ABB provides water solution for the greatest show on Earth

2011-08-25 - An ABB water measurement solution is monitoring water levels, flow and usage at the world’s largest temporary performance site and most iconic rock festival. This year the five-day event attracted 177,000 people a day and headline acts such as U2, Coldplay and Beyoncé. Daily water consumption was more than two million liters.

By ABB Communications

The Glastonbury Festival in southwest England is one of the world’s biggest and most popular open-air festivals for music and the performing arts. Held every year since 1970, the five-day festival takes place on a huge 10 sq km site and has a sellout attendance of 177,000 people a day.

Billed by its organizers as ‘the largest temporary performance site on Earth,’ this vast and sprawling tent and live entertainment complex requires extensive infrastructure to ensure that its city-size population is adequately provided with food, water, electric power, toilets and waste management facilities.

More than 11 million liters of water are consumed over the five-day period for drinking, washing and showers. The water is supplied from two purpose-built underground reservoirs via a pipeline distribution network and some 700 hand basins and 100 standpipes.

The entire storage and distribution network is monitored by a sophisticated ABB water measurement solution comprising SM500F videographic recorders and WaterMaster electromagnetic flowmeter systems.

The solution enables the festival organizers to accurately monitor reservoir levels, flow rates and water consumption throughout the whole site - for the first time in the festival’s 41-year history.

It measures the flow rate of water pumped into the reservoirs and pipe system, correlates water supplied with utility billing, and provides a ‘footprint’ of consumption rates for any time period during the festival. Reservoir levels are monitored to provide an early warning of supply requirements and ensure dosing routes are in compliance and validate pump rates.

“The information collected by the solution is used for bill evaluation, giving us an accurate and easy to understand record of our usage,” says Phil Miller, the festival’s infrastructure manager. “This ensures that we don’t pay for any more water than we actually use.”

A second ABB multipoint videographic recorder solution (the award-winning SM3000) is recording energy parameters at the festival’s photovoltaic power plant. The 1,116 solar panels generate 200 kWh of clean power and contribute to the site’s energy requirements. The panels are located on the site’s cowshed, otherwise known as the ‘Mootel’.


ABB’s WaterMaster family of electromagnetic flowmeters
for flow measurement and management


The field-mountable SM3000 multipoint monitors and stores up to 2.8 million samples of data

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    Michael Eavis and SM500F
    Michael Eavis, organiser of the Glastonbury Festival
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