Water Industry Process Automation & Control
WIPAC Website Launches
Call for Speakers & Hosts WIPAC Workshops
Sensileau sensor platform is launched
Work beings on Glasgow's "Smart"
WWEM Instrumentation Competition
UU rolls out AI across the entire water network
Smart investment will deliver resilient infrastructure
NWG progresses smart device to help detect water leaks
MP'a call for compulsary metering
Aqualogic to distribute Trimble Unity smart water platform
Drones & Devices measure lake water quality
Severn Trent set to expand trial with award-winning leak finding robot
Can smart systems really make the industry more efficient?
Call for Speakers, Hosts & Sponsors
The Water Industry Process Automation & Control Group has set its programme of workshops for 2019 and it will follow the structure of the SWAN Forum Layers for a Smart Water Industry which in turn follows a Purdue model for the Water Industry.
As WIPAC, as a company is relatively new it will need the support of the industry to get up and running and so speakers for the six workshops, potential hosts or sponsors for each of the workshops are needed.
The six workshops will be:
Workshop 1 - Smart Infrastructure & Asset Management
The first workshop will cover the physical assets of the water industry and how we can work with technology to improve the way that the assets in the ground are designed, constructed and operated from using BIM4Water, Computation Fluid Dynamics, to Process Operational Models, and the potential for 3D Scanning in construction.
Workshop 2 - Instrumentation & Control
Instrumentation is the fundamental basis of how we in the water industry can "see" what is going on at the plant and system level and local instrumentation and control systems can bring about large operational savings. In this workshop we will see what the instrumentation and control level brings to the way we operate in the Water Industry.
Workshop 3 - Collection & Communication
Once you measure something then the data has to be transmitted and communicated be it locally to a site SCADA systems or remotely to the centralised control. In this workshop we will examine the communication methods from Analogue to HART to LWAN systems and look at the benefits that each of the technologies bring to the table
Workshop 4 - Data Management & Display
When it comes to data there are many stakeholders involved from the operator in the field to the CEO in the office with differing data and informational needs. In this workshop we will investigate the differing types of data and how they can be displayed for the different stakeholders to glean the information that is required.
Workshop 5 - Data Fusion & Analysis
Water Companies receive millions of pieces of data everyday and some of the power in the Smart Water Industry lies in making sense of this data and giving operational and business insight to allow informed decisions to be made to maximise both efficiency and service to get the best value for the customer. In this workshop we will examine what is available to allow the water industry to make the most of its data.
Workshop 6 - Water 4.0 and the Smart Water Industry
In the last workshop in the 2019 workshop season we will bring all of the learning points from the previous five workshops and ask the question as to what does "Water 4.0 and the Smart Water Industry" look like, what value it brings to the water industry and how it should be brought into Business as Usual.
Facilities that can host more than 60 people and more than 6 tabletops are needed to maximise attendance at the workshops
Those people who are interested in speaking, hosting or sponsoring one of the WIPAC Workshop should get in touch with the Executive Director at WIPAC, Oliver Grievson at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07930-546-027.
WIPAC Website Launches
The Water Industry Process Automation & Control Group has launched a new website as a start of a new Water Industry Process Automation & Control organisation which will aim to serve the Global Water Industry in terms of its instrumentation, process automation & control needs and drive the development of the Smart Water Industry.
The new website aims to be the centre of the WIPAC group insofar as it will contain some key sections including
Industry News - All of the news from the global water industry in terms of instrumentation, process automation & control, Big Data and the Smart Water Industry
WIPAC Directory - Often the Water Industry struggles to know what is sold by who. The WIPAC Directory will highlight what technologies are sold by members of the WIPAC Group
Knowledge Centre - The knowledge centre will include recordings of the WIPAC Workshops and Webinars as well as links to the Sensileau platform which partners with WIPAC. The Sensileau Platform gives technical information on instrumentation types
WIPAC Monthly - There is an archive of each edition (from 2017 onwards) of WIPAC Monthly that can be accessed from the WIPAC Website.
