Embracing change yields
major savings for WaterOne

A willingness to change traditional thinking and methods of operation has resulted in annual energy cost savings of more than a million dollars a year – around 20 percent of the total annual energy bill – for Kansas water utility WaterOne.

Serving 400,000 people in Johnson County, near Kansas City, WaterOne draws raw water from the Kansas and Missouri Rivers and distributes a peak supply of 200 million gallons a day of treated water via more than 2,500 miles of piping spanning 270 square miles. 

Chuck Weber, WaterOne’s Superintendent of Operations, says that when Derceto approached him with a proposal on how Derceto’s Aquadapt could achieve significant operational efficiencies and deliver energy savings, a lower overall carbon footprint – as well as improving water quality – he was a little skeptical.

“I was taught one of the most important things in operating a water treatment plant is to keep the flow constant. But the Aquadapt solution delivers energy savings and other benefits by occasionally changing the flow. Also, in our industry energy saving has not been given a high priority. We tend to see the energy costs involved in maintaining a constant flow through the system as just a cost of business,” Chuck Weber says.

“But times are changing. Achieving the lowest possible carbon footprint, and delivering water to our customers in the most sustainable way possible is important. The possibility of doing that, while at the same time lowering our overall operating overhead, could not be ignored – even if it required challenging our traditional methods of operation.”

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FAQ

Q: How can a reservoir level be predicted to go up when it is below minimum and no pumps/valves are scheduled on to fill it?

Oct 19 2010

A: If a reservoir level is below the minimum limit this breaches a primary constraint. There could be many reasons for this including bringing a tank back into service or recovery after pipeline or pump station failure. To allow the Aquadapt Solver to find a solution we make it assume the storage tank it is at minimum level at the start of the solve period. Aquadapt software may then show the tank level at this level which is greater than the actual level for the next period even when nothing is actually filling the reservoir. Normally back up level control will ensure the tank stays above minimum. We indicate that this is not a true indication of level by shading all of the level values on the screen grey instead of blue to make it more obvious that this level data is invalid.

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