Utility management company Bosch Munitech in March completed the design and installation of a metering and monitoring system to manage water consumption for the Lower Berg River Irrigation Board in the Western Cape.
The company was appointed last year in November to install the Krohne Waterflux electromagneic flowmeters and Nivusonic transit time flowmeters for 135 irrigation abstraction points on the Berg river at a cost of R3.2-million.
“As a result of the critical drought in the Western Cape, the Department of Water and Sanitation now requires that all agricultural abstractions from the Lower Berg river – which is a key source of water for Cape Town, surrounding towns and agricultural enterprises – be metered,” explains Bosch Munitech senior contracts manager Iaan de Beer.
He indicates that an important criterion of the project was that all flowmeter readings must be readily accessible in a database for online access to the consumption data of each water meter connected to the system.
“To transfer measurement data from 135 abstraction points along the river to a central database, an alternative to the traditional global system of mobile communications was used. “The team deployed a purpose-built Internet of Things communications platform and a Web-based data management portal from telecommunications equipment supplier Liquid Fibre.”
De Beer explains that the Liquid Fibre portal enables users to view and export flowmeter data online from personal computers and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. He says Web-based application overcomes the usual challenges such as high installation costs and unreliable network coverage.
He notes that the Krohne Waterflux electromagnetic flowmeter is a low maintenance water meter which meets stringent potable water standards designed for bidirectional flow measurement.
“The flowmeters have a rectangular sensor that allows for a stable measurement, even at low and uneven flow rates. They offer high accuracy of less than 0.5% across its measurement range.”
The meter can be installed anywhere, without the need for straight inlet or outlet runs – for example, behind pipe bends or control valves – or a reduction in the pipe diameter, says De Beer. “These meters are also suitable for burial installation and immersion in flooded chambers.”
De Beer says the highly accurate Nivusonic meter is easy to install and offers substantial savings over the standard mechanical installation cost associated with inline flowmeters on large-diameter pipelines.