WIPAC & Industry Events - The WIPAC website contains all the details of the WIPAC Workshops and Webinars including how to book them. Key relevant industry events are also listed in the WIPAC Website.
What WIPAC Does - The section on What WIPAC does details the activities of the group including the Instrumentation Apprentice Competition, the Learning Zone and the Flow Forum which are taking place at WWEM in 2018.
For those companies that want to get involved in WIPAC please get in touch with Oliver Grievson, the Executive Director to find out more about what WIPAC does and the packages that are available to the types of company. Alternatively, see the About WIPAC section of this website which details what is available to what type of company.
Work begins on Glasgow's groundbreaking 'smart canal'
Construction of Europe's first ever 'smart canal' scheme, which will use the 250-year-old Forth & Clyde Canal and 21st century technology to mitigate flood risk as well as enable significant regeneration, is now underway in Glasgow.
The pioneering new digital surface water drainage system will unlock 110 hectares across the north of the city for investment, regeneration and development, paving the way for more than 3,000 new homes.
The £17 million project, being delivered via a partnership of Glasgow City Council, Scottish Canals and Scottish Water under the umbrella of the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Scheme, will use sensor and predictive weather technology to provide early warning of wet weather before moving excess rainfall from residential and business areas into stretches of the canal where water levels have been lowered by as much as 10cm. This will create 55,000 cubic metres of extra capacity for floodwater – equivalent to 22 Olympic swimming pools.
Officially named the North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System, the project to create a ‘sponge city’ – a term used to describe how cities respond to surface water flooding – will see North Glasgow passively absorb, clean and use rainfall intelligently. Advanced warning of heavy rainfall will automatically trigger a lowering of the canal water level to create capacity for surface water run-off.
Before periods of heavy rain, canal water will be moved safely through a network of newly created urban spaces – from sustainable urban drainage ponds to granite channels – that absorb and manage water in a controlled way, creating space for surface water run-off.
The scheme will unlock 110 hectares across the north of the city for investment, regeneration and development, will see the Forth & Clyde Canal connected to five new sites over the next 10-15 years, including Sighthill, Hamiltonhill, Ruchill Hospital, Cowlairs and Dundashill. The capital funding for the scheme comes from the Glasgow City Region City Deal, the Green Infrastructure Fund, and Scotland’s 8th City – the Smart City.
The project was launched today (31 October) by Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken, Scottish Canals’ CEO Catherine Topley and Simon Parsons from Scottish Water with the signing of a 60-year service agreement.
Aitken, who is also chair of the Glasgow City Region City Deal cabinet, said: “This is a fantastic day for Glasgow’s Canal, as we mark the introduction of cutting-edge technology that will both allow surface water in this part of the city to be managed, and allow the building of new homes and businesses on land that historically have been unfit for development.
“It is very exciting to see such smart technology in operation in Glasgow – one of very few examples in the world – and we can look forward to it playing a key role in the continued regeneration of Glasgow’s Canal and the north of the city.”
Catherine Topley, CEO at Scottish Canals, said: “By unlocking the inherent value of Glasgow’s Canal and diversifying how we use this publicly owned heritage asset, we are ensuring it continues to deliver for local people 250 years after it was first built.
”Creating a dynamic urban canal which uses smart technology to move water safely about the city will not only reduce the flood risk impact of climate change, but act as a catalyst for new investment, jobs, homes and businesses in North Glasgow as well as help to create one of the city’s top tourist destinations.”
Effective collaboration between Glasgow City Council, Scottish Canals and Scottish Water has transformed this visionary concept into reality after a decade of hard work and commitment.
As part of the project, Scottish Water will vest and maintain all underground pipes that are connected to a Scottish Water system and will maintain some of the sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS).
Simon Parsons, Scottish Water’s strategic customer services planning director, said: “Scottish Water is delighted to be involved in this unique project that enables development in Glasgow and manages flood risk using the canal.
“This will help manage the impact of climate change on the sewer network. This is the sort of development that we are wanting to see more of and are working with local authorities across Scotland under our Storm Water Strategy to deliver.”
