Revolutionizing Water Safety: The Intelligent Upgrade of Secondary Water Supply Systems

In the intricate tapestry of urban infrastructure, the assurance of a safe and reliable water supply, particularly in secondary water systems, has evolved into a pressing concern of paramount importance. While the water flowing from our taps may seem unremarkable, the complexities entwined with its delivery demand innovative solutions to address recurring safety issues. This article delves into the multifaceted challenges plaguing secondary water supply, explores typical problems associated with this crucial component of urban living, and illuminates the transformative trend of intelligent upgrades that promise to reshape the industry.

Smart technology revolutionizes water supply systems, optimizing efficiency and safety in the network of pipes.

For Starters, What is Smart Technology for Water Supply?

Smart technology for water supply utilizes digital solutions and IoT to enhance monitoring, predict faults, optimize operations, and ensure water quality, improving efficiency and safety in distribution systems, particularly in secondary water supply.

The Predicament of Secondary Water Supply

Water, universally recognized as the essence of life, requires a dependable supply chain to ensure the health and well-being of communities. Secondary water supply, distinct from its direct counterpart, assumes critical significance in high-rise structures where the limitations of water pump pressure render direct supply impractical. However, the traditional methodologies governing secondary water supply, involving the utilization of large pools and rooftop tanks, often result in contamination, posing significant threats to water safety.

Typical Issues with Secondary Water Supply

One primary challenge facing secondary water supply systems lies in the archaic management models that lead to operational inefficiencies. The decentralized nature of traditional secondary supply pump rooms poses a hurdle to effective management. The multitude of pump rooms necessitates a significant allocation of human resources for tasks ranging from routine inspections to emergency responses, leading to high management costs. The reliance on manual labor also translates into slow reactions to critical situations, as the 24-hour surveillance required for immediate fault detection is logistically challenging.

Moreover, the lack of foresight in anticipating equipment faults further exacerbates the problem. Traditional pump rooms manned by human personnel rely on experiential judgment to determine whether equipment malfunctions are imminent. This reactive approach often results in unnecessary delays and increased losses. During peak water demand, inefficiencies in water pump operations contribute to regional shortages, while low-demand periods witness excess supply, leading to a paradox of low pump efficiency and high power consumption.

Construction and management separation present another significant obstacle in the realm of secondary water supply. The dichotomy between the responsibilities of water supply companies and property management fosters a disconnection in ensuring the quality and reliability of facilities. The division of labor often leads to a blame game, with each entity pointing fingers at the other regarding water quality and facility maintenance. Furthermore, the cost-cutting strategies employed by some developers in utilizing inferior pipes or water tanks contribute to the quick degradation of equipment, introducing safety hazards into the secondary water supply.

Insufficient supervision adds another layer of complexity, with relevant departments failing to adequately monitor secondary water supply facilities. Property units, lacking stringent oversight, tend to manage pools, water tanks, and other facilities loosely, often flouting regulations. This laxity in supervision intensifies the pollution of secondary water supply, posing potential safety hazards to residents. Stagnant water in tanks becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and other contaminants, especially when residual chlorine evaporates over time. The irregular cleaning of facilities, mandated to occur every six months, compounds the issue, as property management units, in their bid to save effort, extend the cleaning intervals, allowing foreign objects to accumulate within the water tanks.

The Rising Demand for Intelligent Solutions

In recent years, the escalating demand for secondary water supply has been propelled by two primary factors. Firstly, the rapid expansion of the real estate industry and the accelerating pace of urbanization have resulted in a surge in high-rise constructions, thereby necessitating an increased demand for secondary water supply. Secondly, aging water supply infrastructure in existing residential areas has become a pressing concern, prompting the need for replacements in the secondary water supply market. The confluence of these factors has spurred the rapid development of the secondary water supply industry in the country.

According to recent statistics, the market size of China’s secondary water supply equipment industry in 2022 amounted to approximately 36.68 billion yuan, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 16.2%. Concurrently, the output of secondary water supply equipment saw a year-on-year increase of 15.8%, reaching approximately 176,600 sets, with demand surging by 15.5% to approximately 170,800 sets. Despite this growth, challenges such as irregular management and high energy consumption persist. To address these issues, the government has implemented a series of policies aimed at strengthening the standardized management of urban secondary water supply.

Government Initiatives and Policies

In recognition of the critical role played by secondary water supply in ensuring the last-mile water supply safety, various government initiatives have been introduced in recent years. In 2015, four ministries and commissions issued the “Notice on Strengthening and Improving the Construction and Management of Secondary Water Supply Facilities for Urban Residents to Ensure Water Quality Safety.” This initiative aimed to promote the transformation of secondary water supply facilities across different regions.

