TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATIONS
Mei Raanana Water Company encourages the development of new technologies in the field of water and sewage and facilitates the production, development, evaluation and assimilation of interesting and promising technologies, with the cautions and controlled use of the city’s water and sewage systems, and the participation of its experienced professional teams. Over the years and in the future, Mei Raanana has and will continue to encourage the evaluation and development of new technologies that streamline work processes at the company, including energy and economic efficiency, protecting the water quality, improving service to residents, etc.
The concentration of nitrates in the wells at each of the coastal aquifers is high, due to the fertilization of agricultural land with organic or chemical fertilizers, and due to the seepage of animal or human waste (in the past, there were no pipes for collecting waste, and domestic wastewater was transferred to cesspits and seeped through to the groundwater). There are a number of technologies engaged in removing nitrates, including Reverse Osmosis Technology, electrodialysis, etc. Each has their advantages and disadvantages, but all of them require a high consumption of energy, which constitutes a high fixed expense. As part of the foundation’s projects, Mei Raanana, in collaboration with Desalitech Ltd., will build a facility for the removal of nitrates that uses Reverse Circular Osmosis, the advantage of which is the more economical consumption of energy.
In 2000, Raanana was the first city in Israel to introduce advanced technology for the reading of wireless water meters – or as they are commonly referred to remote reading meters, or distance meter reading (DMR). Today, the entire city is networked with wireless water meters, which transmit water consumption readings of the city’s residents. In addition to the issuing of water bills through the system, the most important feature of the DMR is the immediate reporting of the water readings, which enables offering additional assistance, when significant atypical water consumption is detected over a number of days. When such a deviation in water consumption is detected, the system issues a warning to the residents regarding the deviation detected. From that point on, the residents can investigate whether the source of the deviation is known to them (filling the pool, extensive irrigation due to a special project, etc.) or if the source is unknown, in which case they must check for a leak.
The system relays information regarding atypical consumption on a daily basis and issues letters to residents when there is a suspected leak in their home. When we detect very atypical consumption, we call residents to notify them immediately , and sometimes come to their homes and leave a note if we were unable to reach them by telephone.
The system also acts as infrastructure for future plans to improve the smart technology system at the Mei Raanana Company. The future plans include improving the systems dispatch of text messages and emails for immediate notification regarding a leak; planning an energy conservation project for the municipal water system that uses pressure meters and a water control system in the city as well as a remote reading system.
Geographic Information System (GIS)
The Mei Raanana Water Company uses an advanced quality and state-of-the-art computerized Geographic Information System.
The system serves as a tool for daily engineering use, in order to execute and plan jobs for Raanana’s water and sewage infrastructure, and also as a tool used in emergency situations, when damage to one of the pipes is detected. In the case of a malfunction or damage, the system helps precisely locate the problem’s location and allows for quick and efficient repair with minimal impact on other systems in the region and on the residents. In a state of emergency, the system allows for decision making that takes into account various scenarios and the building of hydraulic models to understand the behavior of the water flow in the municipal network.
The GIS system has been in operation for the past 12 years and is maintained and updated according to the execution of the work in the municipal water and sewage networks. The system includes the distribution of the water and sewage lines in Raanana’s municipal jurisdiction. In this system, one can locate various devices in the water and sewage systems, such as: water meters, valves, fire hydrants, sewage ditches, etc.
The system documents the age of the pipeline in the city, its diameter, the materials it is made of, repairs conducted in the past, and many other parameters that serve the computerized and updated information database for the entire field of water in the city. The system also provides a solution when coordinating jobs with other institutions that have infrastructure in the city, such as the electric company, cable companies, etc. The system enables the execution of jobs while reducing the cases of damage of any of the infrastructure systems.
Any new construction in the city begins with the basic data related to the integration of the buildings into the water and sewage system in the GIS system and the simulation of the impact of the buildings on the city’s systems. The system enables preparing for the integration of the pressures and flow rates of the new buildings on the municipal system.
Moreover, the GIS system features sensors that provide continuous and current information regarding the sewage levels, water pressures and other parameters. The sensors provide warnings regarding possible malfunctions and allow for the detection of malfunctions in the system at the initial stage, thereby minimizing the damage. The information also helps to define the optimal activity for Mei Raanana’s water and sewage facilities, while conserving energy and resources.
In any case, this is a smart, economical and accurate system, the use of which will lead to future developments that will help protect Raanana’s smart water economy.