A flow logger measures the volumetric flow rate, which is
important for network monitoring as it determines the overall
water flow levels in the distribution network. Flow loggers are
normally installed at strategic points in the network such as
at flow inlets, district metering boundaries and reservoirs.
Most flow loggers are battery operated and can log and
transmit data with consistent frequency. Many loggers can
now upload data to online servers or SCADA systems via GPRS/GSM or radio. Loggers are designed to be extremely robust, waterproof units to withstand tough conditions underground for as long as 5 years without maintenance. Some loggers are capable of two-way communication and can receive new configurations as well as transmit data. This can be used to remotely tune the loggers to change dial-in frequency, data acquisition rates, or logging frequency.
Loggers form the foundation of any good network monitoring system. They provide the data to allow engineers to make informed decisions on the setting and management of their network. Without consistent, accurate and reliable data, it is difficult to manage and adjust network conditions over time. Flow loggers enable the intelligent monitoring of water flow in the distribution network over time.
To maximise the use of flow loggers, water utilities need to:
Identify key locations in the network to log the data (e.g. flow inlets, bulk meters, Flow Control Valves (FCVs), and pumps);
Install suitable amount of loggers with acceptable levels of accuracy, communication and cost;
Ensure that data is transmitted regularly, typically one a day or more;
Ensure that the data is stored and made accessible to help build an understanding of the water network.