Winning hearts and minds at Unitywater

The Derceto Aquadapt implementation for Unitywater on Australia’s Sunshine Coast goes back to 2004, when Unitywater’s forerunner, Maroochy Water Services, was wrestling with the problem of how to smooth demand on two water treatment plants and maximize network asset utilization.

The operators of the Landers Shute and Image Flat water treatment plants were insistent that smoothened flow profiles were essential to improve the operability, efficiency and water quality of their respective plants.

Unitywater’s Engineering Operations Manager, Michael Doherty, says the challenge was to remove the diurnal demand peaks from the water treatment plant supply and to achieve linear flow requirements across the 24-hour day, while maintaining water pressure standards of service and minimum storage levels throughout Maroochy Shire’s reticulation system.

With two treatment plants, 22 reservoirs, four pump stations and 13 flow control valve sites of significant demand and supply, the challenge was beyond the ability of the Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system's automatic control, Michael Doherty recalls.

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FAQ

Q: Why does the Aquadapt software run again every half an hour, hasn't it already solved for a whole day?

Dec 05 2010

A: Yes it has, but the day changes as the weather changes, as demand changes and as plant capacity and availability change. Aquadapt software adapts to these changing parameters and finds an even better pump schedule if it can. The operator can also request the software to re-solve at any time, and can even ask it to re-solve without sending changes to the pumps so "what-if" scenarios can be generated and tested safely.

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