Micronics portable flowmeter used to measure effluent on Norfolk farms
A Micronics Portaflow 330 installed at a food processing site over two decades ago has more than exceeded its lifecycle expectancy but the parts were now obsolete so the site engineer opted for a replacement from the same supplier. The Micronics ultrasonic, clamp-on flowmeter is used to measure the flow of effluent on Norfolk farms. The water on the farms is drawn from bore holes and belongs to Cranswick Country Foods, one of the largest fresh and added value food producers in Britain. Detritus has to be screened out and the water is then pumped across to the lagoons on the farms in order to aerate it before being used for irrigation. It was vital to measure the flow of this effluent in order to provide data to supply to the Environment Agency. Cranswick’s existing meter had been serviced regularly but by 2016 was no longer preforming accurately.
Explains Phil Childs, engineer at Cranswick Country Foods: “We process pigs at our site here in Watton and this particular plant incorporates a large effluent pit that collects waste from various points located around the factory. Once it is collected, the effluent is then pumped over a filter screen to remove any large particles; the filter screen only lets particles of about 1mm through. The filtered effluent then goes into a holding tank from where it is pumped to lagoons about 4 kilometres away. As the effluent leaves the pumps there is a section of 100mm pipe approximately 2.4m in length. It is on this straight line of pipe that the clamp-on flowmeter has been located for the last 25 years. After this point the pipe leaves the pump house and goes into the ground and the effluent is sent away for further treatment”.
Phil Childs felt that the non-intrusive Portaflow 330 which can be strapped onto the outside of pipes without the need to cut into the pipe, would still be ideal for Cranswick’s needs. The device is very simple to use – there is no overhead for additional fittings, plant modification, or retro-fit expenditure. Also there is no contact with fluid so there is no risk of contamination, which is crucial for a food production unit. He would certainly use Micronics flowmeters again.
Cranswick was established in the 1980s and is now one of the country’s biggest pig producers and a leader in best practice in the poultry industry. It has annual revenues of around £1.2 billion.