Since establishing the partnership with GOAL-Watershare in 2021, DCU Water Institute members have been involved in a number of projects based both in Uganda and Sierra Leone.
One of the projects carried out by Dr Yan Delaure and undergraduate student Mark Murray looked at the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of rural water facilities. The feasibility study was supported by DCU’s Educational Trust through a donation – and enabled the investigation of a water meter and flow control valve used in Uganda that has been linked to the presence of suspended particles in the feed water. Mark carried out a desk study to evaluate the potential of a range of methods. It was clear from the work that the accumulation of submillimetre particles resulted in the failure of the flow control valve from visual observations and particle size analysis. A number of potential recommendations arose:
To filter these submillimetre particles:
- A commercial solution involving a hydro‐cyclone with an outlet pod for closed-loop operation is feasible but not practical due to costs and concerns with the pulsatile nature of the feed flow.
- The insertion of a second Y‐Type strainer inline after the current strainer would remove the smaller particles responsible for valve failure but would require regular maintenance. This new strainer would need to have a mesh opening size of approximately 50μm. Estimates indicate that the increased pressure loss would be minimal when clean but clogging could have a significant effect. Associated maintenance costs cannot be confirmed without site-specific testing.
- The likely increase in direct cost/work for maintenance from the 2 strainer solution motivated further research into an alternative approach. A small scale lamella plate clarifier was shown from an exploratory CFD study to achieve good performance for separation of particles down to 100 𝜇𝑚. The key advantage would be a reduction in cleaning requirements.
A more in depth analysis is continuing through a Masters in Engineering project that is ongoing.
For further information, contact Yan.email@example.com