Water Loss Reduction
Water loss or Non-Revenue Water (NRW) consists of real (physical) losses and apparent (commercial) losses.
Apparent losses are caused by customer meter under-registration, data transfer errors, data analysis errors and unauthorized consumption due to water losses in the system that is not adequately recorded.
Real losses are caused by poor operations and maintenance, aging pipes, poor quality of underground assets and pressure transient events that cause pipe bursts and leaks and therefore water losses in the system. Real water losses usually represent the most important component of water losses as they are an indicator of system stress and/or failure. However, apparent losses are, in many cases, the most expensive water losses that water utilities will encounter due to the loss of revenue from unaccounted for water use.
A.R.I. has the answers for water loss reduction (both real and apparent losses).
The solutions that A.R.I. provides reduce the real losses by providing a program for system analysis that reduces surge related phenomena through the selection of the most appropriate A.R.I. air valves and surge suppressing products such as bladder surge tanks and thus reduce real water losses from the system.
A.R.I. has also developed an innovative product called the Unmeasured Flow Reducer (UFR). This product reduces apparent losses by enabling the accurate measurement of low flows even when there are water loss events from the system.
Control of Pressure Transients
Many water utilities relate that their high seasonal burst frequencies are due to pressure transients. Pressure transients can cause cracks and unseen small breaks in buried pipelines, pipe fittings and accessories, and can even lead to severe pipe ruptures and pipe bursts. The control of pressure transients can therefore greatly reduce the occurrences of burst frequencies and thus reduce and even prevent damages and consequent leakage. The main reasons for these pipeline bursts are the use of aging pipes that are damaged from recurrent pressure transient events as well as from a corrosive environment. These pressure transients are a result of sudden and extreme changes in flow velocity brought about by events such as pipe bursts, sudden changes in demand, abrupt pump start-ups and shut-offs, opening and closing of fire hydrants, quick closing and opening of in-line isolating valves, flushing and draining operations, fire flow, feed tank draining, and other similar events.
A.R.I. has the answers for preventing water losses due to pressure transient events.
The software program "SURGE 2012", developed at the University of Kentucky, provides an analysis of pipeline data that records and assesses the physical state of the system.
A.R.I. has also developed a hydraulically controlled check valve HCCV (Model HC 040 - NR) that controls the opening and closing times of the check valve disc via a hydraulic control system. This prevents a rise in line pressure and thus reduces or prevents the ensuing damage to the pumping station.
A.R.I. also offers an overall solution for designing the installation of air valves, using a dedicated software program called - "ARIAVCAD". This program aids in analyzing the pipeline system and provides accurate recommendations for locating of the air valves along the pipeline as well as the appropriate type and size of air valve.
In addition, A.R.I.'s R&D engineers have developed unique air valves for treating the specific situations of negative pressure within a pipeline.
A.R.I also offers a comprehensive solution in surge protection by incorporating Bladder Surge Tanks (BST), together with air valves, where appropriate. A BST serves to absorb and control surge energies created by backflows in pipelines when a pump stops, or during sudden pressure changes. These events can create stress in vulnerable components of piping systems and decrease a system's component life cycle.
A.R.I.'s extensive expertise, operating under a variety of challenging field conditions, have consistently shown that air valves are the most efficient and cost effective tools for protection against pressure transient events. This is because at water column separation the air valve (kinetic orifice) opens rapidly and thus allows a large amount of air into the pipeline. This prevents the formation of a void cavity and consequently prevents damaging pipeline cavitation.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) estimates that 3% of national energy consumption, equivalent to approximately 56 billion Kilowatt hours, is used for drinking water and waste water services. This energy use amounts to approximately 45 million tons of greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere. The energy costs are about 4 billion dollars annually for the operation of drinking water and wastewater utilities. A large percentage of this energy is used by pumps, in some cases these costs can amount to 50 percent of a water utility's budget.
Identifying approaches to integrate energy saving practices into the long-term sustainability of water and waste water infrastructure is therefore a key element to reducing operation costs and adding to the water utility's bottom line.
All hydraulic design formulae presume 100% efficient flow systems (that is: full flow at full pipeline diameter). Pumps on pressure pipe lines are not designed to move air and therefore any air in the pipeline will create additional friction and head losses at the pump. This will result in longer run times and greater maintenance costs from pumps that need to work harder to maintain flow thus consuming more energy. This means that when one or more pumps are not operating efficiently, it takes more energy than necessary for the pump to perform as designed.
A.R.I. has the answers for water utilities to substantially reduce their energy bill, reduce operational costs and help in the national effort to save the environment. A.R.I.'s product range of air valves, check valves and proper software analyses are the solutions for water utilities that seek to reduce their energy consumption and save costs at the same time.
Reducing Pathogen and Contaminant Intrusion
Pipe breaks, cracks, dislocated and damaged seals, gaskets, joints and fittings are referred to as “gaps” in a pipeline system where water losses and damages to the infrastructure can occur. Pressure transients and internal corrosion (especially hydrogen sulfide corrosion), are enhanced by the presence of air pockets, and can weaken pipelines. They are, therefore, a major cause for the creation of new gaps and for the expansion of existing gaps in the pipeline system.
Upsurges of pressure transient events are a major driving force for leakage, but down-surges of transient events are the major driving force for the intrusion of pathogens and contaminants into pipelines that can severely impact water quality.
A.R.I's modern and advanced air valves provide the answers for minimizing the risk of pathogen and contaminant intrusion into pipelines. A.R.I.'s air valves discharge existing air/gas pockets from pipelines and prevent the formation of new air/gas pockets. When properly sized and located these air valves will prevent vacuum cavity formation and collapse (cavitation), that greatly amplify down-surge pressure transients, prevent local transients (air slam) and suppress surges. The prevention of these events will also prevent the intrusion of pathogens and contaminants into pipelines.