2020 was undoubtedly an enormous change for populations around the
world as a global pandemic struck continents from east to west. Water,
being an essential service, drove many utilities into finding creative
solutions to continue serving their customers. In some cases, utilities
had to delay non-essential projects, and find ways of working remotely
or with reduced staff. Utilities that were already making use of
digital technologies like remote monitoring and management technologies,
were well-positioned to deal with this new reality.
2020 demonstrated that smart water utilities can quickly adapt and be more resilient when faced with unexpected challenges like the pandemic. According to a recent Bluefield Research Podcast , we are still in an emergency management phase as aging infrastructure continues to require replacing, and solving water contamination is a growing concern in 2021 and beyond. These issues exacerbate when ignored, so many utilities are looking for ways to plan and budget for important water solution projects.
Two trends to look for in 2021 are sustainability and resiliency – reducing water usage is becoming as important as reducing our carbon footprint. With the rise in climate change and contaminant awareness, more stringent regulations around water quality and water remediation will be likely. Technologies like digital water monitoring and automated flushing can help utilities improve their service to residents while addressing critical challenges faced by water utilities today.
I’m pleased to report that Mueller recently published our first Environmental, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) report outlining our sustainability initiatives, along with our commitment to developing products and technology solutions to help cities and water utilities address their aging infrastructures, water quality and scarcity.
As utilities rethink their resiliency strategies, finding long term solutions to protect and deliver clean safe drinking water, will be at the forefront as we enter the decade of creating the smart water utility.
We look forward to partnering with you in 2021!
Senior VP, Sales & Marketing
The Super Centurion® hydrant can now serve as a communications hub
and physical platform for both pressure monitoring and leak monitoring
systems. Mueller’s proven pressure and leak monitoring solutions
can be integrated seamlessly into existing water infrastructure and
communicate via the cellular network to the cloud based Sentryx
Water Intelligence Platform.
The scalable, cloud based Sentryx platform records and displays important data communicated from the hydrant, providing utilities with insights to make informed decisions on increasing the life of their infrastructure and lowering future capital and operational costs. Reports, data and notifications gathered from the Sentryx platform can be easily pushed to workforce management software, billing software, meter data management or other utility software platforms making it easy to streamline operations. The Sentryx platform can interface with other software platforms and third-party devices to accommodate specific utility needs. Designed to ensure unobstructed hydrant operation and manufactured with corrosion resistant materials, and a long battery life; the Sentryx software enabled Super Centurion hydrant delivers uncompromised performance, for any size water distribution system.
Leak and pressure monitoring options are available for the Sentryx software enabled Super Centurion hydrant as a new hydrant or as a retrofittable kit. Now, new technology can be placed in existing fire hydrants avoiding the need to dig and interrupt service. The retrofit kit supports Mueller 5-1/4” Centurion hydrants, with bury depths of 3’-6” to 6’-0” that have been in operation since 1975.
Mueller Water Products is one of the only companies that can fulfill your water system needs from end to end—at the source, at the plant, below the ground, on the street and in the cloud. The Mueller® pipe repair products that many of you know, are now part of the HYMAX product line.
We now have a full line of pipe connection and repair offerings to serve the water markets - check out our new product catalog to see what’s available. This integrated line brings superior patented designs, combined with functional innovation to get repairs done as quickly and easily as possible. Minimizing repair downtimes has a direct impact on cost, customer service, and safety. Equally important is the versatile design that allows many of these products to adapt to a variety of pipe sizes and materials, so utilities have more flexibility in managing their emergency repair inventory.
Our solutions include standard products that range from 1.5” to 85” and custom-made products according to customer’s requirements.
As part of the new pipe-repair offering, Mueller has launched a Digital Application Selection Guide (DASG) — a web-based app — that enables users to find the correct product for any water or wastewater pipe repair. DASG is an effective tool for providing information and solutions to almost any field situation at the click of a button, including part number, brochure, and access to specifications pages.
The City of Newport Beach, CA, has selected Mueller Systems to deploy
26,500 advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) water meters. The project
will include the replacement or retrofitting of all current City
water meters with the
Mi.Net® AMI system
“After a successful 18-month pilot, the new AMI system has already proven its worth in reducing water loss,” said Steffen Catron, Utilities Manager for the City. “During the pilot, we detected and confirmed six residential water leaks within 24-48 hours of the leak occurring, instead of 30-60 days. We are confident that this system will help us best manage our water resources and deliver exceptional customer service.”
