Automation of Water Management
Whether it is a domestic use, or for commercial purposes at large scale, accurate measurement of water is quite essential for exact and perfect utilization of water oriented equipment and devices. When exact quantity of required water is provided to any water driven equipment, the life of the equipment naturally increases and so does its performance. Apart from measuring the accurate water supply, the correct amount of water is also required to be measured before the supply is provided for domestic users and in multi-story apartments.
With the help of appropriate water management automation devices, the correct measurement of water supply can be calculated and hence the required amount of water can be distributed to various localities of every city. For example, sufficient amount of water supply can be provided to the areas with less population, and some additional amount of water can be given to the areas with higher population rate.
In order to facilitate the accurate measurement of water before it is supplied to water oriented devices, banks have financed up to US$ 11 billion during the time span of 1990 to 2012. A greater amount of the financed funds is being utilized for healthy drinking water and sanitation purposes.
In regard with drinking water, the water management organizations plan to have:
- Better and more sophisticated water supply plans.
- Availability of water supply for 24 x 7 in almost all cities and states.
- Fully automated water supply distribution and management.
- Appropriate monitoring of water flow for better utilization.
- Appropriate amount of water deliverance in domestic areas.
- Automation of existing water supply plans.
Since the organizations plan to invest some amount of the financed funds for instrumentation and automation of the water management, objectives of such organizations include:
- Water quality assessment
- WTP treatment losses.
- Vibration monitoring of the pumps to avoid abrupt and unwanted breakdowns or shutdowns.
- CWR level management in order to reduce the chances of CWR overflows.
- Assess the approximate pumping rate in order to provide fluctuation free pumping to the treatment plants.
- Automated start-ups and shutdowns of the machines.
- Automated alerts during failsafe in order to protect the equipment from unwanted and unexpected damages.
- Efficient upstream and downstream information transfer management.
- Easy switching from automated controls to the manual controls in case of automation system equipment failure.
Water Quality Assessment
Since water quality assessment is essential in order to calculate the accurate demand and supply of water, flowmeters are installed and appropriately used to assess the required quantity of water at different stages. For example the quantity of raw water that is sent to the flowmeter, the quantity of water that enters the inlet, and the final quantity that comes out of the outlet. With the help of such water quality assessment, it becomes easier for the organizations to calculate the total amount of water that is to be distributed at different domestic locations, as well as to the industries.
Benefits of Using Electromagnetic Flowmeter over Mechanical Flowmeter
Some of the most important benefits of using an electromagnetic flowmeter instead of a mechanical flowmeter include:
- An electromagnetic flowmeter does not have any moving parts. This causes negligible damage to the equipment, hence remarkably saving the additional maintenance costs.
- An electromagnetic flowmeter can flawlessly work even when water with solid elements is used.
- Since an electromagnetic flowmeter does not obstruct the flow, the drop ratio is almost negligible.
pH Water Quality Assessment
pH is yet another way of assessing the quality of water. In this assessment, the water is closely monitored and its samples are taken at different stages. This helps industries assess the precise level of purified water, which further helps them distribute it for appropriate utilization.
In order to assess the quality of water even after it has been purified from suspended solids, turbidity assessment is used to measure the involvement of micro-organisms in it. As per defined standards, an appropriate drinking water must have less than 5NTU turbidity. However, there are still some standards set by some other bodies, according to which the water must have less than 1NTU turbidity.
In order to purify the water and make it free from bacteria, certain amount of chlorine is integrated in it. The amount of chlorine that is used to purify the water depends on the quantity of water that is to be purified, and the level of desired purification.
In case the water is being purified for drinking purposes, the amount of chlorine that is to be used for the purification must be quite accurate in order to keep the water free from bacteria, while making it as harmless as possible at the same time.
Importance of Vibration Monitoring Systems (VMS)
VMS is quite essential when it comes to water management automation system. The reason behind this is:
- Regular monitoring of machines can alert the technical staff for expected future failures and errors.
- Automated planned device shutdown process can be initiated to protect the equipment from expected errors/failures.
- Regular vibration monitoring enables technical staff and equipment operator exploit the machine in the best possible way.
- Reduced maintenance expenses.
- Planned spare part entries.
- Easy captured VMS data transfer.
A complete automated water purification system must have:
- A water pumping station
- A water treatment plant
- A clear water pumping station
The above entities can comprise of mechanical and/or electrical automation instrumentation. Details of essential instrumentation systems to get the system work as desired are:
Electrical system must have a specific input and output voltage measurements, status of LT motors and circuit breakers, etc. Status of flash mixer, flocculator, bridge drive motors, chemical mixing motors on alum tank, etc. must also be essentially monitored while working with electrical system.
While working with mechanical systems, status of all pumps (raw water pump, dewatering pump, backwash pump), butterfly valves on individual pumps delivery, and chemical feeder valve must be closely monitored.
When dealing with instrumentation equipment, few points that need consideration are:
- Thrust bearing temperature of water pumps
- Alum solution tank level
- Backwash tank water level
- VMS for RWP, WTP and CWP
- Amount of chlorine present in water
- Compressed air’s air flowmeter.
[Alarm Systems: Alarm system can be useful for:
- Power failures
- Increased winding and bearings temperature
- Overload of motor trip
- Pump start or stop failures
- Low differential head across filter bed
- High level in tanks
Raw Water Control Automation
With the introduction of latest technology, especially in IT domain, TCP/IP along with XML or WBXML is now used to automate the control of raw water and other water related issues using telemetry systems. The entire management of the system can be monitored and controlled by SCADA.
Gateway Server and SCADA Software Integration A gateway server, in context of water management, is a computer system that is connected to other M2M terminals and receives data from them.
On the other hand, the PC on which SCADA server is installed also has SQL server installed on it to maintain a proper database of the collected information.
The gateway server and the PC with SCADA and SQL server are connected to each other, where the gateway server transfers the collected data to the SCADA software which then stores the received information in the SQL server database.