Building on this, in 2021, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the National Development and Reform Commission, and other relevant departments issued the “Guiding Opinions on Strengthening Urban Water Conservation Work.” This directive emphasized the implementation of urban renewal actions, the renovation of old communities, and the overhaul of secondary water supply facilities. The focus was on updating and renovating the damaged water supply pipe network using advanced, reliable quality water supply pipe network materials and flexible interfaces.

Subsequently, in 2022, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, in conjunction with the National Development and Reform Commission, issued the “Notice on Strengthening Leakage Control in Public Water Supply Pipeline Networks.” This notice mandated the installation of pressure-regulating equipment in high-pressure areas of the water supply pipeline network and the formation of water supply ring networks in low-pressure areas. These measures were designed to ensure water supply pressure, achieving spatial and temporal uniformity of pipe network pressure.

In the same year, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development further emphasized the importance of urban water supply safety with the issuance of the “Strengthening Urban Water Supply Safety Guarantee.” The directive outlined a vision for the establishment of a relatively complete urban water supply full-process guarantee system and a fundamentally sound urban water supply system by 2025. The transformation of water supply facilities was emphasized, coupled with the improvement of water supply detection and emergency response capabilities.

The Intelligent Revolution

In the context of escalating water safety concerns and the need for heightened supervision, the upgrading and transformation of secondary water supply systems are experiencing a paradigm shift. This evolution is marked by a significant trend towards intelligent solutions empowered by the rapid development of Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

The role of intelligence in empowering secondary water supply is multifaceted and transformative:

1.Achieving Unattended Operation and Cost Reduction:

Remote monitoring of real-time operating data in each site and equipment allows for unattended operation, eliminating the need for specialized personnel on-site. Intelligent water supply systems can remotely adjust pump room parameters, including pump operating conditions and valve flow, optimizing water supply dispatch and reducing overall operational costs.

2. Intelligent Control for Accident Prevention:

The intelligent secondary supply system utilizes big data to set data thresholds for each pump room, conducting comprehensive pressure analysis on the entire network. This enables the system to identify pressure points prone to failure in the pipe network. In cases where actual data surpasses system thresholds, the system triggers timely alarms and dispatches work orders to inspection personnel, ensuring a rapid response and averting potential water supply disruptions or accidents.

3. Standardizing Processes and Enhancing Management Systems:

Intelligent systems are capable of recording and analyzing all operating behaviors of employees. This not only improves system data but also allows for a comprehensive review of operation records of maintenance personnel. This feedback loop facilitates continuous improvement, enhancing overall management practices.

4. Statistics on Pipe Network Leakage:

By comparing end-user water consumption data with the water output of secondary supply pump rooms, intelligent systems can accurately calculate water leakage in the system. This data-driven approach enables targeted improvements to the pipe network, aligning with the country’s water-saving society initiatives.

5. Real-time Water Quality Monitoring:

Traditional secondary water supply systems rely on manual water quality monitoring, which is labor-intensive and prone to human error. In contrast, intelligent secondary water supply systems enable real-time monitoring of water supply quality. Prompt detection of water quality issues triggers immediate alarms, ensuring the safety of residents in the “last mile.”

6. Overall Planning and Dispatching for Efficient Water Supply:

Intelligent systems leverage predictive analytics to establish correlations between water consumption patterns of pump room units and operating variables of the pipe network. This foresight allows for the strategic closure or reduction of water tank valve openings during peak periods. Simultaneously, during off-peak periods, excess water supply capacity from water plants is utilized to fill up water tanks, ensuring coordinated and efficient water supply across all pump rooms in the area.

As an indispensable element of urban public services, the water supply industry directly influences the quality of life and, crucially, the safety of every resident. The journey towards a safe, reliable, and low-carbon secondary water supply system necessitates continuous strides in intelligent construction. The realization of an intelligent platform for the secondary water supply industry is not an overnight accomplishment; rather, it represents an ongoing commitment to innovation and sustainability.

Flowtech China 2024 and the Intelligent Evolution of Secondary Water Supply Systems

The upcoming Flowtech China stands as a testament to the industry’s dedication to disseminating advanced technological experiences. As the most influential industry event in the pump and valve sector, the 2024 edition of the exhibition, in collaboration with WieTec exhibition platform, anticipates the participation of over 4,000 high-quality companies. The event aims to showcase cutting-edge products and technical solutions, providing a platform for collaboration and fostering innovation in the field.

Flowtech China, scheduled for 2024, extends an invitation to all stakeholders, including water supply and faucet companies, to participate and engage in the exchange of ideas. Early bird registration is encouraged for those seeking to be part of this pivotal event that marks a milestone in the intelligent evolution of secondary water supply systems. The exhibition, as a beacon of progress, looks forward to the collective participation of industry leaders, innovators, and enthusiasts, as together they navigate the future of water safety and urban sustainability.