Elevating Water Supply Safety: The Call for Smart Solutions

Water, the essence of life, is the bedrock of our well-being. Yet, behind the seemingly ordinary tap water lies a supply system facing frequent safety challenges. This article delves into the complexities of traditional water management and explores the potential empowerment through intelligent solutions.

Challenges in Traditional Management

In the realm of traditional water management, secondary supply pump rooms emerge as focal points grappling with significant challenges. The decentralized distribution of numerous pump rooms adds complexity to their management. On-duty personnel bear the weight of responsibilities, ranging from guard management to equipment inspections, hotline responses, initial fault diagnosis, and collaboration with major repairs.

This decentralized model demands a substantial number of inspection personnel, resulting in high management costs. Relying heavily on manual labor, traditional pump rooms exhibit slow responsiveness to emergencies due to the impossibility of achieving 24-hour manual guarding. This lag in response becomes evident when equipment failures occur, remaining undetected and unaddressed in a timely manner.

Detection of issues before they escalate is crucial for the maintenance and management of pump rooms. However, the reliance on manual experience for fault detection introduces uncertainties. Not everyone possesses the ability to predict faults in advance, leading to a reactive approach of waiting for issues to manifest before initiating repairs, incurring unnecessary losses.

Moreover, when faults do arise, the traditional processing procedure in secondary supply pump rooms proves to be time-consuming. The sequence involves reporting the fault, subsequent verification, and dispatching work orders to relevant personnel after confirmation. Originally conceived as a straightforward process, the intricate exchange of information among multiple individuals results in decreased efficiency.

During the peak period of water supply, a deficiency in water supply capacity often leads to regional water shortages. Conversely, during the low period of water supply, excess water supply capacity remains underutilized, contributing to a decline in operating efficiency of water pumps and an increase in power consumption.

Construction and Management Disparities

A significant challenge in the secondary water supply system stems from the separation of construction and management responsibilities, posing a threat to facility quality. This division becomes particularly evident in the water supply field, where general water supply companies are tasked solely with delivering clean tap water. On the other hand, property management oversees the community’s facilities. Under this multi-agent model, a noteworthy contradiction arises when issues occur in the secondary water supply.

Insufficient Supervision and Elevated Risks

A lack of oversight from relevant departments allows property units to haphazardly manage pools, water tanks, and other facilities, disregarding regulations and intensifying pollution in the secondary water supply. Prolonged existence of tap water in pool water tanks fosters conditions for bacterial growth and contamination. Without regular monitoring and timely replenishment, contaminated water may find its way into residents’ homes, posing potential safety hazards.

Cleaning Neglect and Unsealed Tanks

Critical facilities such as pools and water tanks are supposed to undergo cleaning every six months. However, a dearth of supervision has led property management units to reduce cleaning frequency to cut corners. Consequently, poorly maintained water tanks become susceptible to contamination, with foreign objects entering due to inadequate sealing. The resultant challenges are often overlooked by management, offering explanations such as severe rusting as a reason for infrequent cleaning.

The Trend of Upgrading and Transforming Secondary Water Supply

In recent years, the demand for secondary water supply has surged, driven by the rapid growth of the real estate industry and urbanization. The increasing number of high-rise buildings has created a fresh demand for enhanced secondary water supply systems. This surge in demand has set the stage for a significant trend towards the upgrading and transformation of secondary water supply systems.

As the industry grapples with challenges, it becomes evident that the trajectory of secondary water supply is shifting towards embracing intelligent solutions and transformative upgrades. These changes are crucial to meeting the evolving demands of urban development and ensuring a sustainable and resilient water supply system for the future.

Persistent Challenges and Policy Initiatives

Despite the escalating demand for secondary water supply, the industry contends with challenges such as irregular management and high energy consumption. To address these issues and fortify the standardized management of urban secondary water supply, China has implemented a series of policy initiatives in recent years, aiming to resolve the critical “last mile” water supply safety problem.

