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ATi’s recent Smart Water Network seminar proved to be a huge success, bringing competitors, customers, legislators and academics together for the first time to discuss the future of collaboration in network monitoring.

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Around 100 different stakeholders from across the utility industry all came together for this first-of-its-kind, one-day conference to think outside the box and discuss the journey of where network monitoring currently is compared to where it needs to be.


In an industry first, ATi took the bold step of hosting and facilitating this event that actively encouraged like-minded people with a common interest in using water quality data as an invaluable tool on the journey towards SMART water networks.  Everyone came together to discuss how collaboration is the only way forward in providing customers with a total solution.


With the whole water industry now dedicated to working towards smart water networks, the seminar concentrated on the journey towards this, rather than the destination, meaning the presentations acted like a day-long case study.  Practicalities from installing the monitors, calibration, maintenance, data logging, remote digital data storage and data analytics were all discussed in detail.

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All of this effort is down to the belief that analytical monitoring in network distribution will become the single biggest growth area in water quality monitoring during the next AMP period for the whole supply chain.  The focus will no longer just be about good water quality sensors, but thanks to progress and development within the industry, it will also be about data logging, remote digital data storage and software analytics.


This means that ATi with its unique sensor competence, along with other sensor manufacturers, will start forming consortiums and partnerships that can deliver total solutions to the end customer.


ATi’s Dr Mike Strahand commented: “Not much is currently known about water quality in the network – we live in a largely reactive world.  This knowledge sharing event concentrated on putting more energy, momentum and clarity into the future of network monitoring, ensuring as an industry we are moving towards being proactive and not reactive; working with prognostics, not diagnostics.


“We know that all water companies do a little water quality monitoring, manual sampling and some have portable instrumentation – all of which is mainly reactive.  Some water companies do more monitoring, with monitors in placed in some of the networks and used for studies and to investigate issues, however this is still semi-reactive.

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“As we said on the day, it is vital that the whole industry approaches this new way of working with an open mind – we all need to leave our egos at the door.  Only by working together in collaboration will we truly be able to provide customers with what they really need – complete understanding of their networks.


“Throughout the journey we all went on during the seminar, we heard from some truly fantastic speakers, from senior manufacturers, installers, calibrators, maintainers, data analysts and water companies.  By the end everyone was clear what steps now need to be taken to reach our final destination of Smart water networks – everyone was enthused and eager to get started.”


The workshop looked at both current practice, the benefits of emerging technologies and the advatages of collaboration.  The below presentations from the event can be viewed in the Network Monitoring Dropbox file.

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  • Chairman’s Introduction – Garry Tabor, ATi
  • The journey towards SMART Water Networks; an overview – Dr Mike Strahand, ATi
  • Monitoring Network Turbidity: Savings & Operational Benefits – Dr Stewart Husband, PODDS
  • Hydrosave & Visenti: transient analysis to integrate an end to end solution – Simon Dray, Hydrosave
  • How does the information go from devices to somewhere useful?  – Paul Sanders, Caption Data
  • The startling facts about network monitoring – Rob Smith: Severn Trent Water
  • How can all the parts of the puzzle be brought together?  Steve Hanslow, Siemens
  • How can we extract knowledge from large amounts of water quality sensor data with machine learning?  Dr Steve Mounce, Sheffield University/HydroSmart
  • Can on line microbial monitoring improve water quality, improve compliance & reduce costs? – Joep Appels, MicroLAN
  • How can turbidity monitoring help to manage discolouration –  Dr Dominic Cook, Yorkshire Water
  • Managing & matching data quality to the particular problem at hand: Remote chlorine monitoring – Dr John Gaffney, ABB
  • Verification of on line monitors: Are the numbers right? – Martin Bird, DWI
  • An independent overview – Leo Carswell, WRC
  • Closing remarks and final questions – Garry Tabor, ATi

Dr Mike Strahand continued: “It was great to see such a mixture of customers, partners, contractors, suppliers and staff from across the UK, USA, Spain, Ireland and the Netherlands and hopefully this is just the first step toward a new way of thinking and working.

“Times are changing, the future definitely looks exciting and as always, ATi is committed to continually developing to ensure we provide industry solutions”.

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