Industry firsts are taking place at South East Water (SEW), in collaboration with ATi and other technology providers, as part of a digital water meter trial, revolutionising the way the water industry detects and prevents leaks.
This pioneering project has the potential to alert SEW to the smallest leaks in both the water company’s and customers’ pipes soon after they occur and could also predict and prevent pipeline failure before it even happens.
In total, this trial has brought together nine specialist companies in their respective fields to test the latest cutting-edge digital water meters, sensors and advanced analytics. This is the first time that data from all these differing technologies has been successfully combined into one ‘data lake’ for analysis.
By overlaying water quality data on to that of pressure, flow, transient and acoustics, we can see that when leaks occur there are significant changes in
parameters, such as chlorine and turbidity. The bigger the effect on water quality, the more significant the leak.
As part of this industry-first project, ATi are providing electro-chemical and optical water quality monitors. The installation and implementation phase has been a huge success and early results from the initial analysis include detection of leaks that were only previously identifiable by analysis of multiparameter data sets.
SEW’s Narrowband Internet of Things technology, in partnership with Vodafone, has the power to transform the utilities sector. It enables a more accurate and efficient method of identifying and preventing leaks, helping companies like South East Water meet important regulatory and environmental standards. It is a perfect example of how technology can be used to create a more sustainable future and manage what is an increasingly precious commodity
ATi’s Director of Strategy, Sales and Business Development, Garry Tabor, said: “This project is a significant step forward for the world of intelligent networks and it is the first time all of the layers needed for a smart water network have been brought together. It is a fantastic example of the multi-stakeholder collaboration that is necessary to make smart networks happen. The need for innovation is ever present and collaboration is no longer just an option – it is an obligation”
South East Water’s Operations Director, Dr Simon Earl, said: “If successful, it has the potential to alert us to the smallest leaks on both ours and our customers’ pipes soon after they occur; and could even enable us to predict and prevent pipeline failure before it happens.
“The data received at regular intervals from the digital meters and sensors within our trial area could revolutionise the way we look for and prevent leaks in the future, further reducing interruptions to supply, reducing the water we take from the environment and increasing the resilience of the service we provide to our customers.
“It represents a step change in the efficiency of providing this digital information as it doesn’t require the often-prohibitive costs of installing new apparatus, such as radio masts to transmit local data back to a central point.”
Syrinix CEO, James Dunning, said: “We are delighted to be working with South East Water and its partners on what is such a landmark project. As utilities grapple with increasing regulatory pressures, our collaboration with ATI and Visenti on this project for South East Water is truly showing smart networks in practice with its provision of actionable data.”
Athena Ainsworth of Vodafone Business, said: “We are really excited to be working on this innovative and impactful project. NBIoT technology has the power to transform the whole utilities sector. This solution provides a more accurate and efficient method of identifying and preventing leaks, helping companies like South East Water meet important regulatory and environmental standards. It is a perfect example of how technology can be used to create a more sustainable future and help manage what is an increasingly precious commodity.”
Trial partners include: ATI, providing water quality sensors; Sensus – a Xylem brand, providing fixed network digital water meters; Visenti – a Xylem brand, providing software analytics; Arqiva, providing fixed network connectivity; Vodafone, providing NBIoT network connectivity; Diehl and Honeywell, both providing NBIoT digital water meters; Syrinix, providing bursts and pressure transient loggers; Gutermann, providing noise correlating loggers; and Z-Tech supporting the deployment in the field.