The WWEM Instrumentation Apprentice Competition is an event that takes place at the Water, Wastewater & Environmental Monitoring Competition every other year. It is open to all companies involved in the Water Industry and their Apprentices. Competitors must be on a registered Apprentice Programme.
The competition takes place on the 1st day of WWEM, although some tasks at this years competition are be giving to competitors before-hand. This year's competition is kindly sponsored and supported by the following companies who provide support in the organisation of the competition, host apprentices at the gala dinner and prize ceremony and provide training days for the winning pair of apprentices. Without the support of these companies the competition could not happen so a big thank you is due to them all.
This year's competition will take place on the 1st day of the Water, Wastewater & Environmental Conference & Exhibition on the 21st November 2018. There will be teams from:
WWEM Instrumentation Apprentice Competition is organised & supported by
Severn Trent set to expand trial with award-winning leak finding robot
Following trials earlier this year, Severn Trent is working with US-based WatchTower Robotics on creating and trialing a UK-specific leak-finding robot in the company’s pipes.
Created by Dr You Wu, who got his PhD from MIT this year, the robot, called Lighthouse, has now been named as a national winner of the James Dyson Award, which celebrates, encourages and inspires the next generation of design engineers.
The robot looks a little like a badminton shuttlecock, is very flexible and ‘fills’ pipes, allowing it to travel with the flow of the water, logging its position and leak information as it goes.
The data can be retrieved wirelessly and a ‘map’ of leaks can be produced before the robot is fished out using a net or flushed out of a hydrant.
Bob Stear, Deputy Chief Engineer at Severn Trent, said:
“We hosted You and his robot earlier this year and we were very excited about its potential so we’re now looking at the best way forward.
“We’re working closely with him on a number of initiatives, including looking at a UK-specific model, and seeing whether we can partner with other, overseas, water companies in a much-extended trial.
“Our initial aim is to get a dozen or so trial robots that we can hand out to our engineers in real world situations to see how they perform. It’s incredibly exciting and could be a real game changer when it comes to tackling leakage.”
Dr Wu said:
“Severn Trent offered a valuable opportunity to pilot the new leak detection robot in the UK earlier this year. WatchTower is looking forward to expanding the pilot programme with Severn Trent and to together implement this more effective leak finding and prevention solution in the UK. Eventually, we want to make water distribution systems in the UK more efficient and sustainable.”
Experts are testing cutting-edge techniques designed to enhance the monitoring of water worldwide as part of the €5 million MONOCLE project funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme.
Around 20 scientists from the University of Stirling, the Plymouth Marine Laboratory and colleagues from across Europe are gathering at Loch Leven, Kinross-shire, where they will study the feasibility of using drone and other in situ technology to monitor the quality of water.
The work, which takes place over the next three days, will dovetail with a Stirling-led project that is using satellites to monitor water quality from space. Scientists hope that information gathered from drones or loch-side devices will help address gaps in conventional monitoring and support data collected with satellites.
Professor Andrew Tyler, Deputy Dean and Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Stirling, leads the £2.9m GloboLakes project, which uses satellites of the European Space Agency to monitor water quality, including the detection of algal concentrations, harmful algal blooms, and mineral and organic matter.
While the project team believe the technology has the ability to help monitor the millions of lakes across the world, the latest study, MONOCLE, addresses specific gaps in data.
Professor Tyler said: “Only a small fraction of the world’s 100 million lakes are routinely monitored – largely due to their geographical spread and the logistical and political difficulties of monitoring water.
“The GloboLakes project has shown that, by using satellites, we can measure the constituents that contribute to water quality by their absorption and scattering of characteristics within the water column associated with lakes, reservoirs, rivers and estuaries.”
“However, there are often gaps in this data – perhaps due to cloud cover, or because the bodies of water are too small to be monitored by the satellites. Therefore, the MONOCLE project now tries to fill the gaps in the data by using in situ and drone based technologies.”
MONOCLE involves 12 partners and is led by Stefan Simis, Earth Observation scientist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory. He said: “It is essential to obtain regular and widespread measurements of water quality in lakes, estuaries and coastal waters, both to support satellite observations and in their own right – we use satellites to relate water colour to water quality, while measurements in the field are essential to monitor further chemical and biological properties.”