The Mi.Net AMI system uses a low-powered communication device that is attached to a newly installed digital register to transmit water usage information over a secure network. The new system will leverage the Sentryx™ water intelligence software platform which is easy to use and gives water utilities access to accurate water usage information, near real-time alerts and provides data to the City’s water billing system. The City will also have the capability to provide hourly water usage information to customers.
The Mueller Network Operations Center will support the new AMI system and will monitor all network devices. This will allow the City to focus its time and resources on the delivery of water rather than network and information technology support.
“Newport Beach is a leader in the adoption of smart water technology. We are pleased that the Mi.Net AMI system, will further support their commitment to innovation and water conservation,” said Chad Mize, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Mueller.
Aquarion Water Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut began installing
281 EchoShore®-DX fixed leak detection nodes in three areas thought
to be most prone to leaks. In five months, they had located six leaks
with eight other persistent noises under investigation.
To operate the EchoShore-DX fixed leak monitoring system , nodes were installed on hydrants to capture the sound profiles of the connected pipelines. The data was uploaded nightly to a secure remote server. The server uses this acoustic data to correlate between adjacent nodes. The Echologics® Analysis Module (EAM) analyzes the correlation data and if it detects a persistent correlated noise (PCN), an alert is created on the Sentryx user interface for the utility to investigate.
The dashboard is intuitive and easy to read. It can show a bar graph of the device communication and give a get a snapshot of how the nodes were communicating and what devices were recording noise over a selected period of time. Operators can also see what is happening on any given day.
The Sentryx platform also displays a leak detection summary of the service area and what data is being collected from each node on the hydrants. It also shows ongoing field investigations, PCNs recommended for investigation, or any noise that is present over a period of time that could signify a leak. This helps utility crews to plan out their day.
While water loss is a concern for any water system, it has become an area of increased attention and emphasis for utilities. This is due in part to more advanced technologies designed to pinpoint leaks entering the marketplace but could also be attributed to utilities valuing the full lifecycle cost of water.
“If we can reduce the usage of chemicals and the cost of the electricity in our plants,” it’s a huge savings,” said Art Bradshaw, Aquarion’s Director of Utility Operations. “We certainly care about sustainability and we care about the environment, and we need to ensure we are meeting state regulations when it comes to water leakage - this is where the EchoShore-DX has been especially helpful.”
The Krausz Digital Application Selection Guide enables EU users to find the right Krausz product for any water or wastewater pipe repair. Users can search for a Krausz pipe repair solution on any connected device according to the field situation of the repair, the application, and by Krausz product name. Krausz DASG is designed for installers, operations personnel, purchasing directors, and engineers to help find the best HYMAX repair solution, right when it is needed.
Installers in the field get access to recommended repair solutions for any kind of field situation, along with links to detailed specs and installation instructions, to ensure the product is used properly.
Operations directors and superintendents can compare different solutions to decide which products to use for any installation.
Purchasing directors and warehouse managers can use Krausz DASG to stock their utility’s inventory with the most relevant products.
Engineers can use the Krausz DASG for project planning and tenders.
With the pervasive adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices, the Digital Application Selection Guide is an effective tool for providing online information and solutions to almost every field situation at the click of a button. Check out the Krausz DASG at krausz-asg.com/asg.
Krausz website now in French
Krausz’s website is now available in French, including Krausz’s entire product catalog with specifications and measurement. Visit https://krausz.com/fr/ to check it out.
Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District (LLSWD) is known for its pristine
water that comes directly from an underground aquifer and is delivered
to consumers with no additive treatments like fluoride or chlorine.
LLSWD has a laboratory that monitors water quality through
the system by taking 20-30 samples a month to ensure bacteria does
not enter the system. When one of the tests came back positive
for E. coli, LLSWD immediately implemented a series of daily flushing
and chlorinating efforts with a boil water advisory in effect for
7 days that had people on edge for the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities.
LLSWD installed three custom engineered Hydro-Guard HG-3 automatic flushing systems with water quality sampling stations. The installation of the units took one day using three LLSWD field personnel. Once installed, LLSWD was able to immediately program automatic flushing of the connected water mains to ensure fresh water was flushing the dead-end lines weekly. The Hydro-Guard system can flush over 110 PSI, and discharges water through a vented shield preventing erosion.
Each unit has an integrated programmer module that can be accessed by smart phone via Bluetooth. “I love the fact that I can just drive up with my phone and pull up the app to set the programmer,” said Mike “Andre” West, Chief Operator at Liberty Lake Sewer & Water District.
