Measuring, Monitoring and Controlling a Host of Water-Related Operations

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Author: Brian Robertson, Account Executive (West Coast, Canada), Renteknik Group Inc.

Unmeasured water – Harnessing Sustainability and Cost Savings

Measuring water is vital when it comes to learning how to better monitor and control water flow, as well as improving the overall efficiency of the system within a building. Whether it be industrial, commercial or residential, precise, real-time measurements is crucial in helping to conserve water and support overall sustainability.

If you are an owner or developer of a multi-residential building, then you probably are aware that water rental consumption harnesses an accountable portion of your revenue. With renters being the primary source, a significant portion of this revenue goes towards covering operating expenses and preparing for future capital investments. If you sub meter water thinking you would mitigate annual utility cost increases, think again.  Water costs have been on the rise for years, which has subsequently placed an increased value on controlling water
usage– bringing the importance of water recovery to the forefront, across all flow ranges: low, medium and high.

Kamstrup Water Meter Technology – Measurement Canada Approved

Kamstrup’s Water Meter Technology is Measurement Canada Approved. It Is very important to note that Measurement Canada states that only approved devices can be used in measurement-based trade in Canada.1

Measurement Canada makes electricity and thermal sub-metering services in Canada easy to compare, however, the same does not apply to water sub-metering. Equipment selection often only prescribes American Water and Wastewater Association (AWWA) C-700 standards. These set out tolerances and accuracy requirements. Despite these metrics there can still be large differences in water sub-metering equipment

Low Flow and Why it is Important to Measure

Low flow measurement is increasingly looked to as a means for improved water-measurement accuracy. Ultrasonic flow meters are non-intrusive devices that use acoustic vibrations to measure the flow rate of liquid. There are two types, Doppler and transit time.

These flow meters are also ideal for applications where low pressure drop, chemical compatibility, and low maintenance are required.

Keep in mind that not all water meters are built to measure low flow. There is a financial impact from different water meter technologies and if you have sub metered for water with the incorrect technology, dollars are literally going down the drain.

The Downfall to Mechanical Meters

Mechanical Meters have been reliable and long lasting, but accuracy does decrease over time leading to under reading, especially at low flows. Over time, the internal components of the meter will wear resulting in the meter under-registering the volume of water.

In comparison, there are some significant advantages to Smart Meters (non-mechanical meters) or Ultrasonic Meters including:

  • Accuracy – Non-mechanical meters maintain their accuracy curve for the life of the meter. Typically, manufacturers offer a warranty for the 20-year life.
  • Low Flow Accuracy – Non-mechanical meters maintain their accuracy at low flows for life (typically low flow accuracy degrades more quickly than other flow rates on mechanical meters).
  • Water Loss – Intelligent alerts in the ultrasonic water meter enable efficient leak detection and lower the amount of non-revenue water – because the faster a leak is detected and stopped, the less water is lost as a result of it.

In Conclusion

Smart water metering goes far beyond enabling accurate billing, it is a constant source of information about what goes on within your distribution system(s). Having the right knowledge at the right time makes it easier to effectively target your efforts and be proactive rather than reactive. This will significantly help improve your system’s capabilities while also gaining the confidence to solve challenges for the future, such as sustainability for the environment, cost savings on utility bills as well as your utility’s bottom line.

Sources:1https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/mc-mc.nsf/eng/lm04889.html

Source: https://www.kamstrup.com/en-us/water-solutions/themes/mechanical-vs-ultrasonic