Report on the WWEM 2006 water industry exhibition

This report describes a one-day visit to the WWEM 2006 water, waste and effluent monitoring exhibition in Telford, UK.

This report describes my visit to the WWEM water industry suppliers exhibition that took place last week: the views expressed are inevitably those of Nick Denbow, based on the one-day visit there.

It was a long trip to Telford.

But on arrival, there was a warm welcome from Katronic, showing their clamp-on ultrasonic flowmeters to the water industry.

On the icenta stand I met Paul Mescall from Precision Flow, who also has an ultrasonic clamp-on flowmeter to offer.

OK, I am the original fan of ultrasonic flowmeters, so it is not difficult to interest me in the subject.

Paul reckons his unit is easier to use than others, but I liked the cross-correlation detection concept, which should make it perform better where slurries and sludges attenuate the signals.

Plus with a fast response and a competitive price it has other good features.

In the last few weeks you have heard a lot about the ABB AquaMaster from Processingtalk: well at WWEM Krohne presented a similar design concept in the WaterFlux.

With up to a 10 year battery life, and a maximum update rate of 5 measurements a second, the unit on show had a local display, and a rectangular (reduced) flow channel, presumably to extend the low flow range.

The side electrodes are full height strips, which is an interesting averaging approach possibly.

Follow-on products will have integrated GSM reporting, which can be hosted on a Krohne webpage, which would be useful to back up the internal system.

MJK also showed a magflo meter, illustrating how their product range has expanded within the water industry market from the original level floats and ultrasonics I remember from many years ago.

They also supply Analytical and SCADA products, but have no UK distributor currently: that opportunity will not be open very long!

With all the current hype about wireless sensors, the water industry is an ideal place to apply the technology, because it has such a real need for the wireless capabilities, and few of the ‘hang-ups’ over any short term interruptions to the service.

Pacscom have used wireless sensors for 5 years, and showed their rotation detection system, usually mounted on the final filter rotating arms on sewage works, and originally developed in co-operation with Yorkshire Water.

While it could be applied to primary tank bridges too, Pacscom have a unit that uses the same radio techniques to collect alarms from multiple sensors across a water or sewage works, to a central monitoring system, which can then send out a telephone Text or GSM message when anything moves outside the limits on up to 16 sensors.

The whole system builds to create an unmanned small sewage works monitoring system.

Honeywell provided an interesting presentation in one of the six rooms set aside for suppliers to lecture about the water applications of their products.

Gary Wedge of Honeywell talked about radio/wireless sensors, and how they have applied these for many years now in Building Management Services, another area of monitoring (rather than on-line control) where wireless has already made a major impact.

Over 200 sites have adopted these wireless systems since January 2004, which is when the Honeywell versions suitable for European wireless regulations became available.

Partech were presented with the MCERTS certificate for their Turbi-tech 2000LS turbidity monitoring system for final effluent monitoring at the WWEM dinner, the first certification reported for turbidity products.

In the same product area the PMA stand presented the Zullig range of turbidity, pH and DO sensors, particularly featuring the latest dippable turbidity sensor offering a sensitivity of 0.001NTU.

This was claimed as very successful for monitoring boreholes and slow sand filters, a view endorsed by the next water industry instrumentation visitor on the stand.

UV spectrometry was also in evidence with the PMA representation of s::can water intake protection systems, which uses multiple-spectral detection for alerting to unusual conditions, maybe caused by pesticide contamination, or other accidental spillages.

Over the excellent sandwiches provided for lunch there was a continuing discussion over the ability of turbidity measurement to relate consistently to suspended solids, given variations in weather conditions et al.

The logic for suggesting to the legislators that they should make the discharge consents and rules according to what can be measured (and for which equipment can be MCERTS certified) ie turbidity measurement, rather than a measurement that relates to labour intensive procedures that are no longer economic, seems inescapable! But all the parties seem to have different experiences, and have come from different environments, so opinions are held with conviction, either way! Further products were seen that maybe will feature in future application stories, such as the clever datalogging Black Box CSO monitor and logger from Pulsar, where the data recording rate increases as the sewer overflow level rises, and the surf boards used to good effect in monitoring sewage works flows, positioning the Nivus open channel level and flow sensors on the water surface!

Prominent Fluid Controls used WWEM to launch a new UV disinfection system.

The remaining water industry stories this week include Energy Pumps, with their Ram and Diaphragm pumps, an application from Mono Pumps with their Mono Muncher at a Welsh Hospital sump and news of a framework deal with Severn Trent for the Alldos dosing pump systems.

A different angle on water industry business expansion is also presented by H2O Networks, who suggest using the sewers as an IT fibre optic cable highway to provide simple linking of inter-office IT networks through the sewers!