Product Focus: Pressure Monitoring Software Helps Identify Distribution System Problems

Water distribution system integrity is best evaluated using a smart water network (SWN) to provide warning against any potential breaches in sufficient time for operators to respond and minimize damage. To that end, a new pressure monitoring software is designed to help utilities identify pressure and flow related problems in their networks in real time.

Water distribution system integrity is best evaluated using a smart water network (SWN) to provide warning against any potential breaches in sufficient time for operators to respond and minimize damage. To that end, a new pressure monitoring software is designed to help utilities identify pressure and flow related problems in their networks in real time. The system can send out alerts when performance problems, leaks, breaks, loss of system integrity and other operational problems are identified.

The PressureWatch software for drinking water distribution systems was developed by Innovyze, a developer of wet infrastructure modeling and simulation software and technologies. The new software is just one part of the company's smart water network system, which is based on IWLive, a software solution from Innovyze designed to perform real time hydraulic modeling and operational analysis.

The pressure monitoring software can help water utility owners and operators visualize and assess their network hydraulic performance in real time and compare current network dynamics with historic data.

Designed for online applications with existing SCADA systems and pressure and flow meters and sensors, PressureWatch automatically reads and analyzes incoming real-time field data, instantly updates the calibrated network model and predicts hydraulic behavior. It then compares this data with natural variations of historical data (based on time of day, day of the week, season of the year, etc.) and uses mathematical, statistical and network solving techniques to pinpoint the onset of anomalous hydraulic events that operators can evaluate and act on.

The software can detect conditions resulting from pipe rupture, leak and break incidents, and also spot unexpected "normal" events like sensor malfunction and equipment failure. It can differentiate anomalous events from background variability, minimize the number of missed detections, and compute and report the likelihood of false alarms and screen them out using advanced pattern matching and recognition algorithms.

PressureWatch is available as a stand-alone Windows program that runs on nearly any computer or as a complementary module of IWLive. Unlike "software as a service" (SaaS) solutions, it can be up and running in just a few minutes within the controlled security of the utility's local computer.

"PressureWatch is an invaluable advance in water distribution network operations, maintenance and management," said Paul F. Boulos, President and Chief Operating Officer of Innovyze. "It will greatly aid water utilities worldwide in improving the efficiency and integrity of their distribution systems and ensuring more reliable operations at maximum cost savings.

"This new software is a significant leap - one that greatly enhances these experts' ability to reduce operational and energy costs, extend the lifetime of their assets, improve customer service, conserve valuable resources, and maximize the integrity of their networks' physical, hydraulic and water quality," he said.

Other modules in the IWLive smart water network system include BalanceNet, a real-time operations optimization software. It automatically reads real-time field data, updates the network model and determines pump and treatment plant operation schedules that will yield the lowest operating cost while satisfying desired system performance requirements, such as tank trajectory curves, minimum and maximum flows and velocities, and total pump flows.

It combines an optimized mass balance storage model with a network model solver to produce a set of near-optimal solutions for improving system operations.

The QualWatch module is a real-time event detection (public health surveillance monitoring) software. Its primary use is to detect contamination incidents rapidly enough to allow for an effective response to protect the public health.

It is based on the conceptual framework and statistical techniques employed by PressureWatch, and can analyze standard water quality data (e.g., free chlorine, electrical conductivity, pH, total organic carbon, turbidity, oxidation-reduction potential) over time from online water quality sensors to compare with expected and historical values. This comparison with historical water quality trends provides a mechanism to differentiate normal water quality patterns from anomalous conditions and minimize false alarms.

For more information on the system, visit www.innovyze.com.

More in Distribution