Policy Interventions and Transformative Measures

In 2021, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the National Development and Reform Commission, and other departments issued the “Guiding Opinions on Strengthening Urban Water Conservation Work.” The directive emphasized urban renewal initiatives, the revitalization of old communities, and the refurbishment of secondary water supply facilities. It further mandated the update and renovation of damaged water supply pipe networks, advocating the use of advanced, applicable, and reliable quality materials for water supply pipelines, along with flexible interfaces.

Building on this momentum, in 2022, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, in collaboration with the National Development and Reform Commission, issued the “Notice on Strengthening Leakage Control in Public Water Supply Pipeline Networks.” This directive outlined key measures, including the installation of pressure-regulating equipment at crucial nodes in high-pressure areas of the water supply pipeline network and the formation of a water supply ring network in low-pressure areas. These steps aim to achieve spatial and temporal uniformity of the pipe network pressure, contributing to enhanced overall water supply stability.

Advancements in Urban Water Supply Safety and the Role of Smart Technology

In 2022, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development unveiled the “Strengthening Urban Water Supply Safety Guarantee” initiative, setting a target to establish a comprehensive urban water supply full-process guarantee system and a robust urban water supply network by 2025. The initiative emphasizes the promotion of the transformation of water supply facilities, enhancement of water supply detection and emergency response capabilities, and the optimization of urban water supply services. It aims to fortify safeguard measures in response to the escalating concerns over water safety and the need for intensified supervision.

The Changing Landscape of Secondary Water Supply

In this context, the upgrading and transformation of secondary water supply systems are gaining momentum, with a notable trend towards intelligent solutions. The rapid evolution of Internet of Things (IoT) technology is significantly bolstering the capabilities of intelligent systems in the secondary water supply sector.

Empowering Secondary Water Supply Through Intelligence

  1. 1. Achieving Unattended Operation and Cost Reduction:

Intelligent systems enable unattended operation of secondary supply pump rooms by remotely monitoring real-time operating data. This includes adjusting parameters such as pump operating conditions and valve flow, optimizing water supply dispatch during peak consumption periods, and ultimately reducing overall operating costs.

  1. 2. Intelligent Control to Mitigate Accidents:

The intelligent secondary supply system can detect system faults promptly by setting data thresholds through big data analytics. Conducting pressure analysis on the entire network identifies potential failure points in the pipe network. In case of exceeding data thresholds, the system triggers alarms and dispatches work orders for rapid response, averting unstable water supply or unsafe accidents.

  1. 3. Standardizing Processes and Enhancing Management:

Intelligent systems record all operational behaviors, facilitating improved system data and enabling a review of operation records. This enhances the management system by identifying operational experiences and shortcomings in responding to accidents, supporting continuous improvement.

  1. 4. Leakage Statistics for Improved Network:

Comparing end-user water consumption data with the output of the secondary supply pump room allows the system to quantify water leakage. This data-driven approach aids in targeted improvements to the pipe network system, aligning with the country’s water-saving society initiatives.

  1. 5. Real-time Water Quality Monitoring for Resident Safety:

Unlike traditional manual monitoring, intelligent secondary water supply systems offer real-time water quality monitoring. The system promptly alarms in case of contamination, ensuring the safety of residents in the critical “last mile.”

  1. 6. Optimized Planning for Efficient Water Supply:

The intelligent system predicts the relationship between pump room unit water consumption and pipe network variables. This facilitates strategic actions such as closing water tank valves during peak periods and prioritizing water tank usage. Coordinated dispatching of pump rooms avoids water scarcity and achieves off-peak water supply during low periods.

As a cornerstone of urban public services, the water supply industry profoundly impacts the quality of life and safety of residents. Continuous advancements in smart construction are imperative for the sustainable development of the secondary water supply system in a safe, reliable, and low-carbon direction. Building an intelligent platform for the secondary water supply industry is a crucial developmental focus in the present and future landscape.

Flowtech China, a prominent industry event, is dedicated to disseminating advanced technological experiences and fostering the growth of smart water supply. The upcoming 2024 exhibition, in collaboration with WieTec, anticipates participation from over 4,000 high-quality companies. This platform will showcase cutting-edge products, technical solutions, and innovations from water supply and faucet companies, offering valuable insights and networking opportunities. Early bird discounts are available for those eager to register for the exhibition, and Flowtech China looks forward to welcoming participants.