Water scarcity has long prompted water self-sufficiency in Singapore, the third most densely populated country in the world, with 5.6 million residents crowded into just over 275 square miles. The small city-state island lacks ample catchment storage to gather precipitation, complicating its water shortage issues. As a result, Singapore receives more than half of its water supply from unorthodox sources of rainwater collection, high-grade recycled water and desalination, with the rest of its water supply imported from a foreign source.
Not only is water scarce and valuable, but potential disruptions to water supply infrastructure for industrial users has significant operational implications that can affect service reliability, reduce profitability, and harm customers downstream.
Tuas Power is a private utility in Singapore highly motivated to increase the reliability of their water supply system. The power utility supplies high grade water for their own internal processes as well other industrial customers. Tuas Power was experiencing leaks within their distribution network, which were unexpected because these pipelines were less than five years old, made of steel, and laid above ground.
Perplexed by the unanticipated leakage, Tuas Power took a proactive condition assessment approach to determine the reason for leaks on such a young system. Their goals were to identify the source of damage and any pipes at risk of failure, and to come away with recommendations to rehabilitate the system to ensure the uninterrupted flow of water for their commercial operations.
Tuas Power engaged Xylem to deploy Xylem Water Loss Management solution for surge detection to identify the cause of the leaks. The pressure transient monitoring technology is a non-invasive and cost-effective method of monitoring water networks to identify harmful pressure surges.
Through its real-time detection of harmful pressure transients, Xylem Water Loss Management for surge detection helps determine pipes under stress with high likelihood of failure. This early warning enables utilities to better manage harmful pressure variations and mitigate the risks associated with premature pipe failure, prolonging the effective life of infrastructure assets.
Xylem installed its high rate, wireless pressure monitoring devices at four sites throughout the utility’s pipe network to collect operational data on the pressure anomalies. This data was analyzed to detect harmful pressure surges, identify the sources of these pressure surges and their impact on the structural integrity of the pipelines.
Immediately after the sensors were installed, Xylem’s surge detection solution detected high magnitude harmful transients (up to 100 PSI) coming from multiple sources. The system pinpointed the sources of these transients at specific locations along the utility’s distribution system.
Drilling into the data, Xylem’s analysts identified that certain operational practices associated with water usage were causing large pressure surges. Armed with this insight, Xylem recommended several interventions to reduce the harmful surges
“Xylem has provided good service and support to enable us to identify the undesirable pressure surges in the water system and proposed appropriate mitigation measures for us to implement…”
Tan Chek Jiang, Vice President (Utilities) Tuas Power
First, Xylem recommended Tuas Power optimize and reduce the frequency of operational activities that were generating harmful pressure surges. Next, the installation of hydraulic accumulators (surge tanks) was recommended to stabilize pressure and reduce impact of surges on the network. Xylem also discovered that certain control valves in use were amplifying transients in the network and subsequently these valves were replaced.
As a result of these mitigating measures, transient magnitudes were reduced from 60 PSI to 10 PSI, leading to a significantly calmer pipe network and a vast improvement in lifetime pipeline expectancy.
Based on this improved system reliability, Tuas Power is able to prevent costly downtime for both customers and their own operations.
Since implementing the pressure mitigating measures recommended, Tuas Power has reported zero leaks. Overall, the Xylem solution has provided actionable information that allowed Tuas Power to reduce the magnitude and frequency of pressure transients and implement appropriate interventions to prevent premature failure of assets across their system.