South Staffordshire Water has around 500 flowmeters in its network. All of the most recent abstraction and distribution input meters have been supplied by KROHNE and are contained in KROHNE’s normal corrosion-resistant polyurethane-coated steel housings.
Becky Turner, instrumentation engineer at South Staffordshire Water, said: “KROHNE is our preferred supplier for meters because they are very accurate, extremely reliable and the programming is really straight-forward.”
Many of the KROHNE OPTIFLUX meters are fitted in cramped locations where space for pipe connections and the installation of equipment such as chemical dosing and monitoring equipment is limited.
There is a danger that, in such conditions, new pipe connections and fittings will be made immediately adjacent to the meters when changes are needed to the pipework configuration to accommodate new distribution networks. This could create turbulent flow through the meter which might affect the accuracy of measurement.
To ensure that the reliability of the meters is not compromised by this type of change to the pipework, South Staffordshire Water is painting the pipe sections immediately adjacent to the meters with a silver coloured paint to match the meter housings. This will provide a strong visual clue – backed up by instructions in the company’s operating procedures – that the pipework close to the meter should be regarded as an integral part of the meter itself and should not be interfered with.
Becky Turner said: “When you are bringing a new connection into a cramped underground meter chamber it is tempting to locate the junction on the conveniently accessible straight length of pipe by the meter. However, it is important that we maintain the accuracy and integrity of our meters and we hope that painting the pipes will help to reinforce the message that connections should not be made in this critical flow measurement zone.”