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A composite indicator for water meter replacement in an urban distribution network

  • Autori: Fontanazza, C.; Freni, G.; LA LOGGIA, G.; Notaro, V.; Puleo, V.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2012
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
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In water supply management, volumetric water meter are typically used to measure users' consumption. With water meters, utilities can collect useful data for billing, assess the water balance of the system, and identify failures in the network, water theft and anomalous user behaviour. Despite their importance, these instruments are characterised by intrinsic errors that cause so-called apparent losses. The complexity of the physical phenomena associated with metering errors in aging water meters does not allow meter replacement to be guided by single parameters, such as the meter age or the total volume passed through the meter. This paper presents a meter replacement strategy based on a composite 'Replacement Indicator' (RI) that aims to reduce apparent losses. The performance of a meter during its operating life was analysed by means of this indicator, which signals when the meter needs to be replaced. To test the reliability and robustness of the proposed indicator, a Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis was performed. The methodology was applied to a real case study: a district metered area (DMA) in the Palermo city water distribution network (Italy). The analysis showed that ranking based on the composite indicator is better than common ranking procedures based on typical variables (e.g., the meter error curve or the meter age): the proposed indicator can better select the meters to be replaced and favourably affect the associated costs