“Deploying sensors is unfortunately still a costly effort and one of the aims of MONOCLE is to bring down this cost. Our international colleagues visiting lochs in Scotland this week are developing methods to use consumer drones and sensors which you can build yourself, alongside highly accurate measurement instruments. “
After trialling the technology at Loch Leven, further tests will take place in Sweden, Hungary, Romania and Tanzania – assessing and comparing both low to high cost solutions and promoting the engagement of citizens in the monitoring of water.
Prof Tyler added: “This project at Loch Leven is the first in a series, in which we will look at how different instruments work, how they compare and what factors influence that comparison.
“We hope that, by the end of this project, both low and high-tech solutions will be available to provide information that validates existing satellite technologies and provide solutions to the gaps in space and time from satellite data covering these dynamic yet vulnerable environments.”
An innovative new project is being established to develop a Smart device that can help detect potential issues with a customer's water supply and raise alerts before they are even aware there's a problem.
Led by Northumbrian Water Group, the project team has been brought together to take forward the idea that came out of one of the 13 ‘Design Sprints' held at the company's Innovation Festival 2018.
The ‘SMART Objectives' sprint - facilitated by global IT and business process services firm CGI - looked at ways to use Smart technology to help change and improve customers' lives. The result was "Barnacle" - an "Internet of Things (IoT)" sensor capable of monitoring changes in key water parameters, which may indicate problems with the supply.
Gathering data at individual customer level, ‘Barnacle' - which will be placed inside a toilet cistern without the need for installation or any technical or plumbing knowledge - would be able to:
Northumbrian Water and CGI will be working with other interested parties to develop the idea into an opportunity to help water customers everywhere.
Work is underway to develop a proof of concept on the technology.
Eddie Wrigley, Innovation Facilitator at Northumbrian Water Group, said:
"At present, our ability to gather data from sensors stops well outside the individual properties, but this will allow us to gather informative and helpful information that will help us ensure that the water we deliver is always clean, clear and great tasting.
"Barnacle could prove an effective early warning system for other problems that could affect a home. There is so much great potential for doing exciting things with this technology that will really benefit our customers, subject to a successful proof of concept."
Can smart systems really make the industry more efficient?
Smart water systems are gaining popularity, but the introduction of technology is only the first stage in a necessary change process to improve operations
Smart technology is an incredible advance. It blows the mind in terms of what it can do, where it can be integrated and the granularity of the data that it can collate. These are all vital steps towards managing both water and wastewater supply networks in an efficient way and getting the most out of existing assets.
In the water industry, smart water systems are all the rage but there are some key questions that we should be asking ourselves before getting caught up on the technology bandwagon. Are we likely to see a return on the capital invested and how do smart water systems break past infrastructure management and into environmental management? Most importantly, does it improve the customer experience or are we heading for data overload?
Just take one small area of the industry as an example. Thames Water is embarking on a smart metering installation programme that will see 414,000 smart water meters installed in London by 2020. By 2025 they will be dealing with 35 billion hourly meter reads every year – that’s just the meter readings. Imagine the data from the whole water supply network from source: abstraction, treatment plants, pumps, energy consumption, pressure transducers, network monitors, customer meters, and then there is the whole wastewater network as well! That’s an enormous amount of data in a year and, because this is a long-term business, imagine what a 20-year trend would amount to.
Let us not kid ourselves. Introducing sensors and data recorders and wireless data transmitters does not mean that’s it, job done, because it is not. The real benefits of smart water systems come when the data is analysed. I am on this occasion not referring to AI (artificial intelligence) – that’s probably a few years off still – but people-led interpretation of longer-term trend and spatial data. This time-consuming task is the bread and butter of many consultancies. The question is, once data is collected, are we thoroughly interpreting it, and using the insight it provides to get ahead of potential future ‘events’ and understand the trends it may identify? If not, it seems short sighted and perhaps means that as an industry we are not getting the full projected return on capital invested.
