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Martin Control Services Makes the Switch to the FL900 Series Flow Logger

For 24 years, Martin Control Services located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, has provided water, storm water, and wastewater system flow meter installation, operation, calibration, and preventive maintenance for their customers in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Additional service offerings include engineering support, comprehensive purchasing recommendations and site evaluations. The company uses equipment from select manufacturers to ensure that they are providing their customers with the ideal instrumentation for their given application.

Having served hundreds of clients through the years, Martin Control Services bases their success as a ‘preferred provider’ on their integrity, competence, people safety record and the use of equipment that uses innovative technologies. Collected data from Martin Control projects allows their customers to base decisions on accurate data for their regulatory compliance, system modeling, custody transfer billing applications, and more. Clients include municipal governments, public utilities, industrial facilities, civil engineering firms and real estate developers. Customers have the ability to receive their instrumentation data and analysis information directly from a link on the firm’s website--a value-added and time saving benefit that their customers enjoy.

Hach FL900 Flow Logger with FLO-DAR Sensor installation in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Meter installation by Martin Control Services

Their vast experience in flow monitoring has taught them that flexibility is a must when it comes to handling the many flow challenges they face. As a result, their chosen fleet of innovative flow meters allows them to provide the best fit for any of their customer application requirements. For 24 years they have performed flow monitoring tasks with Sigma 910, 920, 940 and 950 flow meters, Sigma samplers and Marsh-McBirney FLO-DARS and FLO-TOTES. And for the last few years they have begun making the transition to Hach FL900 Series Flow Loggers which gives them the flexibility to use their wide-array of existing Sigma, Marsh-McBirney and Hach sensors.

According to Vince Astorino, Project Engineer with Martin Control Services, “There’s a lot of history with us and Sigma and Marsh flow meters. We’ve been using Sigma AV sensors since they came out.” Now, with Hach’s full suite of sensors and the Hach FL900 Series Flow Loggers’ plug-and-play sensor port platform, they have the flexibility they need for inventory efficiency.

In addition, Hach FL900 Series Flow Loggers were designed with advanced diagnostics that provide on-site verification of flow meter performance, providing significant time savings, as well as advanced signal processing with filtering options that reduce noise in difficult applications. Dynamic logging intervals automatically enable the delivery of greater resolution flow data during high flow periods and battery/data volume conservation during low flow seasons. One logger can accommodate up to four plug-and-play sensors with a choice of sensors/technologies including:

  • FLO-DAR Radar Velocity/Area sensor
  • Sigma Area/Velocity sensor with AV9000
  • FLO-TOTE 3 Electromagnetic sensor
  • US9001 Down-Looking Ultrasonic sensor
  • US9003 In-Pipe Ultrasonic sensor

Astorino states, “The new FL900 loggers are far superior. I just think they’re great. The durability of the logger is going to be much stronger and last much longer. Compared to the 910 that can only serve one purpose and do one thing, with the FL900’s we can hook up a Flo-Dar and/or the AV9000 with the Sub AV sensor. The technology incorporated into the FL900’s is just no comparison to the old meters. The technology just wasn’t available back then.”

Flo-Dar sensor installation in large 15' diameter pipe in
Detroit, Michigan. Installation by Martin Control Services

The programming set-up and calibration guides make set-up much easier than it’s ever been according to Astorino. He adds, “It’s much more advanced and very user-friendly. We have new guys who don’t have a lot of experience and we can sit them down and they can go through it with no problem, that’s a real good thing.” The ability to have the option of using the FLO-DAR sensor in difficult sites has proven to be a huge advantage for their flow monitoring projects due to its non-contact design and ‘above the flow’ installation that eliminates lost data. He adds, “To be able to change out or use multiple sensors is great. Just to be able to swap parts out and change a component (sensor) and then just hook up a new one and you’re good to go. Back with the old black style AV sensors, the analog sensors, you had to pull them out and bucket test it and get your level calibration correct, now everything is digital.”

The FL900’s plug-and-play sensor feature will also allow the company to keep their inventory cost down. As an example, if they go to a site and need both an AV sensor and a FLO-DAR sensor they only use one logger versus two since it can support up to four sensors. “It’s a nice feature” Astorino adds.

Regarding wireless versus non-wireless models of the FL900 logger, Astorino notes that the choice to use one over the other is dependent upon the customers’ specific application. He adds, “With our customer mix, we see some customers that want wireless and some that don’t. We think that wireless is an excellent feature that works incredibly well and FSDATA is very beneficial.” With FSDATA, a website that allows for the management of Hach wireless flow meter networks, users have 24/7 secure access to their real-time flow data. For their non-wireless FL900 flow monitoring applications, data is downloaded into Flo-Ware and exported into Excel for their analysis and reporting.

Hach has worked with Martin Control on many flow projects over the years by supplying flow meters through purchase or utilizing their services as a certified installer for Hach’s Data Delivery Services (DDS). To date, they have installed hundreds of Hach flow monitoring systems in Michigan including projects in Grand Rapids and Grand Blanc.

Another long-term project they have is with Western Township Utility Authority (WTUA) located in Canton, Michigan. For over 17 years Martin Control has provided WTUA’s flow monitoring services including installs, maintenance, calibrations and the operation of their data acquisition system and other communication equipment.

Martin Control Services personnel performing flow monitoring services for Western Township Utility Authority (WTUA) located in Canton, Michigan

In earlier years FLO-TOTE, Sigma 950’s and 910’s were used at the site. Today, there’s a mix of 39 Hach flow meters installed at WTUA that include Sigma AV and FLO-DAR sensors that are installed for a billing custody transfer application. Over the last few years the meters have been converted to the FL900 Series Flow Logger with either an AV or FLO-DAR sensor, dependent upon which sensor will work best for the site.

To find out more about the
Hach FL900 Series Flow Logger as a flexible solution for any flow monitoring challenge, please follow this link:
Hach FL900 Series Flow Loggers
For more information on the services offered by Martin Control Services please visit their website

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