A major project to fight leakage by Yorkshire Water is using HWM’s Radio-Tech SMART Log wireless datalogging automatic meter reader (AMR) to significantly reduce the time and cost taken to find and fix leaks in the network. The SMART Logs are being installed by Vernon Morris & Co. Ltd. along with its Incertameter ‘bolt-on’ in-line flow meter, enabling Yorkshire Water to split 250 of its existing DMAs* in half for more efficient water management – without the need for constructing any new, expensive metered bypasses. The initial phase includes 350 installations, with more planned to follow as the project rolls out across the network.
Dividing a water mains network into DMAs is current water loss prevention best practice. It allows water companies to examine their network in small pieces, narrowing down areas where water is being lost so that leakage teams can then pinpoint the location within that DMA. Obviously, smaller DMAs result in more detailed initial information, and proportionally less time taken to identify the exact position of the leak; in these cases time equals not only money but also water, personnel and the chances of a severe service disruption.
SMART Log and Incertameter allow for the easy and very cost-effective creation of more and smaller DMAs, and very rapid collection of data from them. SMART Log’s wireless technology means that data collection teams no longer need access to the meter itself, but instead can download the data via a secure wireless link from up to 100 meters away – even from a moving vehicle. This drastically reduces the time taken for data gathering, which, in addition to the use of smaller DMAs, results in impressive savings.
In a series of blind pilot trials conducted last year to compare the before and after effects of the project, results indicated an average saving per leak of roughly 60 hours of detection time and over £1500, even without factoring in the initial saving of £5000+ per sub-metering point created. Leakage inspectors can expect to cover a DMA approximately five times faster than before, and prioritise their leak repair activities much more effectively according to the severity of a leak and its impact on the water supply.
Advanced technology not only enables this level of functional efficiency, but has resulted in an impressive battery life for the systems. Batteries last for 5 years with a 5 minute sample rate, meaning that the time and cost savings first made at the installation continue on for half a decade. The SMART Log technology has already seen extended use in Scotland and England over the last few years, both in conjunction with the Incertameter and as a standalone AMR or commercial datalogger, and has consistently proved itself a valuable tool in improving a project’s operational functionality and underlying efficiency.
*District Metered Area