Cost Effective Portable CSO Monitoring System from Flow Line Options

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Flow Line Options manufactures new portable Combined Sewer Overflow monitor. The 3" ultrasonic beam cone allows the sensor to be mounted above the flow to prevent fouling. The cost-effective device can be readily converted to a fixed system, and allows municipalities to meet EPA monitoring requirements.

Flow Line Options manufactures new portable Combined Sewer Overflow monitor. The 3" ultrasonic beam cone allows the sensor to be mounted above the flow to prevent fouling. The cost-effective device can be readily converted to a fixed system, and allows municipalities to meet EPA monitoring requirements.

Flow Line Options Corp. (Flo-Corp) is one manufacturer that has raised the performance curve of the CSO monitor while lowering the cost for the end-user. In the summer of 2005, the City of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, purchased several Flo-Corp. Model CF-316 level/flow monitors with CSO graphical reporting software. The EPA gave the city a list of sites that need to be monitored and the city chose Flo-Corp as the supplier based on price and performance.

"The CF-316 has allowed the city to monitor our CSO's in order to satisfy our EPA requirements and at the same time stay under our budget," said John S. Christopher, Water Utilities Superintendent.

Since the EPA issued a National Combined Sewer Overflow Control Strategy on August 10, 1989, the nation has been looking for a cost effective way to meet the monitoring and reporting guidelines established for over 1,000 cities nationwide. CSO's are sewers that contain both sewage and rain runoff in the same pipe system. The EPA strategy recommended that all CSO's be identified and categorized according to their status of compliance with these requirements. One of the measures adopted in 1991 was to eliminate CSO in dry weather and to control CSO that occur during wet weather conditions. This means that the cities affected have to come up with a strategy to measure the sewer over several climate changes in order to see what the effect of the increased water flow runoff is during wet and dry weather conditions. Up until now, this has been a very costly proposition.

In terms of instrumentation to measure the sewer flow in remote sites, you have to design a portable monitor; one that can be moved around from one site to another. You also have to design a unit that remains dry in a very wet environment. This is a very challenging environment for electronic components since there is an omnipresent H2S condition in sewer systems. Manufacturers have buried their electronics in pipe-like enclosures and attempted to seal up any possible entry point to eliminate corrosion and damage due to moisture. The collection of the flow data has also presented its share of challenges. From wireless cellular systems and radio data collection to wired RS-232 systems, the data needs to be transferred from these "computers in the manhole" to a collection site for reporting to the EPA. The CF-316 uses as a standard feature a RS-232 serial interface. It is used to set up the unit and to download the data via cable to a PC, or via the optional radio modem for remote site monitoring.

Since Flo-Corp's ultrasonic sensor is mounted above the flow, it never comes in contact with the fluid stream, keeping the unit from fouling. The unique 3-inch cone of the ultrasonic beam allows the CF-316 to make measurements in tight spaces previously unthinkable for all non-contacting measurements. Flo-Corp, as well as many end-users, has conducted tests with better than +/- 0.25% accuracy over the entire measurement, making the CF-316 one of the most accurate and reliable units in its class. Another distinctive feature of the CF-316 is that when the end-user is finished with the portable monitoring program, the CF-316 can be converted at no extra cost to a fixed system level monitor. It can be adapted with very little added options to be a fully functional lift station monitor and controller.

About Flo-Corp

Flow Line Options Corp. was founded in 1988, and offers a wide variety of level sensors, flow meters, and pressure and temperature measurement solutions to municipal, electrical and industrial markets. With extensive experience in the design and manufacturing aspects of instrumentation, as well as sales engineering and field support, Flo-Corp prides itself in their ability to find the proper system for demanding process applications.

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David Grumney
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