Development of a Water Leakage Detection and Control System Using Long Range Technology.
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National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has been experiencing financial losses of 188 billion shillings annually from Non-Revenue Water (NRW) with the highest being registered in Kampala area. During the 4th quarter of financial year 2016-17, the NRW in Kampala area was reported as 39.1% accounting for a performance shortfall of 7.1% against the annual target of 32%. The recent technologies employed by NWSC to control and manage water leakages are both manual and automated mechanisms. An alternative was a continuous, real-time monitoring of the network facilitating early detection and localization of these leakages. This study aimed to find such an alternative using Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN). The developed water leakage detection and control system prototype included identifying system requirements, architectural design, construction and evaluation phase. Water leakages in a Water Distribution Network (WDN) were detected using programming commands embedded in microcontroller unit, sensors supported by a webserver and database. The system contextual and hardware architecture diagrams of the designed system were presented. Through Proteus simulation software, the designed diagram circuits were simulated, tested and evaluated using 2 sensors to detect water leakages. Virtual terminals were used to simulate flowrate signals during both normal connections and water leakage simulations. In normal connection simulations, the inbuilt microcontroller unit comparator results indicated that the flowrate difference for the two sensors was between 0 – 4 L/min. It was observed that the input and the output flowrates for both sensors were almost the same hence no leakage notification was sent to the administrator at the control centre. In water leakage simulations, flow sensor 1 connected at the beginning of WDN was able to sense a sharp increase in flow rate of 70 L/min compared to sensor 2 with sharp decrease in flowrate of 24 L/min. The leakage took only 2-3 seconds to be detected indicating very high sensitivity level of the sensors. It was observed that the probability of major risks occurring were minimal and manageable. The system was tested and 99% of the set parameters were in conformity with the WDN set standards and ranges. The Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of the WDN was determined to be 8.2 which is greater than 1. The results of the BCR analysis show that implementing the water leakage detection and control system is economically viable for NWSC. Therefore, if implemented, it will result in revenue savings for NWSC.