A look into one of the three monitoring chambers in Klampenborg. A Novafos staff member is inspecting the newly installed smart valve.

Smart valves optimise the water pressure in a residential neighbourhood north of Copenhagen. Knowledge about the water’s flow, pressure and consumption data is combined to limit water losses through leaks.

In three monitoring chambers in Klampenborg, Denmark, new technology has been deployed in order to provide the utility company, Novafos, with new insights related to water balance accounting and operational optimisation. The monitoring chambers provide access to the water mains supplying an entire District Metered Area (DMA), in this case a residential neighbourhood with 1,500 households, with drinking water.

In two of three entrances to the DMA, advanced pressure reduction valves from AVK have been installed. Now the valves constantly optimise the water pressure in the area ensuring a stable and minimum required pressure at all customers. At the third entrance an intelligent valve is installed. This one is closed during normal supply conditions but opens automatically in case of pressure drops or emergency needs for fire flow.

Data from the flow meters in the chambers enables the utility company to compare flow data with consumption data received from the customer smart metres. This makes it possible to monitor the flow balance on a daily basis and thus calculate how much water is lost in the DMA.

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High altitude – higher pressure – more water losses

The DMA in Klampenborg, north of the Danish capital Copenhagen, is located along the coastline to the Oresund strait and is a low-lying area. Consequently, the pressure is too high in the water mains of Klampenborg as the water supply comes from sources located inland at a higher elevation.

Most (almost all) water supply networks are prone to leaks. Some are big and will typically be detected by the utility company staff or reported by customers. Some are minor and will never be spotted or repaired during the entire lifespan of the pipes. The difference in altitude and pressure means, that the DMA in Klampenborg will lose more water through leaks, compared to other areas situated at a higher altitude.

The basic rule is, that if you can reduce pressure by 10 percent, the water lost through leakage will also be reduced by 10 percent. The new valves and the increased insights into the operational and hydraulic behaviour of the area enables the utility company to optimise the water pressure.

In the Klampenborg demonstration area, the pressure is now reduced by 26 pct. Consequently, water is saved as a corresponding decrease in leakage level and burst frequency is expected.

Part of the LEAKman project

The DMA in Klampenborg is a medium sized network that represents a total water consumption of 500,000 m³ of water per year. The smart valves were deployed here as part of the LEAKman project – a partnership initiated to demonstrate Danish solutions for limiting drinking water loss and pave the way for new technology.

The LEAKman partnership consists of an association of nine Danish partners representing technology providers, consultants, water utilities and the Technical University of Denmark. Read more her.