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WAF plans to automate valve operations

January 16, 2021 5:52 am

The Water Authority plans to automate one of its daily operations which sometimes causes water supply disruptions in the Suva/Nausori corridor.

Chief Operating Officer Seru Soderberg says it takes their team about two hours to manually operate eight critical valves.

“If we don’t do this, customers are out of water basically the next morning. So we throttle the system in the evenings to build reservoir levels so we get it up to a healthy level and in the morning we open up so throughout the day we are looking at maintaining those levels to meet both the morning and the evening peak. So if we don’t do the valve operations our reservoir levels are just low and people will get low pressure, intermittent supply or no water at all.”

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Soderberg says an automated system will be more efficient and reduce the number of water cuts.

“These are the critical valves that we operate everyday so we want to automate that. So we take out that travelling time so valve operation basically happens at a push of a button. That’s basically what we’re targeting over here so we control pressures better and manage burst mains and leaking service pipes of high variability in pressure.”

He says the tender for the automation system will be out next month and the eight valves will be commissioned by early 2022.

The project is expected to cost around $6million.

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