Operations Managers and Asset Managers often have to focus on a number of assets for the utility and vacuum systems are quite often just one of many assets that need to be looked after.
The main focus these managers often have are as follows
- Keeping Operational Costs Down
- Risk Reduction or Elimination
- Keeping Customers Happy
- Extending the life of the owners Assets
A Flovac Monitoring System can reduce operational costs a number of ways through either time spent in the field, energy costs, finding infiltration, reducing overtime or early notification of parts failures. managers can get this information easily.
- Checking valve open times which can assess correct tuning which would impact on pump run times and energy costs.
- Checking pressure profiles to ensure that construction of lifts in the vacuum mains were correct.
- Check valve firing times against rainfall data to see if and where infiltration might be occurring.
- Checking valve firing times to see if groundwater might be entering the system via a broken collection pit
- Checking operator call-outs to see if further training is required
- Checking that commercial users or dumpers are not inundating the system with higher than allowed for flows.
A Flovac Monitoring system reduces risks in a number of ways
- A high level alarm in a pit alerts the operator to a potential overflow that may impact on the environment or a customers home.
- There is a reduction in risks to utility operators in that they know exactly where a problem might be rather than going into peoples yards to check each collection pit
- A Manager may also decide to prioritize certain call-outs for example a stuck open valve is a lower priority than a pit overflow and may not require an operator to venture out during a major storm.
- Vacuum pressure sensors allow a manager to be aware of a major break in a vacuum main allowing the operators to get ahead of any major system upset.
- Many older systems were built with insufficient emergency storage (The European standard is now 4-6 hours emergency storage in the collection pit and incoming gravity line) A number of older systems may have less than an hour of emergency storage meaning hat a stuck open valve could increase the risk of overflows or loss of service further down the line.
- The ability to control valves and air cycles means that the addition of new larger houses into a system may be able to be controlled rather than have the system overwhelmed.
Customers are never happy when operators are moving around in their yards in the middle of night trying to find a problem valve. they are not happy to have the operators vans headlights going up and down the street in the middle of the night. They are not happy to have sewage backing up into their houses or onto their yards. Customers do not like to have odors emanating from their sewer system. They are not happy when they cannot use their plumbing fixtures. The Flovac Monitoring Systems reduces the chances of any of those events occurring.
The two main components that have wear and tear in a vacuum system are the vacuum/discharge pumps and the vacuum valve/controller.
The life of both the valve and controller parts can be extended by only replacing them when they wear out. Rather than change parts automatically at year 10, the system performance may show that the parts are not worn out as yet so will only need replacing when required.
The monitoring system can monitor both the flow of air and sewage in the system, by managing both inputs then the life of both the vacuum pump and the discharge pumps can be extended.
Vacuum pumps often need increased service to to oil depletion if leaks in the system are left unattended for long periods. The monitoring system can identify these faults quickly.
Ask your Flovac contact for information on operating benchmarks to understand how much your system should cost to maintain. Once identified a business case with a short payback period should be able to be put together.