Orange County, Florida, is located in Central Florida and has a population close to 1.5 million according to the 2020 Census, making it the state’s fifth most populous county. Orange County Utilities provides water resources and solid waste recovery services to residential and commercial customers in Orange County.
Orange County is affected by seasonal dryness during which irrigation demand increases and reclaimed water system pressure decreases. As a result, Orange County Utilities was challenged to rethink its service strategy to reach reclaimed water customers. “Every spring and autumn, we have dry periods and must serve the increasing demand from new development while maintaining service for existing customers,” explained Paul Partlow, P.E., Senior Engineer with Orange County Utilities. Meeting the growing demand requires a few adjustments.
When a lot of customers irrigate at the same time, the result can be large reclaimed water pressure drops in the system. In an effort to alleviate these large pressure drops, Orange County Utilities implemented a plan for residents and golf course owners who use a substantial amount of reclaimed water. The utility now informs these customers of the best time of day to irrigate based on when system pressures are acceptable according to pressure monitoring, which is typically between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.
In order for Orange County Utilities to sustain this plan, the utility needed a near real-time tool to obtain data for analyzing pressure issues. Ayyeka’s Wavelet technology provided an effective solution. This technology has become an essential part of the utility’s monitoring process.
“We use the Ayyeka monitor to help analyze what course of action to take when we see unexpected pressure differentials,” explained David Nowell, P.E., Engineer III with Orange County Utilities. The Ayyeka monitors have been placed in key areas throughout the county with plans to install more.
“The biggest benefit of the technology is that it allows us to adjust operational strategies. If we advise our field team on Monday to make changes, we see the impact of those operational changes by Wednesday,” said Partlow.
Prior to the Ayyeka Wavelet monitors, Orange County Utilities had a recorder placed on a reclaimed main that someone had to physically go to and manually download the data every one to two weeks. Wireless monitoring has had a huge impact on the utility’s management of reclaimed water resources.
The monitors can be set up for user-specified transmission intervals, and data can be transmitted on demand. Orange County Utilities has set up some monitors to transmit data every eight hours while others transmit once a day. The cost and time savings of not having to perform weekly downloads and process the data far exceeds the utility’s cost to purchase the Ayyeka devices.