Digital Technology

Digital Technology
Water department uses durable ammonia flow control for monochloramine production

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Water department uses durable ammonia flow control for monochloramine production

Problem: The Jefferson Parish (Louisiana) Water Department provides 60 mgd of drinking water to New Orleans residents. The department needed a reliable mass flow controller to precisely dose ammonia gas to achieve the ammonia-to-chlorine ratio that creates monochloramine. Existing meters broke down from the ingress of liquid ammonia.

Solution: Alicat Scientific provided a combination of MS-series mass flowmeters and MCS-series mass flow controllers configured for aggressive gases like ammonia. The devices provide fast, repeatable, accurate results and can easily resume operation after the ingress of liquid ammonia. This is accomplished by the wetted materials used in the device, including a 316 stainless steel sensor and FFKM elastomers. A controller-mounted multifunctional digital interface allows operators to see the flow being called for on the controller.

Result: The department no longer loses time and money servicing the mass flow units. Liquid ammonia in the Alicat can be simply flushed out while operations continue. 888/290-6060;

New flowmeters lead to higher accuracy

Problem: Plant managers at Davidson Water in Lexington, North Carolina, estimated annual nonrevenue water at 16.7 percent, translating to as much as 2 mgd during summer. Management researched solutions to finding leaks in the distribution system.

Solution: “We wanted to understand what was occurring at each critical point in our system,” says Robert Walters, assistant manager. “In total, we identified 14 metering locations.” McCrometer recommended the FPI Mag flowmeter. It has ±0.5 percent accuracy and installs without cutting pipe, welding flanges, dewatering lines or interrupting service. This reduces installation time and costs. The utility installed 14 FPI Mag flowmeters to measure water leaving the plant and at other locations, including rural water towers and booster stations.

Result: The flow data pinpointed zones with issues so that leaks could be found and resolved. Managers report nonrevenue water decreased to 13 percent and expect losses to continue dropping. 800/220-2279;

Wireless mesh networking for industry-standard sensors provides monitoring solution

Problem: The water treatment plant in South Beloit, Wisconsin, needed a better way to monitor data from remote sensors like level sensors and flowmeters. Wired SCADA systems became problematic as they aged, and replacing them would have been costly.

Solution: The plant chose the Wzzard intelligent sensing platform from B+B SmartWorx. The platform creates a complete connectivity stack between sensors at the network edge and applications at the network core or in the cloud. Wireless Wzzard Intelligent Edge Nodes connect to new or existing industry-standard sensors, read their data and wirelessly transmit it to a Spectre Network Gateway. Every node has routing capabilities, forming reliable, scalable, self-sustaining wireless mesh networks. Individual nodes need not be within wireless range of the gateway, as they can route the data across fellow nodes until it reaches its destination. The gateway then provides secure wireless or wired connections to the Internet with automatic failover. It can simultaneously provide connectivity for the Wzzard mesh network and additional equipment via its Ethernet, RS-232/485 and I/O ports.

Result: The technology delivered remote sensor data more reliably. 815/433-5100;

Monitoring orthophosphate reduces chemical costs

Problem: The Fox River Water Pollution Control Center (FRWPCC) in Brookfield, Wisconsin, uses chemical phosphorus removal, keeping the facility compliant with a 1.0 mg/L total phosphorus limit. The monthly cost for alum treatment often exceeded $10,000.

Solution: Rick Wenzel, process supervisor, recommended the IQ SensorNet P700 Orthophosphate Analyzer from YSI, a xylem brand. The unit continuously monitors the phosphate concentration in filtered effluent and reports the value to a SCADA system, which sends a signal to control the alum dosage.

Result: The unit helped reduce alum usage by more than 5,500 gallons in the first five months of operation, saving $2,500 per month. The data revealed regular peaks and the effects of construction projects, which were interfering with biological phosphorus removal. Now, the staff has information to help determine the most efficient means for removing phosphorus. 937/767-7241;

Utility reduces main breaks withmodel predictive control

Problem: The Windsor Utilities Commission, managed by EnWin Utilities, distributes water to 72,000 customers in Windsor, Ontario. The aging infrastructure was averaging 238 main breaks a year at a cost of about $5,000 each. EnWin determined that a significant number of breaks were caused by pressure spikes and dips throughout the system.

Solution: To mitigate control pressure fluctuations and related main breaks, Rockwell Automation recommended a model predictive control (MPC) solution that leverages the utility’s SCADA system and Allen-Bradley PowerFlex variable-frequency drives. The MPC solution controls pressure fluctuations by monitoring and adjusting multiple system variables, including pressure station data, medium-voltage drives and flow control valves. The onboard solution embeds MPC functionality directly in the Allen-Bradley ControlLogix controller. No additional server is required.

Result: EnWin reduced annual water main breaks by 21 percent. The utility reduced system pressure by 2.8 psi and the standard deviation by 29 percent. These improvements led to $250,000 in savings from lower operational and electricity costs and less system leakage. 414/382-2000;

Remote data sharing program helps integratedata for $10 billion water project

Problem: Water resource engineers for the City of Montreal, Quebec, needed to integrate production data from all of the city’s seven pumping stations. They needed a reliable and secure way to bring key data to a central control location for storage and analysis, and share key data among plants. The ultimate goal was to improve efficiency.

Solution: The data was available on SCADA systems at each pumping plant via OPC servers, but networking OPC using the distributed component object model was neither reliable nor secure. The engineering team decided to use OPC tunneling. Cogent DataHub from Software Toolbox securely and efficiently accomplished the remote data sharing. Reliability goals were met using the redundancy capabilities of DataHub, which was installed at each site.

Result: The system has been running for months without any problems. The data integration is meeting or exceeding its goals. The program enabled sharing of data securely between satellite locations, giving operators at each plant a complete picture of the status of the entire system. 704/849-2773;

University saves water with advanced metering analytics

Problem: Located in the Central Valley, one of the driest regions in California, the University of California Merced needed to meet new water compliance standards.

Solution: The university turned to Badger Meter, using BEACON Advanced Metering Analytics (AMA). According to Emron Quarqat, water operations crew leader, what started out as a friendly student competition to reduce water consumption turned out to be an eye-opening experience for the whole campus. “BEACON AMA’s automated data collection and online software has significantly reduced the time and resources needed to ensure and document our new compliance standards,” says Quarqat. “The whole campus has its eyes on water conservation, and we now know where our water is going.” Leveraging BEACON AMA’s cellular radio endpoints, use of existing cellular networks and easy-to-use software product, the university is equipped with near-real-time data to monitor its reclaimed water, irrigation and wastewater.

Result: In the first year, campus dormitories reduced consumption by 14 percent, saving 79,000 gallons of water. They also saved 1.4 million gallons from 16 water leaks detected. In later years, conservation became a habit as students used BEACON AMA’s monitoring capabilities, including the EyeOnWater smartphone app, to achieve another 9 percent reduction. The technology has quickly detected several leaks, including five toilets leaking a total of 150 gph, saving 1 million gallons of water per year. 800/616-3837;


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