Companies need to optimise the verification of meters and improve the interpretation and application of the resulting data. This will reduce the cost of verification activity and inform decision making.
Water companies routinely carry out in situ verification of their large strategic meters, driven by the need to demonstrate regulatory compliance (for abstraction) and data confidence (water balance). The appropriate level of data gathering and effective application of that data is not well understood, resulting in additional cost and sub-optimal meter maintenance decisions.
There is a need to understand the optimum verification schedule and the best interpretation and application of the resulting data. This will allow companies to deliver high quality business information, while optimising decisions regarding meter servicing and replacement.
Improved analysis and understanding of verification results would yield more reliable information, enabling better decision making. The replacement of a large meter costs upwards of £10,000 and can cause significant disruption to works. If better information can result in the prevention of unnecessary meter replacements this can lead to significant savings.
It is estimated that the UK water industry spends over £1M per year on meter verification. There is potential for reducing this cost through evidence based verification programmes.
Improvements in the confidence of distribution input figures by even by a modest 0.5%, can have hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of impact on leakage budgets.
Building on existing best practice in large meter verification techniques, this project will develop guidelines on how verification frequencies can be optimised based on evidence for different meter types. It will explore how verification results can be better used within water balance calculations to make them more robust and it will identify how good business decisions should be made based on a better understanding of verification data. The work will focus on the procedural and analytic aspects of verification, rather than the technology, though it will reflect recent technical developments and best practice.
WRc has extensive experience in meter verification, both in practice and in interpreting results. Combining this practical experience with an understanding of the business needs driving the water industry will enable water companies to achieve the maximum cost benefit from their verification programmes.