Get buy-in on your digital strategy from your whole organization
This seems obvious, but it is a common downfall that is not unique to water utilities. Sometimes part of an organization can be enthusiastic and ready to embrace a rapid transformation, and part of the organization may be not as eager. Whatever the reason, a small force of opposition can severely impact a successful outcome. Addressing concerns with a viable solution is critical to get every member of the team on board. Set your goals as a team and define your priorities. When adding a new layer of technology consider compiling a wish list of features with employees and stakeholders. Invite solution providers in to meet with the team and answer any tough questions.
Data agnostic is important
Having data sets in one central platform allows you to use the data for many purposes from monitoring and operating, to budgeting and asset management. Ensure that your digital platform is built on open architecture and standardization so that application programming interfaces (APIs) can retrieve data from any software application. This way you can retrieve historical or active sensor data from legacy systems. In many cases you don’t need to throw out the “old”, you can often bring it into the new platform.
Align with partners that can grow
“Here today, gone tomorrow” is not uncommon in the technology sector. New technology companies are often gobbled up by the bigger players striving to maintain innovation and market share. In some cases, their survival requires going deep into a specialization which can result in boxing a utility into fewer options. Partnering with trusted vendors that understand the water industry will likely result in a holistic digital approach that can evolve unencumbered by technology specific solutions.
Leverage your existing infrastructure
While this is obvious it also makes fiscal sense, not only from the cost of buying new equipment but the installation and maintenance of new equipment. Most water infrastructure was built to last decades, and with maintenance and rehabilitation that can often be stretched even further than planned. Turning traditional infrastructure into digital “smart” infrastructure is possible with the addition of sensors. Whoever thought a hydrant, would also become a remote pressure monitor and a leak detector device? Instead of replacing the hydrant, you can retrofit it.
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Echologics® ePulse was chosen to assess the minimum average structural stiffness of approximately 14.5 kilometers (km) of large diameter PCCP mains, and EchoWave leak detection was used on 10.5 km of large diameter steel mains. The pipe was installed in the 1990s and consisted of water mains with diameters ranging from 900mm to 1050mm. The goal was to conduct a due diligence inspection to determine the current pipe condition and put forth recommendations for the City to make evidence-based asset management decisions to replace, rehabilitate, defer, or monitor specific lengths of this pipeline.
As water pipes increase in diameter, they also increase in criticality and complexity. Transmission pipes are site-specific installations, so each pipe has been designed to ensure safe operation given local loading and operating considerations. Decades after a transmission pipe has been installed, design standards, actual loading conditions and consequences of failure may change significantly. Therefore, understanding the current structural state and operating requirements of each transmission pipe is a critical step towards making evidence-based asset management decisions.
Based on high-resolution ePulse analysis and stiffness measurement, there was sufficient data to show that close to 80% of the tested mains appeared to be in good condition and will not require further investigation. However, periodic inspection and maintenance work are encouraged. The remaining 20% showed some signs of deterioration and will require attention. Having this concrete data and grade scheme in place will help the City scope future work by establishing a historical data baseline.
Michelle Morris, Transportation Design Engineer for the City of London, said, “When looking into areas such as ease and resolution of inspection and low operational risk, ePulse checked all the boxes. Echologics also worked with us to formulate a grading scheme to quantify the pipes’ condition and detailed next steps which should be taken for segments exhibiting each particular grading.”
Click here for more information on Echologics Pipe Condition Assessment
James City Service Authority (JCSA) had a leak from a dresser-style coupling on a 16” steel pipe that ran a 600-foot bridge. The piping was installed in the mid-1970s, and all the ten dresser couplings needed to be cut out and replaced.
JCSA used the 16” HYMAX Versa coupling to replace the existing dresser couplings. The coupling can be opened to wrap around both ends of the pipe to bridge the gap between them. Instead of using a crane to lift one end of the pipe to install a coupling, JCSA could use a smaller snooper truck which could position workers next to the existing pipe while minimally affecting traffic.
Workers cut out the old dresser coupling and installed the new coupling while leaving the existing pipe in place. It took JSCA only two days to install 10 new HYMAX Versa couplings on the pipe, instead of a week if the pipe was removed with a crane, saving nearly 10 thousand dollars per day.
“Using the HYMAX Versa coupling made a huge difference in making the repair quick and easy,” said JCSA Chief Civil Engineer of Water, Michael Youshock. “When you can minimize impacts to customers, minimize costs and allow traffic to flow, the choice to use this coupling was an obvious one. Costs were driven down dramatically.”
In addition to being fast and easy to install, the new coupling is very durable. Its weld-free construction and 100% stainless steel parts make it resistant to corrosion. The patented hydraulic pressure-assisted gasket inflates as water pressure increases. This allows for three degrees of dynamic deflection on each end to reduce the risk of future damage to the pipe due to heavy traffic on the bridge and temperature changes. The radial closing design and sealing systems also help eliminate installation errors.
