Latin America is experiencing an unprecedented population boom, thus requiring increased investments in water and wastewater facilities to keep up with the growth. According to various independent studies, the total amount of facility investments will need to increase by a factor of three — from the current value of $18 billion to $60-$70 billion — to satisfy the rapidly increasing water demand.

City of São Paulo
In Brazil, SABESP is the Sao Paulo state water company that provides water and sewage services to a range of residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental customers in the city of Sao Paulo and in 367 of the 645 other municipalities in the state of Sao Paulo. (SABESP stands for Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo.) The company also supplies water on a bulk basis to municipalities in the Sao Paulo metropolitan region that do not operate water systems. As such, SABESP is always looking for innovative ways to improve their processes.

Signet 2552
Recently, the company teamed up with GF Piping Systems of Tustin, CA, a supplier of pipe, valves, and flow monitoring instrumentation, to test a new flow sensor at the Presidente Prudente municipal drinking water treatment facility about 400 miles west of Sao Paulo. Hamilton Cassola, director of Nivetec Instruments and Controls and distributor of GF Piping products, explained that the facility needed a reliable, low-maintenance sensor installed in a six-inch cast iron, cement-lined pipe on the effluent side of the plant. The unit was to be installed through a ball valve just downstream from a full bore magmeter. To meet the application's requirements, GF Piping offered the newly developed Signet 2552 Metal Magmeter flow sensor as a test unit. A six-inch unit with frequency output was installed and connected to a Signet 8550 flow transmitter.

The engineers at the plant reported that the test unit performed exceptionally well, closely matching the full bore sensor readings. And, as a result of these readings, Signet 2552 units will be installed in SABESP's other facilities. The engineers also found that the Signet 2552 required less maintenance and was easier to use compared to the rotors they had been using, which necessitated removing a hot-top paddlewheel when replacement of a pin or rotor was required. Currently, they use many rotor-type sensors that sometimes require rotor and pin replacements. With this new insertion magmeter, they expect maintenance-free performance and more consistent and reliable readings.