The Cost of I & I
Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) is a high impact cost for utilities. It occurs when groundwater and/or storm water flows into the wastewater collection system, through cracked sewer pipes, leaky manholes or undesired connections of down spouts and sump pumps.
Excessive I&I can overwhelm a collection system’s capacity creating overflows. I&I increases wastewater treatment plant flows unnecessarily increasing treatment plant processing costs.
To battle I&I, utilities seek to identify those segments of the collections system with the highest level of I&I. In effect, high wet-weather flows are compared to dry weather flows establishing a ratio.
Challenges of Meters
Conventional approaches for assessing I&I include the use of flow meters. While providing data to determine I&I sources, the use of flow meters tends to be slow, expensive and has increased risks. Meter users are typically challenged with by these factors:
- Increased costs and risks of confined space entry for both installation and maintenance.
- In-flow sensors are typically used requiring rigorous cleaning to assure repeatability.
- Battery life is limited to a few months and often less which can result in data loss.
- Many models lack radios and data must be collected remotely costing hours of labor to retrieve it.
- For meters that have radios, cellular communication connectivity l and reliably is a challenge.
The bottom line: flow meters are expensive to purchase and more expensive to keep operational. If the essential task is to determine where I&I is originating and to what degree (wet-dry ratio), then a new method to eliminate the meter challenges is needed.
Fast Low-Cost I&I Tracking
SmartCover Systems provides remote monitoring systems to track I&I.
Using either SmartLevel or SmartFLOE, these monitoring systems are designed to quickly and inexpensively identify collection system segments with the highest wet-dry ratios. In the process, SmartCover
Systems also eliminates the challenges posed by meters.
- Installation never require confined space entry.
- Non-contact sensor do not require maintenance.
- The two-plus year batteries virtually eliminate changes and assure no data loss.
- Advanced, high reliability satellite communications insure continuous, uninterrupted communications, delivered via the cloud.
If the problem is to track I&I, then SmartCover’s tracking solutions get users there faster, with repeatability and at a low cost.