Thieves, vandalism. . .and thousands of irate phone calls. All in a day (or two’s) work for the municipal water department in the South African province of Pietermaritzburg. As this story details, a water outage a few weeks ago led to a bit of detective work, lots of walking, a night robbery, and, ultimately, a happy ending for a dried-up city and a few workers. And it all started with telemetry.
The first sign of a problem – even before citizens began complaining about a lack of running water – was detected at a central station connected to the system of water monitors in place throughout the city’s reservoirs and pipelines. Since municipal monitoring equipment is a specialty of ours here at Devar, this prelude to what followed is what caught our eye. As the water superintendent and other workers set out to discover the cause of the problem, a remarkable convergence of science and intuition allowed the chief to determine just what was going on, and where it was happening.
State-of-the-art monitoring equipment is often indispensable, and at the least, a key supporting element of any water system. But 30 years of human experience can’t be replicated by a machine, and that’s what the superintendant drew upon when his ears told him that the water flowing through the pipes just didn’t sound right. For all the talk of real-time monitoring and instant fixes, there’s no method more direct than just listening, if you can.
For the full story, be sure to read the article. It’s quite a tale, and – spoiler alert – the water does get turned back on in the end. For answers to any further questions about water monitoring and telemetry, contact Devar today!