Metrological performance of single-jet water meters over time

Abstract To maintain quality measurement of water consumption, it is necessary to know the metrology of single-jet water meters over time. Knowing the accuracy of these instruments over time allows establishing a metrological operation period for different flow rates. This will aid water companies to optimize management and reduce economic losses due to unaccounted water consumption. This study analyzed the influence of time on the measurement error of single-jet water meters to evaluate the deterioration of the equipment and, with that, launch the metrological operation period. According to standards 8316 and 4064 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), 808 meters of metrological Class B were evaluated in six water supplies, with age ranges of 3.7 to 16.4 years of use. The measurement error was estimated by comparing the volume measured in a calibrated tank with the volume registered by the meters at flow rates of 30, 120, 750 and 1,500 L h-1. The metrological operation period of the meters was obtained for each flow rate by the relation between error of measurement and time of use (simple linear regression). According to the results, the majority of the equipment presents increasing under-registration errors over time, more pronounced at low flow rates and with less favorable operating conditions. The metrological operation period for flow rates of 30, 120, 750 and 1,500 L h-1 is estimated at approximately 3, 8, 14 and 13 years. This operation period combined with consumption patterns of users will establish the best time to replace the meters.