Most clean water enters networks through a small number of large meters on the outlets of treatment works or service reservoirs. The accuracy of these meters has a significant impact on network management and leakage reporting.
The accuracy of large flow meters has significant impact on key business functions. The accuracy of Distribution Input (DI) meters, on the outlets of treatment works and service reservoirs, has a
significant impact on network management and leakage reporting. Large bulk transfer meters account for tens of thousands of pounds of revenue. In addition large meters are used to demonstrate compliance with abstraction licencing. A comparative understanding of available large metering technology and the factors that influence their accuracy offers significant cost savings in providing trusted metering.
- Reduced uncertainty in the water balance.
- Increased confidence in abstraction reporting, distribution input figures and other strategic meters, including those used for bulk transfers.
- Cost effective approaches to installation and maintenance of large meters to minimise errors.
- Improved evidence base for investment decisions on large meters.
This project was developed with input from 10 organisations, including water companies and the
Environment Agency, through a workshop and follow up survey. This highlighted key areas where information on the behaviour of large meters was required. It also identified the need to discover what information was already available and the need for a test programme to address the gaps in our knowledge base.
A two stage collaborative project is proposed:
- Stage1 - an extensive state of knowledge review into large meters including the latest knowledge on the performance of electromagnetic meters, research on disturbed flow conditions in large pipes, use and experience of clamp-on ultrasonic meters, insertion meters and flow conditioners.
- Stage 2 - a targeted test programme to explore gaps in the knowledge base and gather further specific data on electromagnetic and ultrasonic meters, how their performance is affected by different influence conditions and ways that those effects can be mitigated.
The project outputs will include a summary of Good Practice Guidelines for the Use of Large Flowmeters covering their selection, installation and maintenance requirements.
WRc has considerable experience with meters and metering at all stages of clean water production and distribution from source to tap. We have carried out various collaborative and single client studies on large meters including strategic meter audits, extensive laboratory tests on electromagnetic and ultrasonic meters and investigation of influence conditions. This has given us a sound theoretical knowledge of such meters and deep understanding of the way such meters are used in the water industry.