Received: 28 Apr 2013 – Accepted for review: 01 May 2013 – Discussion started: 27 May 2013
Abstract. In water supply systems, a considerable amount of apparent loss is caused by meter under-registration. Water meters are subject to intrinsic systemic error depending on the actual flow rates passing through them. Furthermore, the moving parts of the meter are subject to wear and tear that progressively reduce meter accuracy. The increase in systemic error is especially evident at low flow rates because of growing friction in the rotating mechanism, which requires a higher flow to start the meter (starting flow). The aim of this paper is to experimentally investigate metering error in an attempt to find a direct link between meter age, network pressure and apparent losses caused by the inability of the meter to accurately register the volume passing though it at low flow rates. The study was performed through laboratory experiments in which worn-out water meters were tested using a test bench. The results of the laboratory experiments show that ageing and pressure are both relevant parameters for determining meter starting flow. These results were then applied to assess the effects on apparent losses of the age of the meter, varying pressure values upstream of the meter (the pressure in the network where the meter is installed) and different patterns of flow rates passing through the device (the consumption pattern of the user). The presented results are useful for understanding the effects of operating conditions on water meter under-registration, which can aid water managers in implementing effective replacement campaigns.
How to cite: Fontanazza, C. M., Notaro, V., Puleo, V., and Freni, G.: Effects of network pressure on water meter under-registration: an experimental analysis, Drink. Water Eng. Sci. Discuss., 6, 119–149, https://doi.org/10.5194/dwesd-6-119-2013, 2013.