Smart technology is still in its infancy and has many new areas still to expand into and dominate. For example, online monitoring of chemicals in abstracted water and discharged wastewaters is currently being developed together with catchment-based flow and water chemistry data. But is this ‘real time’ data matched by real-time decisions and intervention actions? If it was, wouldn’t there be a corresponding drop in prosecutions for sewage effluent discharge failures?
It is not just the ‘real-time’ data that smart systems provide, it is also about the ability to construct ‘time series’ – the ability to detect changes over time and spatially. Where smart systems meet Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for example is an interesting area. The Thomson Interactive Mapping (TIM) system uses real-time GIS mapping for ecological and other types of data presentation. A mapping system that can present on a screen in real time the most recent ecological and biodiversity data held by a business on its land assets is a great step forward. How else can you accurately calculate your locked-up carbon in trees or natural capital land bank?
GIS will also be an aid to delivering the next series of capital programmes by quickly and efficiently identifying the potential environmental impact of new asset locations with key strategic ecological sites and delays avoided. The next step is for systems like TIM to spread their wings and expand into holding the data on effluent discharges and abstractions in real time as well as data supporting drought and water resource management plans.
GIS mapping and technological resources like TIM have the potential to bring smart water data strands together and should be seen as a way forward for technology in water industry management both from day to day and also in longer-term decision planning. By combining smart water systems and ecological and environmental management, we can gain a complete picture from source to tap, drain to river water cycle, in real time. This is going to be essential as we build more resilience in water systems in AMP7, respond to the challenge of more weather extremes and demand more performance from existing assets to meet population growth demands.
MPs call for compulsory metering and
say 15% leakage target by 2025 is not enough
MPs on an influential House of Commons select committee are today calling for water companies to have powers for compulsory water metering and for the amount of water lost through leaks to be halved by 2040.
The call comes with the publication of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee report Regulation of the Water Industry.
Currently, compulsory water metering is only permitted in water-stressed areas. Today’s report argues that this option should be extended to all water companies.
Three billion litres of water leaked every day
Droughts of the type experienced in summer 2018 will become more frequent and drought resilience will require increasing the supply of water alongside reducing demand. The Committee found that a "shocking" three billion litres of water are leaked every day and believes that targets to reduce leakage by 15% by 2025 are not ambitious enough.
Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said:
“Water leaks affect the environment, as the more is leaked, the more must be taken from our rivers and other natural sources. It also sends a poor message to the public about the value of water when people are being encouraged to save water. Water companies should be leading by example. We are calling for the amount of water lost through leaks to be halved by 2040.”
Defra should allow all companies powers to implement compulsory metering
The Committee also heard there was strong evidence that water metering helps to reduce water use and detect when leaks are occurring. Currently, only water companies in designated water-stressed regions can make metering compulsory.
Neil Parish MP continued:
“We need to move beyond a regional approach to water metering, because there is a national need to conserve water. We call on Defra to allow all water companies the power to implement compulsory metering. That way, companies have the same tools at their disposal to reduce consumption of water in their regions. Where this might lead to significant bill increases, metering should be accompanied by strengthened support for vulnerable customers.”
Although most customers are satisfied with their water companies, the report says there are over 2 million complaints and unwanted contacts (i.e. reporting service issues or asking for action to be taken) per year. The Committee heard that the complaints system can be unnecessarily convoluted.
Neil Parish MP said:
“Because customers have to go through so many steps to try and get complaints resolved, many will simply give up. This is not good enough. The regulator Ofwat should review the complaints process. One way to improve the system would be to require water companies to automatically pay complainants a fixed sum if they don’t resolve the complaint within 15 days”.
Economic regulation has become very complex in effort to mimic competitive environment
Ofwat is the economic regulator of water companies in England and Wales. The Committee found that economic regulation had become very complex in the effort to mimic a competitive environment that would not naturally exist because water companies are largely regional monopolies.
Neil Parish MP commented:
“The methodology for Ofwat’s five-yearly price reviews is incredibly detailed. While this reflects the complexity of Ofwat’s regulatory responsibilities, it could be quite burdensome for water companies and inhibit long-term planning. The Government needs to commission an independent review of whether the industry and its regulation is fit for the future, particularly in the context of drought resilience”.
