Following the successful NephNet seminar in May 2014, interest is rapidly growing in our new groundbreaking portable turbidity monitor. Many water companies are already using the NephNet to control flushing operations, whilst also carrying out detailed studies of the network.
Most recently, evaluations also have begun with a number of companies in the south of England, with some excellent results and feedback!
Here is a brief overview on some of the work, successes and customer feedback that ATi have had since the launch of the Nephnet:
NephNet being used to protect against fines from OFWAT.
The NephNet is already being used by several UK water companies to demonstrate how better, more accurate monitoring can be used to catch any spikes in NTU >1NTU. There is no other turbidity monitor that can accurately measure down at 0.01 NTU. Sheffield University has researched into this area (in conjunction with PODDS / UK water industry) and the conclusion is that because the NephNet is a continuous measuring device, it can catch and alarm immediately. This data can then be used to reduce the risk of complaints, through information and communication to and from the user.
Severn Trent Water Birmingham City Centre Trials:
After the first block of successful training at STW, the trial to monitor areas of the Birmingham network is going very well with some great data being returned. The NephNet can monitor continually and avoids the consistency errors that can sometimes be seen in manual tests. Busy transport systems can be a dangerous place to work when monitoring at hydrants. The only other way to check for changes in turbidity would be to send a person with a handheld turbidity unit (for spot testing). However, these are not continual and are very ‘hit and miss’ when working on a busy road with rain, dirt and grime potentially affecting the readings. With the NephNet, the unit can be installed within minutes and left to monitor chosen areas of the network for up to 12 months, depending on optional battery packs.
Richard Williams, STW Distribution Water Quality Manager, is thrilled with results of the trials: “We have worked closely with ATi during the development stages of the new Nephnet, constantly challenging the team with an ever growing wish list. Nothing appeared too much to ask, with solutions being developed to overcome each issue. Tristen and Chris were always available to visit the site to understand the problems first hand.
“From the original large suitcase kit used for PODDS flushing, the new “sandwich box sized” units with SMS, email alarms and the web page have opened up wider application opportunities.
“Initially deployed in the field in Severn Trent without Mains Cleaning team, we are now using the Nephnets in a number of areas:
- Monitoring turbidity changes following intermitted customer complaints
- “Real time” monitoring around valve operation in high risk discolouration areas
- Background monitoring during night time step testing
“The problem with leaks was quickly resolved, as was a potential back siphonage risk. A requirement for pressure reducing valves with WRAS approval for some of our higher pressure systems took some time.
“Our operators love the smart phone options and the ability to closely monitor the impact of their activities on the network.
“The benefits of the NephNet have included:
- The rechargeable battery and long life (this was a winner when compared to similar equipment available on the market)
- Manpower saving (Our operators are freed from turbidity sampling to undertake actions to resolve the problem)
- They provide increased security and confidence during planned work
- They provide an important record which demonstrates evidence of a due diligence approach expected by our Regulators
“The most important being the ability to detect, respond to and resolve changes in turbidity without waiting for complaints from our customers to inform us of a problem.”
Langham Industrial Controls Hydrant Flow Meter is now ‘NephNet ready’
ATi have collaborated with Langham Industrial Controls Ltd (LIC) to develop mains flushing equipment by combining ATi’s NephNet system with LIC’s Hydrant Flow Meter range. LIC have over 20 years experience of flow and pressure sensing within the Water Industry. LIC have also been involved on the PODDS research (Prediction of Discoloration in Distribution Systems) with Sheffield University from the beginning of the project. Langham Industrial Control’s expertise in flow and pressure, combined with ATi’s NephNet, allow for better overall understanding of effective flushing. Measuring and recording flow, pressure and turbidity simultaneously offers detailed understanding of what is actually happening within the mains before, during and after a flush. The data can be time/date stamped to allow for a better awareness of discolouration within the network (or specific length of mains).