Articles & Case Studies

Advanced UK Multi Sensor Flow Monitors Win Success in Canada

Posted: Wednesday 12th December 2012

Canadian cities in the provinces of Manitoba and Ontario are to benefit from the use of advanced flow monitoring technology supplied by UK hydrological instrument specialist, Detectronic. The company manufactures the Multi Sensor Flow Monitor (MSFM), a robust sewer flow meter for remotely logging and reporting levels and flows in sewers, drains and other pipes or channels. These provide survey data for sewer and drainage system master planning and better day-to-day management.

Working closely with local flow survey contractors SFE Global in Western Canada and Cole Engineering in the east, Detectronic has won through against strong competition from other reputable international manufacturers. Flow service providers SFE and Cole are users of the MSFM equipment, operating 50 and 100 units respectively. These will be used for inflow and infiltration monitoring and combined sewer overflow studies.

Detectronic commercial director Dave Walker noted, “Our carefully chosen technical partners are highly respected flow service providers and environmental engineers. The fact that they use and endorse the equipment provides additional confidence for municipal users. Also, they provide high quality local technical service and support.”

The Detectronic team pioneered the concept of in-sewer flow monitoring over 30 years ago, producing the Surveylogger – an instrument so tough and reliable that there are still many in use today. The MSFM is the most advanced flow survey monitor that the company has ever produced. It is capable of delivering its data and alarms using the worldwide GPRS data networks.

One Canadian customer in Winnipeg commented, “The build quality and attention to detail gives the MSFM an edge over its rivals. For example, the design of the unit is unique in that you can see and remove each item in seconds. We were also impressed by the sensor that can shed debris in low flows and the long life Lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Most of all, the customer service from Detectronic gave us confidence, particularly their willingness to re-program software to meet our needs.”

In a typical application the MSFM will be located in a manhole chamber for weeks at a time monitoring flows at regular intervals, storing data and uploading it daily via the cellular data network to the user’s chosen data hub. The system has compatibility with world-wide GSM data networks. Data from the MSFM can be used for live network management or logged for retrospective drainage network performance analysis. In live mode the controller may use the information from the system to direct maintenance teams to deal with blockages and overflows.

Having a series of these instruments installed around a drainage network facilitates assessment of the whole system in normal and extreme flow situations. The MSFM delivers data compatible with all leading modelling software including Infoworks, Clarifica (Cole), GoData (SFE) and FlowWorks.

“City authorities and utility companies around the world face the same issues,” explained Detectronic managing director Steve Woods. “There is an urgent need to protect urban areas from flooding, to contain effluent flows and protect the environment from pollution. These objectives can only be achieved if the performance of the drainage infrastructure is properly understood and flows have been accurately recorded and analysed. This includes normal and storm flow conditions, so that areas for improvement can be prioritised and finite budgets used most effectively.”

Not resting on its laurels, Detectronic has achieved European ATEX and worldwide IECEx approvals for the MSFM system which will be shown at a major water industry trade show in New Orleans in September.

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