Business Background

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Business Background

Mesaj  Admin la data de Lun Apr 02, 2012 11:11 pm

Business Background

Leakage has long been recognised as the Achilles heel of the Water Industry however the current economics of leakage mean that the industry has to settle at leakage levels above that which it wishes to have.

A great deal of effort is being applied to the techniques used in carrying out repairs and significant innovation is being developed to reduce cost and customer disruption. However the process of detecting leakage remains a challenge. Most companies divide their network into Distribution Management Areas to enable then to monitor leakage levels. On average these DMA’s consistent of a 1000 properties and many kilometres of distribution mains and customer supply pipes. Once leakage is identified it takes time to pinpoint the actual location and as the primary means of detecting leakage is sound it is often a challenge to understand the true leakage value of the repair promoted.

Objectives and product

We set out to deliver a means by which we could dramatically reduce the time it took to pinpoint leakage in a cost effective way and by a means which would enable us to better understand the value of the leaks we promote for repair. To do this we needed a metering option which was significantly more cost effective than the traditional metering approach.

Traditional DMA metering options involve the construction of a bypass and a quite complex valve and fitting setup. The installation of these options is expensive, usually results in a disruption to service and generates significant Traffic Management Issues.

we developed a meter which can be installed at a fraction of the cost of a traditional meter, can be installed under pressure resulting in no customer disruption and requires an excavation approximately a tenth of the size of a traditional meter and bypass installation.

Originality of design and application

The meter itself works on a basic turbine principle however the method of installation means that it is possible to accurately measure the internal diameter of the pipe and configure the meter specifically for the location increasing the accuracy of the flow readings generated.

We also worked to ensure that maintenance and operation of the meter was simple and posed little if any Health and Safety risk to the end user. To this end the meter has a radio frequency logger unit attached which enables downloading of data without the need to access the chamber or lift heavy lids. Indeed the data can be collected from within the safety of a vehicle from as far as 100 meters away.

Maintenance is easy and service to customers is maintained through the use of valve operated service clamps. Battery life has been extended through an innovative approach to data packaging and as a consequence battery performance is guaranteed for five years whilst still delivering 5 minute samples.
five years whilst still delivering 5 minute samples.


Historically searching a DMA means checking many kilometres of mains and supply pipes and numerous fittings. Much of this activity is carried out to prove where the leakage isn’t. Through the application of the Incertameter it is possible to eliminate 75% or more of this wasted time and focus leakage inspectors in the right area from the start. In addition by having flow data to a much greater degree of granularity there is a clearer understanding of the volume of leakage occurring in a more defined area which in turn leads to higher value repairs in terms of leakage saved and significantly fewer excavations.

Cost Efficiencies

It is now possible to monitor DMA’s at a much lower level for a fraction of the cost. Previously it could have cost between £6,000 to £20,000 to install sub metering points. The Incertameter enable this for as little as 20 to 30% of the cost.

Leakage Inspectors can now cover a DMA is as little as 20% of the time as they are only focused on the pertinent area and low value, non service impacting leakage repairs can be all but eliminated. This results in a significant increase in real value
add activity and provides the company with options it previously did not have.

We have taken this idea and turned it into a cost effective practical solution in a very short space in time. The potential for this product to help us challenge the existing economics of leakage is great.

With the objective of significantly reducing leakage in an economical way. As a consequence of the success of this work the entire industry can benefit.

Phil Campbell Commercial Director

Vernon Morris & Co Ltd

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