New measurement infrastructure for real-world domestic water metering

Water meter

New measurements will provide European water meter manufacturers and water suppliers with reliable and trustworthy measurement capabilities

Completed EMPIR project Metrology for real-world domestic water metering (17IND13, Metrowamet) realised a new measurement infrastructure which enables testing of domestic water meters in simulated conditions that closely resemble the real-world. Conditions include dynamic flow changes (as seen in water consumption in households), water quality related aspects, and withdrawal of low amounts of water. The results of the project support the development of guidelines and publications which will enable European manufacturers of water meters and water suppliers with needed trusted measurement capabilities.

The project has delivered benefits to water utilities, including a concise overview of potential deterioration of water meter performance due to specific/particular operating conditions. Also, contributions were made towards solving issues on water consumption profiles and leakage detection and monitoring of small flow rates which will support the European Commission’s goal for rational and responsible use of Europe’s water resources.

Further achievements of the project include:

  • Development of several test rigs with which dynamic flow profiles can be realised, and that correspond to consumption occurring in real life. This allows National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) and Designated Institutes (DIs) to establish new capabilities at their institutions for calibrations under dynamic flow conditions.
  • An approach which can contribute towards prolonging the operating period of a water meter or provide incentives for conserving water as envisaged by this project; the latter will help to ensure affordable access to this commodity in Europe.
  • An improved understanding of meter performance under real‑world operation conditions, which will help water suppliers to get a better grasp of the metering quality and enable them to plan accordingly.
  • Contribution to mitigating risks related to background leakage detection such as the leakage detection algorithm. This includes methods which enable the early detection of unusual water consumption and will help insurance companies and individuals to save damage related costs.

Project Coordinator Corinna Kroner from PTB, Germany’s NMI, said

‘The project results arrived just in time to provide knowledge-based input into the revision of relevant normative documents and recommendations.’

Part of the knowhow gained in Metrowamet is currently being used within the current EMPIR project Sustainable advanced flow meter calibration for the transport sector (SAFEST, 20IND13).

This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States

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