All sorts of debris can slip into a water system, “One time we got a rock jammed up in the globe control valve that can handle sand and other debris up to 5/8”. We had to disassemble the Hydro-Guard, retrieve the rock and put it back together. It’s really easy to access the inner workings of the Hydro-Guard and does not take long to get in and out” said West. If the debris persists, a permanent solution would be the addition of a Singer® strainer upstream from of the Hydro-Guard units.
The sampling stations are tapped into the service piping no more than 18” from the utility’s HG-3 flushing units. This positioning is essential to allow for a sample to be an accurate representation of the utility’s water quality at the point of entry into the flushing device.
During the E. coli event, LSWD ran 240 samples through the entire District to ensure the system was clean. They got the “all-clear” from the Department of Health the day before Thanksgiving, meaning that all the residents could celebrate and give thanks to LLSWD staff for working so hard to restore the purity of their drinking water.
The water utility in Queen Creek, Arizona had a range of solid steel
piping that was connected on one side of a booster pump for water
suction and on the other side for water discharge. After 20 years
of use, the piping needed to be replaced as it was rusting. The problem
was that each of these connecting pipes were custom-made and varied
in length. To replace each pipe, a new customized pipe would
need to be constructed on site, which is costly and time consuming.
The utility was looking for a better and more cost-effective solution
to replace the rusted sections without using tailored pipes for each
HYMAX developed a unique eccentric dismantling joint with flange connectors on either end that could be telescoped to be anywhere between 10” to 14” in length. Instead of fabricating each connection on site, a costly and work intensive process, the product could be adjusted exactly to match the length between the booster pumps and the discharge piping and installed by just one person in about 30 minutes.
Without each pipe needing to be customized on site, repair cost, time and effort were greatly minimized. The new dismantling joint also helped increase water flow by approximately 40-60 gallons per minute as the design enabled better hydraulic flow as the old pipe was rough on the inside due to rusting.
Brian Quill, Queen Creek’s Utilities Supervisor, Water Production and Compliance said, “The HYMAX team helped us enormously, they took a very hands-on approach to solving the problem, and the results were great. Now we have a ready-made solution to replace these pipes anytime we need to.”
Access to clean, safe water is essential, and aging infrastructure
remains a significant challenge for cities across the world. At Mueller
we help water utilities and municipalities address these challenges
and we also recognize our responsibility to become more energy and
water efficient with manufacturing the products you need. In December
2020 we published our inaugural
Environmental, Social and Governance Report
that reflects how sustainability has been an integral part of
Mueller for many years.
Mueller is expanding and modernizing our US production facilities, equipment and processes to ensure a sustainable future in the communities we serve. At our facilities we implement programs and initiatives that help reduce our environmental footprint by recycling infrastructure and scrap metals, using energy efficient equipment and reducing freight. We are committed to meeting or exceeding environmental regulatory requirements and maintaining 100% compliance with all permits and applicable standards to protect the well-being of our community.
Our environment, health and safety management program are a part of daily work at all manufacturing sites and uses our MWP specific assessment known as SEAL (Safety Excellence and Leadership). We are committed to measuring and reducing our waste sent to landfills, our energy and water usage, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Our sustainability strategy focuses on efficient operations, responsible sourcing and development of smart sustainable products that address water infrastructure challenges. We are developing technologies that provide actionable information for our customers and integrating technology into infrastructure to enable water utilities to enhance the health and efficiency of their distribution systems. As we continue to bridge the gap between intelligence and infrastructure, we are focused on providing products and solutions needed to protect the planet’s most valuable natural resource and deliver it to communities.
As we look to the future, our commitment to advancing our environmental, social and governance goals will remain at the forefront of how we operate our business and positively impact our world.
Copyright © 2021 Mueller Water Products, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Mueller refers to one or more of Mueller Water Products, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“MWP”), and its subsidiaries. MWP and each of subsidiaries are legally separate and independent entities when providing products and services. MWP does not provide products or services to third parties. MWP and each of its subsidiaries are liable only for their own acts and omissions and not those of each other. MWP brands include Mueller Echologics, Hydro Gate, Hydro-Guard, Jones, Krausz, Mi.Net, Milliken, Pratt, Pratt Industrial, Singer, and U.S. Pipe Valve & Hydrant. Please see www.muellerwp.com/brands to learn more.