A tech startup in the U.K. is promoting a meter that uses microwaves to measure the level of wastewater flow.
"The new meter is designed to sit on the outside of a sewer pipe and shoots microwaves through the pipe to calculate water flow. It is able to work alongside existing clean water meters," the Leicester Mercury reported.
The device, created by Dynamic Flow Technologies, would promote pricing structures that bill commercial customers for the amount of wastewater used instead of standard charges.
Utility operators have issued positive feedback about the invention.
"This is an exciting innovative project which could possibly revolutionize the sewage industry," said Matt Wheeldon, head of waste water strategy at Wessex Water, in the report.
"Accurate measurement of waste water will be an important factor for utilities and their customers in the future and this innovative technology will help achieve that aim," said Gary Vincent, managing director for Elster Water Metering, in the report.
Dynamic Flow is also working on meters that test the content of wastewater.
"Ideally, next year, we will be starting to work with the quality meter function that can monitor what is in the water, such as phosphates and ammonia, and how much is being wasted," said Phil Wood, the company's executive director, in the news report. "There are a finite amount of phosphates in the world, so we are trying to help the massive E.U. directive to keep phosphates [out of the water] all over the world."
Dynamic Flow has received government funding and has collaborated with researchers at Loughborough University, according to a slideshow from the company. It dubbed its patented invention a "no moving parts wastewater meter based on microwave technology."
The use of conventional water meters is on the rise in the U.K.
According to Ofwat, the water regulator for England and Wales, "at the moment, about 40 percent of customers in England and Wales have a water meter. But this number is slowly increasing."
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Image credit: "Water Meter," Michael Pereckas © 2005, used under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/