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BCC engages contractor to install 10 smart pressure reducing valves

The project will cost US$39 634,97, latest council minutes show.

BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) will engage Tydan Control Valves (Pty) Ltd to install 10 smart pressure reducing valves (PRVs) in the city’s water systems as it seeks to control the flow of water to residents and reduce losses.

The project will cost US$39 634,97, latest council minutes show.

Pressure reducing valves regulate the high incoming water pressure for the city mains to provide a lower, more functional pressure for distribution to the home.

Tydan, a manufacturer of the smart PRVs, did the partial installation of the valves already in the system.

Latest council minutes revealed that on August 23, 2023, BCC entered a contract with Unik Construction Engineering (Pty) Ltd for mains upgrading, mains renewal, and bulk and domestic meter replacement  at a cost of US$6 276 724,11.

“The initial completion date for the works was September 17, 2020. However, the contract was extended several times firstly to December 31, 2020 and finally June 30, 2021,” read part of the minutes seen by NewsDay Business.

“The extensions of time were necessitated by major challenges which were faced by the contractor such as COVID-19 and additional works which resulted in the change in original contract value by US$1 175 525,37.”

Resultantly, during project implementation, one of the additional works included upgrading of PRVs to smart PRVs.

The contractor, Unik Construction Engineering (Pty) Ltd, then sub-contracted Tydan Control Valves (Pty) Ltd to supply, deliver, install and commission 26 smart PRVs.

Prior to the sub-contract agreement, the sub-contractor conducted a city-wide assessment on the PRVs to ascertain the required scope and compatibility of existing infrastructure to the proposed smart system.

“The Smart PRVs additional works were approved by the bank under Variation Order six (6) amounting to US$107 541,34 for citywide smart PRVs,” read part of the BCC minutes.

“All the 26 PRVs under the sub- contract were supplied and delivered with installation only being done for 10 smart PRVs. The contractor thereafter was paid US$69 901,87 being 65% of the value of the materials on site and work done under variation order 6.”

The council revealed that the dual stage pressure functionality of the system allowed the PRV to supply a fixed outlet pressure during times of high demand.

This was typically from early morning to early evening after which the fixed outlet pressure would be reduced to a lower pressure as demand reduced, typically from early evening to early morning,

“In addition to the benefits of saving on the active leakage rate in the system, studies had found that the burst frequency rate in a system can reduce by as much as 40% when pressure management is applied,” the minutes read.

“This was observed in the reduced frequency of bursts and reduced night flows in areas such as Gwabalanda and Cowdray Park.”

The installation of smart PRVs by BCC comes as the council is seeking to improve water delivery to Bulawayo residents which has been declining owing to a lack of funding.

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