In response to what is a serious industry-wide issue whereby the location of hundreds of thousands of air valves is not known, Designed Network Solutions (DNS) have introduced a new Critical Air Valve Monitoring System.
According to DNS, the ‘disappearance’ of air valves means that across UK networks, some water companies have no idea if these valves are operational or fit for purpose – allowing expensive burst events and high levels of leakage to continue, unabated.
Designed Network Solutions’ (DNS) Director, Craig Stanners said: “For far too long, engineers have been unable to properly maintain air valves or address serious issues such as contamination, water quality, transient and water hammer; simply because they don’t have access to the right information. Now, with a proper Air Valve Monitoring System, they can carry out their work far more efficiently, reducing surge and transient events – first because they’ll know what’s actually in the network – and secondly, because they’ll be notified by an alarm to advise when an air valve is not working as it should be”.
The new DNS Critical Air Valve Monitoring System can log (at least) two main parameters:
- Pressure within the main – and then alarms if the pressure drops to below 0.2Bar because at this point the air valve is at risk of opening.
- It also monitors the air valve environment and whether it is operating within atmospheric conditions, or if the air valve is submerged and therefore poses a significant contamination risk.
Craig Stanners added: “GIS mapping just doesn’t cut it anymore, yet some have no choice but to use it – even though it can be so woefully inaccurate.
“It is staggering to think just how many ‘lost’ air valves there are out there that could be sucking in all types of rubbish – causing contamination. Non-functional air valves cause a constant build-up of air within pipelines, forcing pumps to much work harder than they should. This results in a reduced flow capacity and inefficient pump operation.
“But now at last for the industry, this new Critical Air Valve Monitoring System is a gamechanger.”