Selwood Use Powelectrics IIOT Technology to help the Canal & River Trust Keep Britains’ Waterways Safe & Scenic!

Posted on 15 Feb 2021

Selwood Limited are world leaders in pump manufacturing, the leading pump rental solutions company in the UK and a renowned supplier of plant and construction equipment for hire and sale. For over 70 years’ they have been “Proud to Deliver’ and now do so via a network of branches across England and Wales and a 500 strong team. More here.

The Canal and River Trust look after 2,000 miles of waterways. After the industrial age, many canals fell into disrepair, but have now been given a new lease of life as leisure areas for narrow-boating, kayaking, walking, running, cycling, birdwatching and fishing. Crossing open land and cities alike, they have been particularly valuable during the recent pandemic. The Trust is charity. Their fantastic work ensures that 2980 bridges, 1580 locks and 335 aqueducts are available to the public. To learn more or donate, click here.

The Trust operates around 240 facilities, offering services to canal users. Facilities include cess pits and chambers, into which boats can pump waste. Historically, tanks were emptied on a schedule based on historical usage. This could mean that tanks were emptied too soon, increasing the number of collections and therefore expense. Conversely, emptying at the last moment could incur emergency collection costs and emptying too late would mean the odorous, hazardous waste over-spilling into leisure areas.

Selwoods were familiar with Powelectrics ‘connected sensor’ solutions from previous projects, such as monitoring fuel levels on diesel pumps. They installed Metron telemetry on the septic tanks to monitor waste levels using Powelectrics’ SPS hydrostatic pressure sensors inserted into tanks.

Regular data and 75% and 95% high level alarms are sent to nominated personnel at both Selwood and the Trust, via Powelectrics’ MetronView cloud.

There is also a low level alert at 10% so users can verify that collections have occurred as planned and an alert if readings have been missed, indicating a possible fault, that should be investigated.

This m2m solution means logistics can be planned based on actual levels. Costly emergency collections are no longer necessary, cutting expense and offering enhanced service to Trust. Historical level data is also available for trend analysis.

For this project, battery-powered Metron telemetry devices were used, as external power is not generally available. Batteries typically last 4 years reporting once /day. For this project some units report twice daily. Externally-powered and solar-powered Metron units are also available.

Carl Whitfield, Electrical Asset & Support Manager explained “We’ve been installing Powelectrics kit for a few years. Its reliable, robust and great value.

Some of the installation sites have been arduous, with tanks under car parks, access roads and tow paths.

We’ve even had to install the Metron devices inside tanks, under manholes, with a variety of external antennas to suit the circumstances.

Powelectrics deliver exceptional technical support, particularly as the tanks are older, underground structures with no record of the dimensions. We have to guestimate capacity initially, but Metron devices can be reconfigured remotely via MetronView, so Powelectrics help us tweak the scaling if necessary.”

Dominic McCann, Senior Building Surveyor at the CRT added “Having the Metron telemetry system installed in all our cesspits within the Trust’s operational portfolio has proven a great benefit to the monitoring and management of our wet waste systems across England and Wales. 

The alert system and cloud based monitoring system has meant we can monitor waste levels on a daily basis remotely, helping to significantly reduce the risk of any environmental overtopping incidents. 

It has also helped us to analyse trends of use, allowing us to change emptying schedules and deliver cost savings and efficiencies to the Trust. 

The ease of use of the system is a particular highlight for me!”

Powelectrics Metron4 supports 2G & 4G for global deployment. It offers 4 analogue inputs, expansion cards for pulse counting & RS232 and options to develop RS485 & CANBUS interfaces. With solar, battery & external power options, IP67 enclosure & operational temperatures - 25 to +65°C, its able to deliver sensor data & alerts into many global applications!

MetronView offers customisable reports and a common API, so data may be drawn into other platforms for application-specific processing. These can be developed by Powelectrics or by our customers.

SPS hydrostatic pressure sensors are widely used for tank level. Powelectrics supply versions that combine temperature and level sensors, others with PTFE cable and 316 stainless steel. ATEX versions & versions for hygienic and aggressive environments are available.

Powelectrics ’connected sensor’ solutions are employed in many industries including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, Adblue, fuels, oils, LPG, lubricants, food and beverage, waste & recycling, landfill & leachate, agriculture, utilities, pumping and environment, rail and security.

For further information or to discuss your application, please call us on +44 (0)1827 310 666, use this contact form or send us an email - 

We’d love to hear from you!