How to choose a water flow meter

Date: 10/09/19 | In: Water Meters

The key to choosing any water flow meter is to first fully understand your specific requirements and objectives.

A water flow meter is an instrument specifically designed to measure the volumetric or mass flow rate of water, sewage or trade effluent. There are hundreds of water flow meters on the market with wide variations in price, application and capability. It is an important decision for many companies and organisations.

It is important to know the total cost of ownership and have a comprehensive understanding of the performance and data demands expected. ensures you acquire technology that is fit for purpose.

Detectronic expertise

At Detectronic, we work with many water and sewage companies (WaSCs) as well as businesses, factories, manufacturers and industrial firms to provide a holistic approach to monitoring. As such we can call on our vast experience and expertise to help any company find the ideal water flow meter that will provide optimum long-term return on investment for any purpose and any objective.

What do I need to consider when choosing a flow meter?

Decisions can be influenced by a range of factors which include:

  • The legal obligations pertaining to any discharge licence
  • The location of the site(s) where monitoring is required
  • The liquid to be measured and the volume of any potential contaminants
  • Potential temperature of the fluid
  • Normal or extreme rate of flow
  • Operating pressure and pipe diameter
  • The most effective type of sensor and data collection system for the required application
  • Any other relevant variables

The right technology for the right application

Water flow meter manufacturers have developed technological solutions for every possible situation and that is why there are so many different types to choose from to calculate or indicate flow rates.

Each and every one of Detectronic’s monitoring systems, from our ORAKEL System to our range of MFSMs, is specifically designed to deliver highly accurate data for reporting and analysis by our dedicated datacentre.

Our systems have been developed to meet the needs of a wide variety of industries, from car manufacture and chemical production to defence, healthcare and food and drink processing, and our focus is always on supporting companies to improve their operational performance and efficiency.

Ultrasonic flow meters, such as those designed and developed by our expert R&D team, provide market-leading versatility and accuracy in a wide-range of applications.

These ultrasonic meters, which use sound waves to determine the velocity of a fluid flowing in a pipe, are non-intrusive and therefore ideal for any wastewater applications. They are especially useful when pipes cannot be disturbed, or when the liquid is potentially harmful or corrosive. Maintenance costs are low and the results are extremely robust and reliable.
In 2017, we launched our ORAKEL System which incorporates a highly versatile control and display unit that can accommodate up to 16 sensors to measure different flow and quality characteristics.

Other types of water flow meter include:

Electromagnetic – where a conductive liquid moving through a magnetic field creates a measurable electric charge

Coriolis – where the liquid flowing through a U-shaped tube causes twisting or vibration which can be monitored

Cone – where a cone is placed in the pipe and the difference between upstream and downstream flows is calculated using differential pressure technology;

Orifice Plate – where differential pressure technology is used to measure flow by determining the difference in pressure from the upstream to the downstream side of the obstructed pipe

Propeller/Turbine – where liquid flowing in a pipe spins a propeller or a turbine, and the rate of spin is measured

Venturi – where a flow element forces liquid into a smaller diameter area of the pipe and the difference between the restricted and unrestricted flows is calculated with differential pressure technology

Vortex – where an obstructive device is placed in a pipe to create vortices downstream. The vortices are measured with temperature or pressure sensors.

Maintaining your investment

After we have guided a business or WaSC to the best possible purchase decision, we can provide full installation and maintenance services to ensure the meter continues to deliver peak performance over its lifetime.

Any water flow meter must be installed by a qualified engineer or technician and should be maintained, and if necessary recalibrated, at regular intervals.

By choosing the correct water flow meter, you will be in a position to improve the performance of your organisation’s assets by identifying any potential problems and dealing with them efficiently and effectively before they escalate.