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California city finds an alternative to traditional flow monitoring
When the city of Loma Linda, Calif., was looking for an alternative to traditional flow monitoring they traded up to Hach's Data Delivery Services (DDS) for their wastewater billing application.
Known as a national center for health and wellness research due to the Loma Linda University (LLU), the city of Loma Linda, Calif., is home to some 23,000 residents. People from around the world come to the university as patients, teachers and researchers and many decide to stay. The city considers itself a 'unique' community that provides a less hectic lifestyle coupled with a cosmopolitan feel.
The city's Public Works Department is responsible for the Utility Services Group that maintains the sewer and water systems. Wastewater from the city is processed at the nearby San Bernardino Water Reclamation Plant (WRP). The WRP is a 33 MGD treatment facility that also provides wastewater treatment services for other nearby communities. The facility is owned by the city of San Bernardino, Calif., and operated by the San Bernardino Municipal Water Department. Resources generated during the wastewater treatment process are reused to provide energy sources. A recently completed co-generation facility uses methane gas produced during the treatment processes to supply electricity to the WRP, reducing operating costs.
Open channel wastewater flow meters have been utilized by Loma Linda to determine the amount of wastewater being processed at the treatment plant. In turn, the fees for the treatment of their wastewater flow would be calculated based on the flow rate determined by meter. The city owned flow meters were both installed on 24-in. lines that are approximately 20-ft deep.
According to the local Hach flow rep firm, Ponton Industries Inc., the city was using solar panels and batteries with their existing flow meters and the flow data was being radioed back through their SCADA system. There was a problem at the site with the solar panels so the city decided to run power to the site but it would prove to be very costly. Ponton Industries met with city utility services group personnel and showed them how they could utilize Hach's Data Delivery Services (DDS) and get the flow data they needed without expensive electric fees and that they would never have enter the manhole again for flow meter maintenance. Additionally, a DDS sales promotion would allow the city to trade up to DDS by trading in their existing meters for credit.
With DDS you get the data you need without the pains of do-it-yourself short or long term flow monitoring.
Here is how DDS works:
Onboard with Ponton's recommendation, the city signed a three-year contract for Data Delivery Services. For the Loma Linda application, two Marsh-McBirney Flo-Dar Radar Velocity Area Flow Meters were utilized. The Flo-Dar Area/Velocity Radar Flow Meter provides a revolutionary approach to open channel flow monitoring. The sensor combines advanced Digital Doppler Radar velocity sensing technology with ultrasonic pulse echo depth sensing to remotely measure open channel flow.
According to Ed Aguilar, utility maintenance tech 3, "The meters have been installed for over a year now. They are working out very good for us. There's no maintenance and if there are any issues with the meters, Hach is the first to know and they contact us!" Recently the battery life was getting low on one of the meters and Aguilar was contacted by Hach's DDS Support Group to schedule someone to come out and replace the battery. He adds, "We didn't even know about the battery until we were contacted by Hach. DDS is really working out good for us on our end. The DDS system we have is self sufficient and Hach handles everything. Once the meters were installed we could just forget about it!"
The city of Loma Linda is committed to the use of leading-edge technologies that reduce the cost of services for their residents. That commitment continues with their use of Hach's Data Delivery Services. DDS has allowed them to automate their wastewater flow monitoring program by eliminating costly flow meter maintenance and data collection.