District Metered Area: Reliable data on flow and pressure

Smartrek is pleased to announce its contribution in enabling a large utility providing water to more than 450 000 residents to manage its water distribution network efficiently. The utility can readily identify sudden pipe breaks, slow water leaks, and non-revenue water sources through accurate and reliable data captured on the flow and pressure at 75 connections at the inlet and outlet points of the district-metered areas (DMA).

The need for better connectivity

The Utility implemented DMA’s a few years ago and used 3G-connected data loggers to remotely connect their flowmeters and pressure gauges. Unfortunately, when the 3G cellular network was dismantled it made all of the loggers obsolete. The city had to look for a new option.

Furthermore, their communication system only allowed data to be transferred to the operators once a day, significantly limiting their ability to monitor in real-time the various events such as pipe breaks and service interruptions.

In addition, the recurring connectivity cost and the high battery replacement rate due to spotty device connectivity made owning and maintaining these 3G-operated devices quite expensive.

District metered areas Smartrek

A smart solution

Smartrek helped the Utility successfully implement a custom private mesh network (Spidermesh) throughout the Utility, ensuring high-quality service for all connected sensors at the DMAs.

They were able to cut out completely the recurring connectivity fee associated with data loggers connected to the 3G network by using Spidermesh instead. Our client now has the flexibility to adjust the frequency of data transfer, in this case choosing to transfer updated readings from sensors every 5 minutes for a truly real-time monitoring experience.

Moreover, the majority of devices in the Spidermesh network are solar-powered, requiring minimal maintenance. For battery-operated devices, a set of 3 D-Cell alkaline batteries can last well over a year. The best part is, these batteries only cost around $5 to replace, making the system highly cost-effective.

Benefits of using Smartrek

Our client now enjoys high-quality data access through their personalized private network. They can confidently rely on the longevity of their investment since they own their infrastructure, making them immune to technological obsolescence.

Because the utility now owns its private network, they were able to eliminate recurring connectivity fees associated with cell connected data loggers. By using solar-powered devices, and energy-efficient battery-operated devices that use standard alkaline batteries, the utility was able to bring down the ownership cost of its monitoring infrastructure by 40% over a 5-year period when compared with their previous monitoring equipment, and savings are increasingly more important when looking at a extended time period.

Reacting in real time with data updated every 5 minutes means getting to major breaks rapidly, avoiding service interruption to the customers and avoiding costs related to water damages. The Utility has also gained insight on where small leaks are starting to form and can now prioritize network maintenance to prevent major problems, ensuring optimal allocation of their resources.

District metered area remote monitoring

Let’s better understand the project with an explanatory map:

Smartrek wireless network

The project involved the deployment of several types of sensors:

More than 300 repeaters were installed to make to make this project possible.

Bidirectional flow devices equipped with 0-300 psi pressure sensors on 70 inputs/outputs from the district metered area.

  • Smart Gateway
  • Repeaters
  • Solar repeaters
  • Dual flowmeter

In conclusion

Using Smartrek has not only allowed the utility to be shielded from technology obsolescence, it brought down their ownership cost for their monitoring network by 40% over a 5-year period. It has helped them prioritize maintenance, avoid major breaks and service interruptions, make informed decisions about their investments, and most importantly, safeguard the water resource for generations to come!

Contact us and take advantage of the incredible capabilities of our Smartrek products for your city or any other project related to you !

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