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Guidelines for Good Metering Practice: Procedures Developed for Operating and Maintaining Meters in the DWSD Collection System

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As a means for increasing flow meter accuracy and confidence with the use of flow data collected within the Greater Detroit Regional Sewer System, a Flow Metering Task Force (FMTF) was formed. This group was composed of sewer and metering professionals from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) and its suburban customers. A key outcome of their work was the establishment of a set of guidelines for good metering practice that include procedures for meter evaluation, data collection, data review, and information sharing. These guidelines were implemented on 31 meters of 7 different flow meter technologies.

As part of meter evaluation, highly accurate dye dilution testing protocol was developed and used as an objective standard to assess the installed accuracy of over 37 flow meters. Data collection procedures included collecting as much base data as possible and using redundant data recorders. Data review included both a weekly initial review to identify issues requiring immediate responses, as well as a bi-monthly detailed review that included cross comparisons to climate data. Information was shared with all stakeholders at monthly meetings as well as through monthly and annual reports.

Typical maintenance and accuracy issues for each flow meter technology are discussed, including communication failures, the need for redundant depth sensing, and technology specific issues. The level of effort to perform all aspects of good metering practice per meter ranged from 13,700 to 21,600 annually.

The use of good metering practice in conjunction with dye dilution testing as a diagnostic tool has resulted in a significant improvement in system accuracy. Prior to good metering practice, many meters that were considered accurate were found to have errors in excess of 30%. It is concluded that the application of objective standards is important, and their application as part of the good metering practice guidelines has significantly increased meter accuracy. It is also concluded that implementing the guidelines was a good investment as there are O&M issues specific to each flow meter technology.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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