‘Best practice suggests that pressure management is one of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of leakage in a water distribution system.’ 1
Stephen Greer*, AVK Business Manager in Ireland, in conjunction with key distributor, Proflo, has recently worked with Irish Water and its approved contractors to specify, supply and commission Pressure Reducing Valves (PRV’s) in Waterford. The focus of the works were around Rathgormack and Clonanav in the north of the County.
Updated specifications suggest that the PRV controls – the brains or ‘system pilot’ – are to be housed in a roadside kiosk with hydraulic control pipework running from the kiosk through pre-installed ducting to the PRV. AVK adapted the design of its Series 859 PRV to accommodate this requirement. The advantage of the kiosk is that the PRV settings can be changed above ground without having to access the valve chamber, meaning that operatives benefit from safer working conditions and there is no disruption to traffic flows.
PRV pilots can be controlled mechanically, as at Rathgormack, or remotely using electronic control systems such as SCADA. AVK’s acquisition of Italian valves specialist ACMO has broadened AVK’s SMART network offer and greatly enhanced AVK Group’s ability to develop automatic valve control systems.
Fundamental to the success of the scheme was the training provided by AVK’s Technical Sales Manager, David Hurley:
‘In total there were around fifteen engineers and fitters on the training course. These included representatives from Irish Water as well as the two approved contractors working on the project. In Ireland, whilst the assets are installed and owned by Irish Water, the maintenance is undertaken by the local authority – in this case, Waterford City and County Council - who also attended the training.’
David also has a significant involvement in the PRV specification process and in the final commissioning of the PRVs.
According to Stephen, the project went well, although the Irish weather lived up to its Emerald billing:
‘This was our first PRV project for Irish Water and we are hoping that its success will yield further opportunities for AVK engagement in the network drive against leakage.
Not unusually for Ireland the work was completed in gale conditions with heavy rainfall filling the valve chambers, so we were thankful of the pumps at hand to manage the adverse weather.’
For AVK UK’s Head of UK Group Marketing, Kieran Fitzpatrick, the Irish Water project is a success driven by AVK’s leadership in the water sector:
‘Strategic acquisitions by the AVK Group mean we are able to offer the most comprehensive range of valves and fittings into the UK and Ireland water markets. Just as importantly, we have invested in experience and expertise to build an unrivalled service offering for our clients; from initial enquiry and specification through supply to commissioning and ongoing technical support.
The benefits of using PRV
A PRV automatically reduces a higher upstream pressure to a lower downstream pressure – regardless of changes in flow rate or upstream pressure. In addition to reducing water loss through leakages PRVs also:
- Minimise the risk of water hammer and pipe bursts
- Minimise traffic disruption
- Minimise the risk of contamination
- Minimise disruption to consumers
- Generate savings for water companies
Via the Technical Information link below, the AVK Valves YouTube channel features educational and practical videos on different aspects of its control valves including:
- How do pressure reducing valves from AVK function?
- Maintenance of the main valve of an AVK control valve
- Benefits and features of the AVK control valve
AVK also offer bespoke product training either on site at one of our manufacturing facilities across the UK or, if preferred, at a customer site. Please contact us to discuss your requirement.
*Stephen Greer has since left the business. Please contact David Hurley directly on the details above.
References and footnotes:
1 – Alexandra Engineering Journal Vol 6, Issue 4, Dec 17, pp601-617. Nourhan Samir et al.