Aggressive Water Conservation Strategies and New Technology

he need for aggressive water conservation strategies and the technology to support them has grown in recent years. To this end, Datamatic designed MOSAIC, an advanced AMR network that combines conservation functionality and tools never before available in a single solution.

Aug 1st, 2008
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The need for aggressive water conservation strategies and the technology to support them has grown in recent years. To this end, Datamatic designed MOSAIC, an advanced AMR network that combines conservation functionality and tools never before available in a single solution.

  • Advanced User-Defined Conservation Monitoring
  • Acoustic Leak Detection
  • Remote Shutoff Valve

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MOSAIC is a MESH network. This means that all its endpoints, FIREFLYs, also function as repeaters for the transmissions of other neighboring FFs. Data is transmitted – or "hopped" – from FF to FF toward a gateway, similar to the way someone might jump from rock to rock to cross a river. Transmissions follow any path necessary to efficiently navigate the network; circumventing environmental obstacles along the way. Should the primary path be unavailable, the network "self-heals" and dynamically routes data via an alternate path.

MOSAIC uses full two-way communications down to the endpoint, a FIREFLY® Meter Interface Unit (FF), making it possible for operators to "push" conservation monitoring schedules, interval data requests, firmware updates and functional enhancements out via the network.

FIREFLYs log usage data hourly and store this consumption data for up to 240 days. Hourly consumption is called usage profile data or "ProfilePLUS". ProfilePLUS data can be retrieved from any meter via the MOSAIC network or a handheld computer. FIREFLY's ProfilePLUS capability can carry the data storage burden for accounts where hourly data wouldn't normally be needed.

Advanced User-defined Conservation Monitoring

MOSAIC has a highly-configurable utility for monitoring water usage and compliance with conservation measures. It allows usage "rules" to be applied to each category of water customer.

MOSAIC allows utilities to define nine (9) different profiles. A profile is a user-defined schedule that can be applied to a particular category of water customer. Examples of profiles could be "West Side of Town", "Even-Numbered Residential Customer", "C&I", "Golf Course", "24-hour User", etc.

Each profile contains four (4) different daily templates that can be used in any combination to create a complete seven-day monitoring schedule.

Each daily template is composed of 24, one-hour monitoring periods, to which a usage threshold can be applied. If a customer exceeds one of these thresholds (e.g. watering on a restricted day), an alert is sent back to the office via the network. Schedules have effective/start and expiration/end dates and can be changed at any time.

FFs accommodate two (2) schedules: a current, operative schedule and a pending or queued schedule. For example, as a utility sees itself emerging from severe drought conditions, it may decide on 8/15 to ease watering restrictions effective 9/1. On 8/15, the utility can create and send a new schedule (with a 9/1 start date). The new schedule will propagate throughout the network and automatically activate on 9/1.

MOSAIC's advanced user-defined conservation monitoring gives utilities a level of control never before possible.

Acoustic Leak Detection

Permalog+ Leak Noise Loggers, used in conjunction with a MOSAIC network (or ROADRUNNER Mobile & Handheld data collection platforms), are today's most powerful tool to protect water resources and guard against costly and damaging leaks.

Leaks cost utilities and customers dearly. Wasting millions of gallons of treated water and disrupting services and lives when small, unseen leaks develop into large scale problems.

Permalog+ loggers attach magnetically to valves throughout the distribution system. Sophisticated algorithms distinguish the sound of normal operations from the distinct acoustic signature produced by a leak.

Integrated with a FIREFLY Meter Interface Unit, loggers transmit data to the office daily via a MOSAIC Mesh Network or to ROADRUNNER Mobile and Handheld collection platforms during meter reading operations. A Digital Correlator analyzes the leak data to provide accurate location information for pinpoint excavation and repair.

Remote Shutoff Valve

The Remote Shutoff Valve (or RSV™) enables utilities to shut off and reconnect water services without ever touching a wrench. Available as a handheld-operated, stand-alone system or integrated with the MOSAIC AMR network, the RSV is an effective solution to a host of billing, service & field issues including preventing theft from inactive water services, expediting payment on delinquent accounts and increasing worker safety.

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Most water utilities spend thousands of man-hours per year disconnecting and reconnecting delinquent and inactive accounts. But now, Datamatic's RSV makes it possible to perform shutoffs/reconnections remotely, saving money and enabling utilities to redeploy field service resources into areas that will proactively improve operations and customer service.

RSVs have both disconnect and reconnect capabilities and thus can eliminate two field service calls each time they are used. Theft from inactive services can be virtually eliminated. In most cases, disconnection also expedites customer payment and simplifies collection. RSVs can operate in both pit and non-submersible settings and are available with "Complete" or "Life Support/Trickle" shutoff options.

How it works:

  1. A shutoff signal is transmitted from the office via a MOSAIC mesh network or a handheld computer if a Field Service Rep is onsite.
  2. The signal is received by the RSV.
  3. The RSV rotates its internal ball valve, shutting off the flow of water.
  4. RSV transmits a confirmation that the valve is closed.
  5. Reconnection is performed by repeating the same process.

By combining mesh network meter reading, detailed interval data collection, advanced conservation monitoring, acoustic leak detection and remote shutoff capabilities, MOSAIC is the most powerful conservation tool available today.

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