We often write about faulty water pumps. The sensors and controls market is largely linked to the water pump market, as the add-ons can make these pumps more reliable, increasingly user-friendly, and simpler to maintain. However, in most of those cases, the stories are of administrators approving a budget to replace an aging water pump system, or about a short-lived boil order related to an unexpected pump error. More recently, a water pump problem caused a much more pressing issue.
Many residents and office buildings were left with absolutely no running water as a result of pump malfunction. To make matters worse, the problem was not easily diagnosed, and all those served by the pump house were told that they would be without water for an undetermined period of time. The facility managers could not provide an accurate timeline for repair of the pump due to the need for special order parts.
According to the reports, the problem was first noticed when water pressure dipped to little more than a trickle. Within twenty-four hours, faucets had dried up completely. Two days later, there was still no information regarding how long the residents would be without water. Even after the pump is fixed and water pressure is restored to homes and offices, a boil notice will be enacted because bacteria and other contaminates have likely formed in the pipes.
This timeline likely would have been drastically improved if the pump had been outfitted with certain sensors and controls. A pressure sensor can detect even the smallest changes in water pressure. This sensor can also communicate with controls, so that the system can be automatically shut down before full failure occurs, or can send an alert to the maintenance team, so the issue can be addressed immediately. The pump may have been preserved with the help of such sensors and controls, or, at very least, the residents served by the pump may not have been without water for quite so long.