For this repair project, the coupling was wrapped around the pipe ends to connect the pipes like a standard coupling. It can also be used to stab-fit two pipes or repair pipes by wrapping it around the damaged section. This flexibility gives installers the option to connect or repair a range of water and wastewater piping types with diameters from 1.5" to 85”. With this multi-functionality and wide tolerance, inventory costs can be reduced substantially while saving shelf space as the product suits a wide range of pipe diameters, eliminating the need for dedicated wrap-around and coupling products.
“The Authority saved thousands while ensuring our water infrastructure will be secure for many years to come. We’ll definitely use this coupling again with tricky repair situations in the future,” said Youshock.
Click here to learn more about HYMAX Versa Stainless Steel Couplings
The Dunwoody Neighborhood Nature Center is a 22-acre hidden gem in the heart of metro Atlanta that is dedicated to environmental responsibility and stewardship through conservation of shared natural spaces, environmental education for all ages, and motivating environmental awareness and sustainable practices. Each year thousands of people enjoy the park and learn at the satellite campus at no cost.
The Neighborhood Water Watch is a collaborative program between Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and neighborhood groups, schools, and citizens in the Chattahoochee River watershed. Every week Dunwoody Nature Center volunteers collect samples from three sites, including the Wildcat Creek. These samples are tested for levels of turbidity, conductivity, optical brighteners, and E. coli, which are indicators of stream quality. The data is recorded online and is made available to the public. Community water quality monitoring enables citizens to invest time in their watershed and gain a stronger understanding of the components of healthy streams and builds a level of responsibility for the preservation of a creek’s health, ensuring a safe and healthy community for future generations.
Partnerships that help protect our water by educating and engaging community in the conservation of our ecosystems are important to Mueller. We are proud to sponsor the 2022 Neighborhood Water Watch Program that does such important and amazing work!
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Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) provides clean, safe drinking water to 88 member partners across 112 southeast Michigan counties, which is equivalent to nearly 40 percent of Michigan's population. As part of GLWA’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to increase the resiliency of its regional water and wastewater systems, the Authority’s Springwells Water Treatment Facility underwent a large rehabilitation. Part of this rehabilitation included replacing cast iron bulkheads that were produced and installed in the 1930s, with eight Hydro Gate®️ 108”x 144” cast iron slide gates.
The Hydro Gate stem driven slide gates are electrically actuated with extended travel allowing for storage of the slides in the gate house when not in operation. Remote control was also provided with the intelligent actuator system. The gates are used to control influent and effluent flow of the 1930 Sedimentation Basin. The basin needs to be routinely shut down for maintenance, and the new gates make this much easier to do than the previously crane operated bulkheads.
Mueller, together with Kokosing Industrial and Benesch, took this replacement effort through a design-build process to accelerate the completion timeline and reduce the cost to GLWA. The approach resulted in the delivery and installation timeline being compressed by more than a year.
Click here for more information on Hydro Gate
Intersec Dubai | January 16-18 | Dubai, UAE
Iowa Rural Water Conference | February 21-23 | Des Moines, IA
Membrane Technology Conference & Expo | February 21-25 | Las Vegas, NV
Delaware Rural Water Conference | February 23-24 | Harrington, DE
Utah Rural Water Conference | February 28 – March 4 | St George, UT
StocExpo Rotterdam | March 8-10 | Rotterdam, NL
Colorado Rural Water Association | March 7-10 | Denver, CO
South Carolina Environmental Conference | March 13-16 | Myrtle Beach, SC
New Jersey AWWA Conference | March 15-18 | Atlantic City, NJ
Leakage Conference | March 17 | Birmingham, AL
Pennsylvania Rural Water Association Conference | March 22-24 | State College, PA
WV Construction & Design EXPO | March 23-24 | Charleston, WV
Kansas Rural Water Association Conference | March 29-31 | Wichita, KS
Texas Water™ 2022 | April 4-7 | San Antonio, TX
California/Nevada AWWA Spring Conference | April 11-14 | Anaheim, CA
New York AWWA Conference | April 12-14 | Saratoga Springs, NY
Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) | April 17-21 | Singapore
BC Water & Waste Conference | May 15-17 | Victoria, BC
IFAT | May 30 – June 3 | Munich, DE
NFPA Conference & Expo | June 6-8 | Boston, MA
ACE 22 | June 12-15 | San Antonio, TX
Interschutz Expo 2021 | June 20-25 | Hannover, DE
Copyright © 2021 Mueller Water Products, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Mueller refers to one or more of Mueller Water Products, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“MWP”), and its subsidiaries. MWP and each of subsidiaries are legally separate and independent entities when providing products and services. MWP does not provide products or services to third parties. MWP and each of its subsidiaries are liable only for their own acts and omissions and not those of each other. MWP brands include Mueller ® Echologics®, Hydro Gate®, Hydro-Guard®, Jones®, Krausz®, i2O®, Mi.Net®, Milliken®, Pratt®, Pratt Industrial®, Singer®, and U.S. Pipe Valve & Hydrant®. Please see www.muellerwp.com/brandsto learn more.