The Report’s recommendations to Government include:
The report matches findings in the National Infrastructure Commission’s Preparing for a Drier Future report, which recommended an ambitious, affordable package of measures to increase drought resilience.
This included having a long-term target to halve water leakages, enabling companies to roll out smart water metering beyond water stressed areas, and investing in new water supply infrastructure which will still be needed to meet future demand.
A spokesman for the National Infrastructure Commission said:
“Today’s report highlights the real need for urgent action to better protect our water supplies, particularly as we face an increased risk of drought. We’re therefore pleased to see the environment committee reaching the same conclusion as us, that widespread roll out of smart water metering across the country is a key part of that.
“We also share the committee’s ambitions for halving the amount of water lost through leakages. A long-term target will unlock new technologies which, in turn, will reduce the costs and the potential impacts on customers’ bills.
“These measures, combined with investment in new infrastructure such as reservoirs, comprised an affordable package of measures for Government to consider. On top of this, our new study into the regulation of our utilities will also include water, and we look forward to hearing from water companies, regulators and others how we can improve the system to make it more resilient for years to come.”
Water UK – metering needs to be handled carefully
Responding to the EFRA Committee report, Water UK Chief Executive Michael Roberts said:
“The EFRA Committee’s recommendations highlight the impact of climate change and a growing population on managing water resources – challenges which water companies are working hard to address.
“Leakage is a big priority for the industry. But we also know there is more to do, which is why water companies have proposed the most ambitious leakage reduction programme in 20 years and are looking ahead to even further long term reductions.
“The Committee rightly highlights that we all need to use water wisely. Continued roll out of metering is an important tool for managing demand, but how and when it is done needs to be handled carefully as part of a wider approach reflecting the needs of different customers.”
UK-based water specialist Aqualogic has become the distributor for the Trimble Unity smart water software platform for water companies in the UK.
UK-based water specialist Aqualogic has become the distributor for the Trimble Unity smart water software platform for water companies in the UK.
Trimble Unity is a cloud-based, GIS-centric Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that offers a suite of applications and tools for the water, wastewater, stormwater and environmental water industry.
The solution, which is already being successfully employed by the water industry in the United States as well as by one water company in the UK, supports companies to implement smart technology to save costs, reduce water loss and enhance the performance of their assets – all of which lead to improved regulatory compliance and customer service.
Trimble Unity provides situational awareness of water and wastewater utility asset performance, offering a single view of remote monitoring data, performance measurement reports, GIS, operational data, asset conditions and events.
Customers can leverage Trimble Unity's configurable web and mobile work management, analysis and data collection workflows for responding to alarms or events, assessing the condition of the utility network assets and collecting authoritative asset data in the field.
Trimble Unity allows customers to integrate the solution with their existing back office customer service and asset management systems and provides a single GIS-centric field solution across an entire workforce.
Aqualogic managing director Ben Rice said: “Collaborating with Trimble builds on the work we have been doing across the UK water industry innovating with disruptive leak detection technology.
"The Trimble Unity platform will allow water companies to view and manage current and new assets in the field, all in one place using one platform – UK water companies see this as an ideal solution to significantly improve field operations."
Saad Latif, Trimble Water’s regional business manager, added: “Aqualogic is a specialist in water management and field services as well as acoustic leak detection.
“Working with Aqualogic is an ideal choice for their expertise and contacts across the industry to launch the Trimble Unity platform in the UK.”
United Utilities to roll out large scale artificial intelligence
across entire water network
United Utilities has become the first water company in the UK to introduce large scale artificial intelligence into its operational systems.
The Warrington-based company has signed a framework agreement with EMAGIN, a Canadian technology firm, to roll out AI across its entire water network in the North West of England.
The deal follows on from a successful trial which began in February after EMAGIN was selected as a finalist in United Utilities’ Innovation Lab. The Canadian team were given access to the water firm’s huge wealth of data, systems and expert knowledge to incubate their ideas and help shape their technology for the UK and European water markets.
