The complexity of drinking water distribution systems sometimes makes it difficult to have a good sense of a system’s reliability. A reliable network requires optimally functioning valves. They make it possible to shut off a section of the distribution system, thus reducing the impact and risks of incidents on the surrounding network and the resulting interruptions in the water supply to customers.
KWR has developed OptiValves: a risk-estimate-based tool which takes into account the probability of valve failures and their impact. The tool provides for optimal valve maintenance programmes and enhanced network performance. For water companies, this means that they can cost-effectively increase customer satisfaction by reducing supply interruptions. OptiValves is part of the Watershare Suite of tools.
Optimal valve maintenance programme
OptiValves works in two ways. On the one hand, it looks at the failure probability of the valves under various circumstances and how their reliability can best be improved. On the other hand, it examines the effect of valve failure in circumstances where some valves are more critical than others. Together, these elements lead to an optimal valve maintenance programme over the life-cycle of a drinking water distribution network, including an improved inspection procedure per valve and a maintenance programme targeted at the most important valves in the network.
The OptiValves tool consists of a comprehensive manual on how to evaluate and improve the valve inspection and maintenance procedure, plus the KWR-developed CAVLAR® software. CAVLAR® supports the user’s analysis to determine the optimal valve maintenance scheme. Altogether, this will enhance the network’s performance and reduce maintenance costs.
- Insight into how a targeted valve maintenance programme will enhance network performance and reduce maintenance costs.
- Better understanding of how valves affect the performance of drinking water distribution systems.
- Improved performance of the most important valves.
- Management support on the operational and tactical level.
Supporting water companies and European distribution networks
KWR has used OptiValves to help the water company Evides develop inspection forms to improve its valve inspection procedure. We have also used our CAVLAR® software in several European water distribution networks to develop targeted valve maintenance schemes.
For Waterbedrijf Groningen, we established that customer minutes lost (CML) can be cut by 8% using targeted valve maintenance, compared to only 4% using random maintenance schemes. This new maintenance scheme therefore considerably reduces the cost of valve maintenance: CAVLAR® produced a 50% improvement.