Case

Irish Water Specify AVK Valves

The AVK team works: To specify, install and commission PRVs in Waterford with Irish Water and Contractors.

Ireland has long been referred to as the Emerald Isle. Its lavish rainfall – some parts of the west of Ireland average about 225 ‘wet days’ in a calendar of year – and temperate extremes – not too cold and not too hot - have created a green and fascinating countryside.

Due to high rainfall has meant Ireland has rarely had water supply issues, despite traditionally high leakage rates on supply pipelines, however, recent water scarcity in Dublin and other areas have moved leakage reduction higher up the political agenda.

AVK’s offered solution was based on long-established wisdom in pressure, flow & level management. AVK understand the pressures that water companies are under to reduce not only water leakage, but, more recently, expense too and have been communicating with these companies to produce innovative solutions.

‘Best practice presage that pressure management is one of the most intended result to minimize the amount of leakage in a water distribution system.’

Stephen Greer, AVK Business Manager in Ireland, in cohesion with key distributor, Proflo, has recently worked with Irish Water and its authorised contractors to specify, supply and commission Pressure Reducing Valves (PRV’s) in Waterford. The concentration of the works were around Rathgormack and Clonanav in the north of the County.

Updated specifications suggest that the PRV controls – the brains that is ‘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 meet up this assertion. The precedence of the kiosk is that the PRV settings can be changed above ground without having to access the valve chamber, that means operatives benefit from safer working states and there is no disruption to traffic flows.

PRV pilots can be controlled mechanically, as at Rathgormack, or remotely by using electronic control systems such as SCADA. AVK’s acquisition of Italian valves specialist ACMO has amplified AVK’s SMART network offer and greatly mend 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 authorized 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’s involvement 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 extensive 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 unsurpassed service offering for our clients; from initial enquiry and specification through supply to commissioning and ongoing technical support.

The advantages of commissioning a 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

AVK control valves Waterford Ireland

 

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 work?
  • Maintenance of the main valve of an AVK control valve
  • Advantages and features of the AVK control valve

 

References and footnotes:

1 – Alexandra Engineering Journal Vol 6, Issue 4, Dec 17, pp601-617. Nourhan Samir et al.

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