EMAGIN’s artificial intelligence platform, called HARVI, can assess vast amounts of data on a wide range of factors such as weather, demand for water, pump performance and electricity prices. This is used to help make decisions on the most cost-effective and efficient way to run pumps, detect burst pipes and minimise the risk of discoloured water.
12 week trial in Oldham system demonstrated energy savings of 22%
In the 12 week trial which took place across Oldham in Greater Manchester, HARVI demonstrated energy savings of 22 per cent. United Utilities now plans to deploy the artificial intelligence platform in phases across the whole North West region by the end of 2019.
United Utilities Chief Operating Officer Steve Fraser, said:
“Water networks are complex systems, and technology like this is going to play an integral role in our drive towards ‘systems thinking’, helping us make more sense and better use of big data. It will free up our people to be more proactive and that’s going to have a direct impact on levels of service. Water companies are going to have to start thinking in this way and embracing new technology if we are to meet customers’ expectations on value and reliability.
“The pilot scheme clearly demonstrated the huge potential for efficiency and energy savings which will help reduce our operational costs. This is going to be vital over the coming years as we aim to reduce customer bills by 10.5 per cent in real terms from 2020.”
Welcoming the contract, EMAGIN Chief Executive Officer Thouheed Abdul Gaffoor said:
“The engagement at every level across United Utilities showed their continuous drive to deploy technology that supports their customers. This is an exciting time for us, United Utilities is one of the largest and most innovative water companies in the world and gives us a huge presence to grow in the UK and Europe.”
The two companies are now considering running further trials of the technology in other applications such as wastewater operations and leakage reduction.
Smart investment will deliver resilient infrastructure
Tim Bowen, Managing Director for the UK, Europe and the Middle East at global pipeline infrastructure specialist Aquam discusses why smart technologies for assset management worldwide are key to delivering resilient infrastructure.
Tim Bowen: After a summer of concerns about water scarcity in England and Northern Ireland, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ new report, Water: Drought and Flood is certainly timely. It supports the reduction of leaks as a means to building resilience into the UK’s water system.
This reflects the view of Ofwat, the water industry regulator for England and Wales,the Environment Agency and the UK Government. In the wake of the summer heatwave, which brought the threat of hosepipe bans in some areas, Ofwat chief executive Rachel Fletcher said the industry must to redouble its efforts to ensure the resilience of its assets and infrastructure.
Where the very availability of water is in question, the cost to the environment is unquantifiable and the need for action is all the more urgent. The public is not necessarily going to pay any more, and the assets are not getting any younger.
Rate of refurbishment and renewal globally failing to meet rate of deterioration
The IMechEreport invites a broad conversation about the state of water infrastructure in the UK and globally as the rate of refurbishment and renewal fails to meet the rate of deterioration. Leakage was a contributor to the crisis faced by Cape Town earlier this year when the water available to households hit critical levels.
Cape Town had actually cut its losses to 16% through a focus on preventative maintenance, according to the city’s director of water and sanitation, while South Africa’s overall leakage rate is at 37 per cent. However the drought revealed that the city needed to go further.
By comparison, the UK is on 20% of water lost to leakage, while Denmark has driven losses on its ageing network down to an enviable 7%, with one utility hitting a world-leading five per cent. This success has been achieved largely through partnerships between utilities and technology companies.
Ofwat says it expects the water sector in England and Wales to reduce leakage by a further 15% by 2025, making a similar “step change in efficiency”. Such a transformation cannot be delivered by traditional approaches to water management while the cost of produced water is too low to make a simple economic case for significant investment in network resilience.
Data on infrastructure condition is key to targeting investment at right assets
This makes it imperative that investment is targeted at the right assets at the right time, which can only be achieved with a deep understanding of the condition of the infrastructure. Aquam is already working closely with a number of utilities and municipalities in the UK and North America to develop this understanding to ensure the integrity of their pipeline assets. The company’s suite of pipe inspection and condition monitoring technologies and services are helping its clients be much more analytical in the ways they assess what needs to be done and when. Huge efficiencies are made possible by identifying weaknesses in pipes in advance, calculating the likelihood of bursts and leaks, and planning proactive maintenance.
