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How we’re using valves to save Cape Town.

You probably know that Cape Town is running out of water. Reducing water loss is an important part of the strategy for postponing day zero.

Water loss is a significant problem for water supply authorities everywhere. It’s worse here in Africa where skilled operators aren’t always available to manage and maintain complex electronic pressure and flow management solutions.

Enter the Maric flow control valve. It’s a simple robust flow control system that needs little maintenance or attention. We’ve recently supplied these to a pilot project in Cape Town. We expect to see significant reductions in water loss.

The ratio reducing valve is another bullet-proof solution to water loss. It drops pressure during periods of low demand to reduce losses from leaks.

The ratio reducing valve requires almost no engineering input to size or commission. And once it’s in place it can be ignored for years.

It doesn’t suffer from low flow instability, delayed reaction times or the risk of cavitation that you get with a more complex pilot-operated installation.

It’s also tamperproof and immune to dirty water.

More information on using valves to reduce water loss is available here.

How air pockets in wastewater systems lead to corrosion and broken pipes.

Recent research has shown that air pockets cause extensive damage and hindrance.

They reduce flow capacity and cause energy and head loss.

They promote corrosion. Hydrogen sulphide is a well-known cause of corrosion in wastewater pipelines. Most of the studies on the topic acknowledge the contribution of air pockets to the problem, but are silent on preventing them.

They can trigger and/or enhance pressure surges. In the past it was accepted that air pockets dampen surges. But, recent research has shown, that in certain cases, air pockets can induce or exacerbate surges.

These surges can cause significant damage, especially if the pipe has been weakened by corrosion. This can cause an expensive disaster.

Sometimes engineers are reluctant to specify air valves for wastewater applications but modern air valves have overcome the reasons for avoiding them. They’re reliable and efficient.

Air valves are a very cost-effective way of preventing air pockets accumulating in wastewater pipes.

Naftali Zloczower of A.R.I. Flow Control Accessories wrote an in-depth paper on the subject. It’s available¬†here.

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