Posted on 28 April 2020

How do AVK products help to protect the environment?

As the climate changes, we adapt and find new ways to live and develop. These adaptations have an impact on our planet and ultimately trigger changes in the environment.

The UN estimates that by 2030, up to 700 million people will relocate due to water, either due to excess presence or lack thereof. This will significantly impact existing infrastructure, water systems will be overloaded and they will not allow more consumers, and if water resources are insufficient, the challenge is major.

The UN General Assembly has defined 17 goals of sustainable development, so sustainability and circular economy have become a central topic on the international agenda. To prevent dangerous climate change, the EU has pledged under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to achieve carbon neutrality by in the middle of the century. The action may seem easy to neglect, but the idea is to find and implement environmentally friendly solutions, facilities and systems that create jobs and can be transferable.

Given these important data, our partner AVK proposes a series of solutions that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases.

  • Control water loss and avoid unnecessary energy consumption.

Water losses lead to unnecessary energy consumption. Energy consumption depends directly on the amount of water to be pumped into the network. In other words, the smaller the loss, the less you will need and implicitly consume less energy. The International Energy Agency has calculated that a medium-sized municipality will spend 30-50% of energy to provide water supply services. In other words, the potential savings from optimizing water and wastewater networks are huge.

AVK can contribute to the realization of a modern water supply system, in which the network of distribution pipes is divided into smaller areas, the so-called DMAs, in which the valves play a crucial role. Each DMA must be insulated so that there is no water leakage from one area to another. Each DMA has one or a maximum of two inputs defined as an individually metered source. This allows you to track the amount of water entering each DMA. When we compare this quantity with the quantity consumed, we have an indication of the level of losses. If at the entrance to the DMA there was much more water than what is consumed in the end, this indicates water leaks and losses. If the difference is caused by water flowing through a valve to the neighboring DMA, this does not represent an actual water loss. Therefore, it is essential to be able to trust the available information, but also the elements of the distribution network, including the valves. If you want to be in control, you have to know what’s going on. And if the valves don’t close properly, we can’t know.

  • AVK equipment can help manage wastewater.

From households, wastewater reaches the nearest station by gravity, from where it is pumped to the treatment plant. The control valves, whose function is to prevent reverse flow, must be properly sealed, otherwise the wastewater will be pumped back.

At the level of wastewater treatment plants, AVK offers the use of shut-off valves that are reliable and easy to maintain. The treatment plant can be transformed into a power plant, using a methane tank, a gas tank and a gas plant to convert biogas into energy. And in this case robust and reliable valves and shutters are the essence of these installations.

In order to help reduce global CO2 emissions, it is important that different utilities work together. Given that traditional energy production should be transferred to renewable sources, such as solar and wind energy, it is imperative that we consider how we can provide energy when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow. The solution is to store excess energy, for example in the natural gas network. Excess energy can produce hydrogen in a pyrolysis plant that allows hydrogen to be stored in the natural gas network. Hydrogen can also be included in Carbon Capture plants that retain CO2 in the fuel gas and turn it into methane, which in turn can help produce energy. And all these processes need valves.

Climate changes directly affect a community’s water infrastructure, either due to lack or surplus water. Too much water causes floods that can destroy water supply networks and lead to spillage of sewers, so both rainwater and wastewater reach the streets and in nature. It is therefore essential to focus on managing rainfall responsibly and safely.