Research project aims to improve water management

12 January 2021

TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory has launched a Joint Industry Project (JIP) to help the water industry increase the accuracy of abstraction and leakage reporting. 

The accuracy of large diameter flow meters is vital to manage water resources and optimise the water network, yet currently, there is a knowledge gap regarding their performance and accuracy. This can pose problems for water companies as they seek to lower abstraction and reduce leakage, as some ‘leakage’ may be measurement error. 
The JIP aims to fill this knowledge gap and update existing guidance, by providing more accurate metering of water networks. This will deliver improved network optimisation and give water companies a more precise understanding of leakage rates, allowing them to meet regulatory targets and meet future demand.
TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory is working with Arup and Water Research Centre (WRc), as the principle technical advisors to the project, and is calling on other interested parties from the water industry to join. There is already interest from potential collaborative partners in Australia, Asia, Europe, Middle East, North America and South Africa.
Commenting on the announcement, Carl Wordsworth, senior engineer at TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory, said: “Accurate metering is essential for effective, economic and sustainable water management. However, unlike small meters which can be easily validated at minimal cost, there has been little independent testing of large diameter meters due to the sheer size and cost of calibrating them. This has led to a gap in our knowledge of the uncertainty performance of this important meter type. As pipe diameters can have a significant effect on the accuracy of flow meters, independent testing is required to investigate the levels to which these effects impact flow meter uncertainty.”
The JIP intends to investigate the measurement uncertainty of large diameter flow meters together with the effects of ageing. It also plans to examine new emerging technologies that could be used as in-situ validation techniques for existing large diameter flow meters. Computational modelling will be used to understand the effects of pipeline disturbances on the flow within large pipes and the effects of electromagnetic interference on the accurate operation of flow meters.

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