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Advanced flow meters for sustainable water

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Water sustainability is a pressing global issue that stems from several key factors. Environmental change, rapid population growth, and poor management of resources in all sectors of human life have affected water availability in countries around the world.

In 2014, it was reported that 80% of water managers in the US expect their states to experience water shortages under normal conditions. Almost half asked are expecting regional water shortages over the next ten years[1].

Advanced metering technology is perceived as part of the solution to the problem of water waste. Flow meters, for example, can be integrated at every stage of the water cycle to improve the efficiency and sustainability of sourcing, treatment, and distribution.

Flow meters for sustainability

The current challenges of water availability and sustainability are largely attributed to an enormous increase in demand. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims that over one trillion gallons of water is wasted annually due to household leaks[2]. It is not uncommon for drinking water distribution networks to experience losses greater than 50%.

There is no singular figure for how much water is wasted through water treatment or industrial applications, but developed countries typically use over 50% of their water for industrial uses. This represents a huge responsibility on behalf of wastewater treatment plants and facilities that use large volumes of water for mechanical processing. Flow meters are routinely used for reliable and precise observation of the amount of water moving through a system, providing quantifiable data for system diagnostics such as leak detection.

Flow meters operate using one of several measuring principles to detect the volumetric, linear, or mass flow rate of water through piping. The primary categories of flow meters include:

  • Coriolis mass flow meters, which measure linear mass flow as a function of the twisting effect generated by water flowing through a tube;
  • Electromagnetic flow meters, which measure the volume of flowing water according to Faraday’s Law of Induction;
  • Multiphase flow meters, which can measure the flow of individual constituent phases in heterogeneous channels.

Each of these can be used to monitor the flow of liquids through a process system or distribution network to monitor the performance of systems in water treatment plant inlets, pumping stations, aeration and digestion tanks, and more.

Electromagnetic flow meters are one of the leading technologies for improving the sustainability of water and wastewater treatment. The WaterMaster series of electromagnetic flow meters from ABB provides unmatched versatility for monitoring the flow of conductive fluids such as water through complex processing components. They can be utilized in a range of water treatment processes including desalination and coagulation. These procedures can be monitored with outstanding degrees of accuracy due to the component’s digital signal processing (DSP) which is designed to reduce background noise to tolerable levels, for unmatched accuracy in the detection of flow and flow rates.

WaterMaster flow meters offer detailed diagnostics to support rapid decision making in a range of application areas. They can support preventative maintenance, predictive strategies for water usage, and leak detection by comparing real-time measurements to nominal data.

Flow meters from ABB

ABB is committed to a more measured world of water. We offer an extensive catalog of flow meters for water treatment applications, with three primary WaterMaster products. Learn more about the working principle of the product through our previous blog post: Outlining electromagnetic flow meters. Or, contact us using the form below if you have any more questions. 



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