Network Safety Solutions - Control Valves

AVK Southern Africa Control Valves effectively manager water pressure minimising water loss. 05-03-2024

Control valves to optimise the challenged local water infrastructure

The water challenges facing South Africa, and Africa as a whole, are multifaceted. They stem from aging infrastructure, affecting both potable water distribution and non-potable pipelines. The use of substandard products without local support exacerbates these issues. Because little attention is paid towards maintaining existing infrastructure and following the South African Bureau of Standards, issues surface, such as over-pressurising old systems that are designed for a limited flow requirement.

The consequences include burst pipes and increased leakages during off-peak hours, and little to no flow during peak hours. This, along with ageing infrastructure, causes the loss of potable water, which is already sparse resource. Hence, as valves are critical parts of the water distribution network, they should be of adequate quality to ensure efficient and long-lasting infrastructure going forward.

Battling water loss with control valves

To address the growing infrastructural demands, AVK Valves Southern Africa has introduced its Series 869 dual-stage high/low pressure reducing valve—a reliable and effective solution.

The valve enables control of water in a pipeline through maintaining water pressure and flow regardless of changes in the system. It is a dual-stage diaphragm globe-type valve with two downstream pressure settings. The high-pressure setting supplies demand during peak hours which then shifts to a lower pressure setting during off peak periods.

By reducing the pressure, the valve protects the network by decreasing the number of pipe bursts, leakages, and collapses. The valve uses a double pilot system that overrides the demand for flow based on the standard of an IP68-rated electronic device and a pre-programmed solenoid system to switch over at predetermined times. Hence, should a pipe burst during off-peak hours, the volume of water lost will be less than if the valve was operating at a high pressure.

The valve saves operator’s time by allowing for pre-programming of the high/low setting times using remote control with various functionalities. Battery life for the IP68-rated electronic device is around 10 years before a replacement is required and no electricity is necessary in the valve’s chambers, meaning load shedding will not affect operation.

AVK assists with finding the right control valve solution

Our control valves can help mitigate and avoid network failure in pipelines that occur due to air entrapment and water hammer caused by incorrect valve sizing, valve failure, poor design, or simply the implementation of unfit products. AVK Valves Southern Africa maintains a comprehensive stock of AVK 869 control valves, covering a range of sizes from DN80 up to DN300. Additionally, we can supply valves up to DN600 if needed. For the more commonly used sizes, we maintain substantial stock levels, and our production system automatically replenishes stock when it reaches a pre-set low level. Our stock includes both PN10 and PN16 rated valves.

To enhance our export business, AVK Valves Southern Africa offers training and hands-on assistance for setting up the 869 control valves once they are supplied. Our 869 Control Valve training program includes classroom sessions on ‘Setting up procedures’ and ‘Installation procedures.’ Subsequently, we take this knowledge to the field, where we physically set up and perform maintenance on installed valves in collaboration with water board technicians. By adding value to our customers, AVK ensures business growth both within South Africa and beyond its borders.

When designing a new system, or extending an existing range, our solutions team assists engineers, consultants, contactors, water boards and end-users by providing cost-effective and ease of operational requirements to ensure that the optimum solution is selected and implemented. 

Saving water, time, and resources

The total cost of ownership should be understood and considered when selecting which valve to use for the project in question. Total cost includes product price, maintenance, operation, and man-power costs along with the cost of downtime to the end-user, to allow for a more financially viable valve in the long term.

Our control valve solutions assist in reducing water losses and burst pipes, thereby decreasing both the amount of non-revenue water loss and the downtime of water supply to the customers. Also, when network equipment is spared for high pressure, the life expectancy of pipeline, valves and additional equipment is increased.

Expect global leadership and local commitment

Our recent launch of the AVK Series 869 control valve included comprehensive technical training for our clients, which encompassed municipalities, water boards, and the mining industry. Additionally, we have strategic plans to establish an expert assistance team to provide support during field breakdowns

We are excited to announce that we will be launching one-day courses at our state-of-the-art training facility, The AVK Academy. These courses are open to all interested parties, including engineers, consultants, and service teams. Join us to enhance your knowledge and expertise!

In our endeavor, we aim to solidify our local presence and reaffirm our unwavering commitment to South Africa and its future growth. Leveraging our global reach and innovative mindset, we stand poised to provide optimal valve solutions to the water industry.