The data-rich environment for asset management is made possible by smart technologies, which can mitigate catastrophic failure events, along with the accompanying water loss, heavy fines and high repair costs associated with reactive response. Examples include leak detection and pipe inspection systems which can be inserted into live potable water mains in lengths up to a kilometre.
Thousands of real-time data points can be captured by sensor heads that combine high definition CCTV, hydrophones and high-powered sondes. The data outputs can be analysed to assess pipe condition and pinpoint areas of interest requiring closer attention. They can also be scaled and synchronised with standard industry GIS platforms for seamless asset management.
Smart tech roll-out would make cities and utilities much more efficient in how they invest
Customer bills will not rise if these advanced techniques are widely implemented – and they could even come down! Such a roll-out would make cities and utilities much more efficient in how they invest – no longer needing to replace perfectly good water mains or spending reactively on unexpected bursts.
The customer would also benefit from resilience of supplies, which is critical in a water-scarce world. Utilities and integrated technology companies like Aquam must work together to focus efforts on the most pressing issues and find ways to undertake trials where public health and safety remain paramount.
Aquam is ready and able to assist utilities worldwide with their network challenges, so that smart asset management and resilience is embedded and infrastructure is built to last. In response to the challenges of climate change and urban population growth, our technology helps make more clean water available around the world.
Sensileau Sensor Platform is launched
The Sensileau team have proudly launched their new sensor platform site. Over the past months, they have worked hard to develop a user-friendly and accessible site which allows you to create your own free account and browse the various tools of the platform. Over the next few months, the site will continue to grow as we publish new content, both in the sensor database and under the showcases. Keep an eye out for the announcement of our next webinar. Through their newsletter you can stay fully up-to-date on the latest developments and additions.
The Sensileau Sensor Platform promotes the implementation of online water quality monitoring technologies to improve water quality, reduce the use of chemicals and energy in water treatment, reduce leakage, maximise water reuse potential and recover valuable resources. Process optimisation goes hand-in-hand with cost savings and starts with reliable information on what is going on in your system. With our expertise we aim to contribute to a more sustainable water industry which is ready for a future dominated by climate change challenges and increased water demand.
Join us and find out how, with our expertise and your actions, we can achieve our global ambition to provide sufficient and affordable clean water to everyone, everywhere, now and in the future.
A comprehensive and extensive information source
Sensileau is for every company in the water industry: drinking water companies, water management boards, wastewater utilities, industrial water users and government agencies. Sensileau can be a valuable source of knowledge for engineering firms that solve water quality issues, universities / knowledge institutes that develop new sensor concepts and sensor manufacturers who want to gain insight into the market.
The information presented for a large number of water quality parameters includes an introduction, purpose and principles, benefits, best practices, costs and a comprehensive list of suppliers. Additionally, you can find showcases describing user experiences, step-by-step guides and recordings of past webinars on a range of topics related to water monitoring. If you have a question about Sensileau, a parameter or an instrument, we are here to help.
Sensileau switches to a credit based structure
The Sensileau Sensor Platform has switched from a fee-based subscription model to pay-per view. This offers you as a user the possibility to select and pay only for the information in which you have an actual interest.
Also, they very much welcome everyone's experience with the deployment of water sensors! Therefore, Sensileau rewards members with credits if they share their experience with them in a showcase or step-by-step guide, or participate as a speaker or host in one of their webinars or workshops.
The following table shows how many credits are used to access more detailed information or can be earnt back by providing a contribution to the knowledge-exchange on the platform:
Sensileau have already established an agreement of collaboration with AQUON who provide laboratory services for nine water management boards in the Netherlands, and has the ambition to become a leading expert in all aspects of water quality monitoring, including online monitoring and sensoring.
Jeen Bouma, Aquon’s General Manager: “AQUON wants to position itself as a consulting and implementation partner for its clients to turn to as a matter of course for all kinds of water quality monitoring projects”.
Sensileau are already in the last stages of an agreement with the Water Industry Process Automation * Control Group (WIPAC).
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