Collegedale, TN Takes Cue from County - Monitors Flows with Flo-Dar
The City of Collegedale, located in the picturesque southeastern Tennessee valley is just minutes from Chattanooga, its sister city and capital seat of Hamilton County. Home to 6,500 residents, Collegedale is a thriving suburban community that is proud of its commitment to provide a pleasant lifestyles for its citizens surrounded by nature.
In October 2002, when the city's Public Works Department needed to purchase a flowmeter to monitor wastewater flows from the nearby Southern Adventist University, they relied on recommendations from the Hamilton County Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA). Years earlier, the WWTA had standardized on the Marsh-McBirney Flo-Dar Flowmeter to monitor wastewater flows at their permanent monitoring sites. Joe Farrow, City Engineer with the City of Collegedale states, "We needed a flowmeter to identify and separate the amount of flow into another system for billing to this private institution."
The Flo-Dar Family of flowmeters provide a revolutionary approach to open channel flow monitoring for municipal and industrial monitoring applications. Flo-Dar combines digital doppler radar velocity sensing technology with ultrasonic pulse echo level sensing to remotely measure open channel flows. The "above the flow" operation of the Flo-Dar sensor eliminates fouled sensors and lost flow data while avoiding the risks and expense of confined space entry. The flowmeter simplifies personnel and equipment requirements of the flow monitoring process as well as provides a safer, more dependable and less costly alternative for accurate open channel flow monitoring.
Flo-Dar is the ideal solution for difficult flow conditions including:
- Flows with High Solids Content
- High Temperature Flows
- Caustic Flows
- Large Man-Made Channels
- High Velocities
- Shallow Flows Benefits
- Personnel have no contact with the flow during installation
- Maintenance caused by sensor fouling is eliminated
- No Profiling Required
- Field Replaceable/Interchangeable Sensors and Monitors
Farrow adds, "Hamilton County had standardized on this particular Flo-Dar meter and everybody working at the county was already working with it and very familiar with its operation." Chris Paris, President of Southeastern Automation Group, Marsh-McBirney's local representative, played an integral role in procuring the Flo-Dar meter for Collegedale as well as the flowmeters previously purchased by Hamilton County. The AC powered version of the Flo-Dar meter was installed in November of 2002. Farrow likes the fact that the meter has no submerged sensor to hang up or obstruct the flow itself. He states, "We have used a flowmeter with a submerged sensor from another manufacturer at some of our portable monitoring sites but I would hate to leave it in anywhere permanently because of sensor hang-ups." The importance of accurate flow readings in a billing situation cannot be over emphasized. The majority of flowmeter users rate accuracy and low maintenance as top priorities, especially in situations when the flow data will be used in custody transfer or billing applications, such as is the case in Collegedale's flow monitoring site.
The initial cost of a flowmeter can pale in comparison with high maintenance costs associated with site visits for fouled flow sensors and unreliable meter operation. Additionally, the cost of data lost during meter down time must also be considered. A balancing act exists between the costs of highly accurate flowmeters that require little or no maintenance versus lower cost flowmeters that provide lower accuracy specifications and could require frequent maintenance. With thousands of installations worldwide, as well as extensive laboratory testing performed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Utah State University's Laboratory, users can be assured of Flo-Dar's guaranteed accuracy.
Just as Hamilton County WWTA personnel have discovered, so to have Collegedale public works personnel who can now more safely and accurately monitor their flows without the concern for fouled sensors or lost flow data in their private system billing application.