Case Study: FLOMEC® QS200 Insertion Ultrasonic Flowmeter Helps Save the City of Fontana an Estimated Thousands of Dollars to Replace Turf and Shrubbery on Street Median Strips

With its low flow capability and extended leak detection down to 0.1fps, the QS200 uncovered a previously undetected irrigation system blockage that kept water from reaching the utility meter and shrubbery.

Wichita, Kan., Dec. 30, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Great Plains Industries, Inc. (GPI®) has released a new case study of its FLOMEC® QS200 Insertion Ultrasonic Flowmeter. The QS200 is designed to support commercial irrigation applications and measures flow rates three times lower than current flow sensors on the market—as low as 0.22GPM. It provides extended leak detection down to 0.1fps.

"Municipalities that rely on commercial irrigation are under increasing pressure to control their usage and costs," said Mark Bieberle, Meter Product Manager. "We engineered the QS200 to address that need. 

"Traditional paddle wheel sensors often used by utilities can't read the low flows required in many irrigation applications. This limits their ability to detect system leaks. Blockages can go undetected because 'no flow' warnings are attributed to flows below the ability of the sensor to actually sense."

The new case study bears this out. An irrigation system blockage went undetected until the installation of the QS200 flowmeter.

Drip Irrigation Case Study


The City of Fontana, California (pop. 200,000) has many landscaped traffic islands and median strips. The city has suffered severe droughts in recent times, and the conservation of water and the maintenance of valuable trees and shrubs in public spaces has been a major concern. The annual water usage budget for the city is $250,000.


Many of the city's green areas on traffic islands use drip irrigation to water the plants and shrubs. City officials were monitoring the water usage via paddle wheel flow sensors attached to a remote alarm system. The paddle wheel flow sensors were ineffective because they were continually giving false positives—showing "no flow" when the flow was below the threshold of the sensor to actually sense.


Paddle wheel sensors have an impeller that requires enough flow velocity to overcome the friction of the wheel on the shaft to sense any flow. In low flow situations, like drip irrigation, paddle wheel sensors often cannot register low flow readings. 


The ultrasonic QS200 flowmeter has no moving parts and requires much lower flow rates to register a reading. It "retrofits" into most leading irrigation systems. 

The City installed the FLOMEC QS200 in a single installation with bubbler head for drip irrigation with flow below 3 GPM, retrofitting it in the existing housing. The low flow alarms were reset for the QS200 ultrasonic flow meters. 

A low flow alarm from the QS200 occurred and was thought to be another false alarm, which had occurred previously with the paddle wheel sensors. When the alarm was investigated, however, it was found that there was a blockage in the nozzle and no water was reaching the meter or plants. 


The ability of the meter to detect low flows, typical of bubbler head nozzles and drip line water velocities, saved the city the cost of replacing the greenery for the entire median strip—an expensive and difficult job when complicated with traffic flow. Savings were estimated by the City of Fontana Engineer in the thousands of dollars.

About FLOMEC Brand Meters From Great Plains Industries (GPI)

GPI's FLOMEC flowmeters provide flow control solutions for commercial and lite industrial applications including turf, landscape, water reclamation, HVAC, and petrochemical flow monitoring. FLOMEC flowmeters measure a wide variety of liquids from water to lubricants in commercial process operations.

For more information on the QS200 ultrasonic flowmeter visit

About Great Plains Industries, Inc.

Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, Great Plains Industries (GPI) is a global leader in the manufacture and distribution of fuel transfer pumps, fuel meters, flow meters, and related instrumentation. The Company is home to the GPI®, FLOMEC® and GPRO® brands. GPI is known for high quality USA-made products, excellent customer service and on-time product delivery. 

For more information, visit


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