “We’re looking forward to working with HWM over the next 10 years to enhance the system and use leakage information in new and innovative ways. Our customers deserve the best. Together, we will meet the challenges defined in our business plan.”

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Water Pressure Transient Loggers solve burst mystery in County Kilkenny

PTLs identify pressure reducing valve as the culprit

Pressure Transient Loggers (PTLs) from multi-utility monitoring and telemetry specialist HWM have solved the problem of repeated water main bursts in County Kilkenny, Ireland.

Pressure Transient Loggers from HWM have solved the problem of repeated water main bursts in County Kilkenny

EMR Integrated Solutions and Kilkenny County Council (KCC) set up a pilot scheme to investigate the advantages of deploying PTLs on water distribution networks on a permanent basis. EMR and KCC installed two HWM PTLs on the network in South Kilkenny, at Owning and Piltown.

The selected section of the network had been prone to occasional bursts. The traditional course of action was to repair the pipeline until funding was made available to replace the pipeline completely.

Both PTLs were located upstream of a pressure reducing valve (PRV) and connected to hydrants for the duration of the pilot. The PTLs were totally enclosed in the hydrant chambers, communicating via GPRS. Agnostic SIMs allowed for automatic best-network selection for data transmission. HWM’s free programming software enabled engineers to carry out a GPRS test directly from the logger in the chamber.

Following a burst, EMR retrieved data from the nearest PTL, three kilometres from the burst location. Analysis of the data showed two transient notifications occurring on a daily basis at 5:04 and 23:10. There were also multiple transient notifications that coincided with the burst on the pipeline.

After the burst repair was carried out, EMR installed a second PTL closer to the burst location. The two transient notifications still occurred on a daily basis at the same times, while the pressure transient events were dramatically larger than the original transient recording.

EMR investigated further with council staff and discovered that the local PRV, which was installed to conserve water, was actually causing the pressure transients. The PRV had a day / night controller set to operate daily at 5:00 and 23:00.

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New telemetry data logger improves asset visibility and reduces totex

HWM has upgraded the industry-leading MultiLog LX with innovative added features, improving its capability.

The MultiLog LX-2 data logger improves asset visibility and reduces totex

The new MultiLog LX-2 is an advanced, low-power telemetry data logger designed with long asset life and harsh environments in mind. The data logger can be programmed, and its firmware safely and reliably upgraded, remotely. Removing the need for expensive and time-consuming site visits helps to reduce the unit’s totex and carbon footprint.

Enhanced features, including fast logging to 25 Hz and accelerated logging during target windows, give increased asset visibility when monitoring potentially-critical events such as network bursts, improving network conditions and customer satisfaction.

New features include optional 3G network support, multiple sensor support, improved secondary fast data (25 Hz) and accelerated dial-in during alarm events.

In addition to digital flow and pressure, the types of sensor supported now include status, LNS (acoustic) and SonicSens (ultrasonic level), as well as industry-standard SDI12, Modbus and analogue (0-1V, 0-10V & 4-20mA).

The unit’s secondary channel enables enhanced investigation of events such as transient pressure spikes and provides a more accurate reading of minimum night flow. The logger can be configured to automatically accelerate its scheduled transmission logging rate to improve asset visibility during critical alarm events.

As with all HWM data loggers, remote telemetry, asset management, configuration, third-party integration and export are handled seamlessly via the company’s DataGate cloud server, allowing data to be accessed at all times from any location.

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HWM to supply Severn Trent with wastewater monitoring systems

Project thought to be largest of its kind anywhere in the world

HWM, in partnership with field services expert Enviromontel, has won a contract to supply, install and maintain fixed-point sewer network monitoring equipment for Severn Trent (ST).

HWM has won a contract to supply, install and maintain fixed-point sewer network monitoring equipment for Severn Trent

In what is thought to be the largest project of its kind, ST is targeting better monitoring of its wastewater networks in order to improve performance and customer service, as well as reduce flooding and pollution incidents.

Following a rigorous evaluation process, ST decided that HWM offered the greatest overall value and was best able to help ST achieve its strategic objectives. HWM is due to provide three separate products over a five-year period, all based on the company’s new Intelligens data logger:

  • 700 Intelligens Flow monitoring systems, capable of recording parameters such as velocity and depth.
  • 3,000 Intelligens WW and SonicSens ultrasonic sensors, used to record the level of flow.
  • 1,130 Intelligens Flood Alarm systems, which register that the level in the sewer has risen beyond an acceptable height and transmit an alarm.

The intrinsically-safe (ATEX Zone 0) Intelligens is housed in a rugged IP68 enclosure and fitted with a GPRS modem for remote monitoring and reprogramming. The unit’s advanced power management allows for over five years’ data collection and transmission under standard operating conditions. An alarm regime can be configured for each channel and threshold conditions set to trigger faster logging and accelerated data transmission during alarm conditions.

The data logger and associated interfaces are compatible with a variety of sensors including Doppler-effect velocity, hydrostatic depth, ultrasonic level, radar level and digital inputs from rain gauges or float alarms. This allows HMW to offer complete monitoring systems suitable for permanent or temporary flow surveys, level monitoring or flood level alarm. Typical applications for the equipment include foul, combined and storm water sewers, as well as adopted private sewer monitoring, but it can also be used for open channel or outflow monitoring.

The benefits of long-term monitoring in wastewater networks include a reduction in both the frequency and impact of pollution events. Permanent installation of remote monitoring equipment helps to alert network operators to immediate problem sites. It also improves understanding of network performance and delivers data to assist with the development and testing of advanced network models.

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HWM’s pressure controller helps Bournemouth Water reduce leakage and bursts

The Pegasus+ pressure control system from HWM has helped Bournemouth Water (BW) reduce leakage by 1 Ml/d and achieve short-duration burst reductions of 54 per cent.

HWM's pressure controller has helped Bournemouth Water reduce leakage by 1 Ml/d and achieve short-duration burst reductions of 54 per cent

The pressure controller is responding directly to data recorded by HWM loggers at critical points (CPs) in the network and adjusting the delivery pressure. Phase one of the project has been completed, resulting in 17 new Pegasus+ installations. Phase two, currently undergoing commissioning and delivering predicted savings, will see another 62 units installed.

There were several reasons why BW chose HWM as the supplier for the project:

• CP modulation – Pegasus+’s ability to control the delivery pressure of the pressure management valve, based upon always achieving 20m at the CP within the district metered area (DMA).
• Time control – Tables built within the controller allow for specific time intervals during a day, week, month or year to control pressure at specific settings. For example, at peak demand, opening the valve slightly more than during low demand, when the valve could be throttled down.
• Supplier confidence – BW has a long history of working with HWM and was reassured by the available support and product quality. BW knows that, if problems arise, HWM will be on hand to provide the necessary support to resolve the issue.
• Value for money – HWM supplies a product capable of achieving the required level of control to help with good pressure management. Pegasus+ offers the same level of advanced technology as more expensive rivals.

Having traditionally adopted pressure management measures only in areas with existing high pressure, BW decided to use pressure management to reduce leakage across parts of its distribution network.

BW’s models showed that extensive pressure management could take place at DMA level and predicted potential savings and benefits that included: leakage reduction; overall volume savings leading to reduced production costs; reduced short-duration bursts; and extended asset life for the ageing network.

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