The Situation

The Clarence Valley Council in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales was formed in 2004 by the amalgamation of the general purpose Councils of Copmanhurst, Grafton, Maclean and Pristine Waters and activities of North Coast Water and Clarence River County Council.

The Clarence Valley region includes the coastal plain and lower valleys of the Clarence River and Nymboida River. The Clarence River, more than 380 kilometres in length, is the Valley's living link connecting the rural localities and rugged mountain ranges in the west to the City of Grafton, onward to the hinterland villages and the coastal centres.

Most of the valley is currently agricultural; however with a perfect climate, and a bounty of rural, hinterland, coastal and city lifestyle and business options on offer, the Clarence is fast becoming the relocation destination of choice.

But with this growth, comes demand and it was time for the Council to upgrade its potable water supply to the community of Ellandgrove Estate, a small subdivision outside Grafton. For many years the Council had been running a dual, fixed speed pump set but it needed to upgrade to a more substantial and reliable system.

The Solution

Local Grundfos Dealer, Yamba Pumps and Irrigation, was chosen by the Council to supply the upgraded pump set for the new subdivision.  Yamba Pumps and the Council invited Grundfos to perform a Pump Audit on the current system before choosing a solution.

A Pump Audit is a service provided by a Grundfos Technician, detailing exactly how much energy and money could be saved by optimising a pump system or multiple pumps systems.  The Audit involves installing a range of measuring equipment, from which data is collected to prepare a Pump Audit report. Each report details the current pumping system/s installation and operations costs and also recommends high performing energy efficient solutions for clients like Clarence Valley Council to achieve maximum energy and cost savings.

Grundfos also offers a quick and easy way to realise the hidden savings in your pumps with a Grundfos Energy Check. An Energy Check only involves a simple inspection of pump installations where potential savings could be made, along with some simple questions about the installation requirements, to produce a free report with suggestions for better performing, energy efficient solutions .

When the Pump Audit was completed for the Clarence Valley Council, the results determined that it was possible to achieve a power saving of up to a staggering $15,000 a year if the current system was upgraded to a new Grundfos Hydro MPC-E ‘PLUS’.

In keeping with the Clarence Valley Council’s emphasis on sustainable living, coupled with people comfort, the Grundfos Hydro MPC-E ‘PLUS’ with Grundfos Remote Management was chosen by the Council.

Not only were the council able to capitalise on the projected power savings with the new Grundfos solution, the variable speed feature  of the pumps ensured constant water pressure for residents, minimising pressure fluctuations.

In addition to providing increased comfort to residents, the variable speed feature also works to reduce the hydraulic effects on valves, pipework, and other water infrastructure, decreasing down time due to maintenance.

Grundfos Remote Management (GRM) - a secure, internet-based system for monitoring and managing pump installations - was also included in the solution for Clarence Valley Council. GRM provides a unique overview of the pump system and allows the council to track and document changes in pump performance and energy consumption using automatically generated reports and trend graphs. This can give an indication of wear or damage, meaning that service and maintenance can be planned accordingly. The GRM system is also capable of sending an instant SMS if sensor thresholds are crossed or a pump or controller reports an alarm.

The Outcome

When the system was installed, Grundfos and Yamba Pumps and Irrigation returned to the site to commission the pump set and train the operators.  During commissioning the system was set to ‘proportional pressure’ to further increase savings by lowering the set point when the demand is minimal, this also reduces water loss to leaks.

Noel Welldon of the Clarence Valley Council explains the benefits of the Grundfos system.

“While the old system that was at Ellandgrove Estate had been reliable in years gone past, a significant advantage of the ‘Turnkey’ variable speed drive pumps on a manifold system with integrated panel option provided by Grundfos was that it allows us to utilise one pump at a time or have all four working.”

“Along with the huge power savings gained from the variable speed drive system we are looking to replace a lot of the old pumps with this sort of system as it is virtually maintenance free” he says.

Yamba Pumps & Irrigation’s Robert Hodson says he is continuing to work closely with Clarence Valley Council on upgrading their mains water booster pump stations with Grundfos pumps.


Variable speed drive pumps


Clarence Valley


Clarence Valley Council

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