Addressing pressure management control valve application for City West Water

Home to a population of 4.9 million people, Melbourne has a large urban footprint and is faced with the challenges of demand for infrastructure services while dealing with the depletion of the water supplies due to consistently high summer temperatures and drought conditions. These pressures have driven the government to increase awareness of water usage and to construct the country’s largest desalination plant for A$3.2 billion (US$2.3 billion).

PRV services to reduce leakage and calm the network by stabilising pressures.

Water is supplied to the Melbourne metropolitan area by three water companies, one of which is City West Water (CWW), which provides around 100 billion litres of water every year to over one million residents and 40,000 businesses, including Melbourne’s central business district. Supplying so many with safe drinking water is a challenge and every year CWW is required to prepare a Drought Preparedness Plan to manage any potential shortfalls in the water supply.

A part of this plan is to proactively reduce leakage across the reticulation networks. CWW has established a suite of actions to achieve this, including active leak detection, mains renewals, rapid response to bursts and leaks, intelligent network technologies and pressure management.

Several pressure reducing valves (PRVs) were installed across the CWW region which serves to reduce leakage and claim the network by stabilising pressures.

One such valve installation is Gourlay Road Pressure Managed Area (PMA). This is a district metered area serving 1,200 properties in the Carline Springs area of Melbourne. This zone previously experienced very high pressures at times of low demand up to around 100m. CWW determined that more could be done effectively manage the pressures in this zone to reduce unnecessary stress on hot water services, taps and their network infrastructure.

The challenge was that the control valve had to provide data back to the company’s SCADA system, and this would require power at the valve sites. It was determined that running power to this installation was not economical and therefore required a more specialised control valve solution. This valve was requested to be self-powered, continually monitor PRV outlet pressure, flow and also provide PRV stem position feedback to provide trends of any potential unusual valve behaviour.

The full article is available on the latest edition of Water & Wastewater Asia Mar/Apr 2022 issue. To continue reading, click here.