Impact of float-valves on water meter performance under intermittent and continuous supply conditions

Taha Al-Washali, Meidy Mahardani, Saroj Sharma, Francisco Arregui, Maria Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Intermittent supply is common worldwide. It triggers households with piped connection to adjust the supply scheme by the use of a water tank with a float valve (FV) at the entrance, which has a major influence on the water meter accuracy. This study investigated the impact of the water tank with a FV on the performance of water meters under intermittent and continuous supply conditions, using laboratory experiments, field measurements, and hydraulic modeling. Results revealed that the inflow rates into the water tank are consistently lower than the outflow rates of the tank. This will always be the case owing to the balancing mechanism of the tank. The flows that pass through the water meter represent the inflows into the tank. Therefore, higher metering errors and more apparent losses are expected for a combination of a water tank, FV, and continuous supply. Besides, different FV types have different hydraulic characteristics. Larger FVs with higher discharge rates tend to maintain the water level close to the full level in the tank and conferred longer periods of low flows, worse meter performance, and more apparent losses. For intermittent supply, results confirmed that higher intermittency levels lead to improved performance of water meters and reduce the apparent losses. This points to the complication in transformation from intermittent to continuous supply worldwide. In this case, water utilities should expect higher meter errors and more revenue losses unless the meter replacement policy recognises lower flows passing through the meter.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105091
Number of pages11
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Apparent losses
  • Float valve
  • Intermittent water supply
  • Water losses
  • Water meter accuracy
  • Water tank


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