5 weeks ago, Motors@Work hosted a webcast on water system optimization with Steve Jones, PE, a principal at Hansen, Allen, & Luce, Inc. In this webcast, Steve presented Hansen, Allen, & Luce’s unique and award-winning approach that balances water quality, levels of service, and energy efficiency to optimize the entire water utility system.
Well, Steve and team are at it again! This month’s Journal AWWA (October 2017; 109:10) features an article describing how Hansen, Allen, & Luce’s three-pronged water system optimization approach reduced the Jordan Valley Water Conservation District’s energy spend by 19%.
A few key takeaways from the article:
- “How can we provide an energy-efficient and high-quality water supply?”
Most energy efficiency programs begin by inventorying equipment and looking for either capital improvements to the equipment itself, or to when and how it’s used. Hansen, Allen, & Luce take a step back and look for system-level opportunities that may get overlooked when you dive straight into equipment and operation details.
- Newer does not mean better
Prior to working with Hansen, Allen, & Luce, staff at the Jordan Valley Water Conservation District assumed that the newest and most conveniently located wells operated the most efficiently. However, nameplate efficiencies are rarely indicative of the operating efficiencies observed in the field. Calculating and ranking the cost per unit (e.g., million gallons, or acre-foot) of supplied water by facility provides valuable insight into which facilities to prioritize and which to reserve for high-demand periods.
- Reduce looping
Water systems generally evolve in response to local growth and development. Even where a master plan guides system development, small corrections to incorrect valve settings, pressure zoning, and pipeline placement have the opportunity to yield huge energy savings if they reduce looping.
- Celebrate the wins
Changing the “way we do things here” is always fraught. As Steve mentioned in our webcast, Hansen, Allen, & Luce often relies on water system operators for ideas on how to improve the system; then, they investigate and prioritize the most cost-effective options. Rewarding good ideas and celebrating positive results accelerates the adoption of procedural changes, and increases the number of suggestions for future improvements.