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Why Monitoring Your Wastewater Network Can Make a Big Impact

Why Monitoring Your Wastewater Network Can Make a Big Impact

Understanding the ins and outs of our water consumption is the first step toward becoming water efficient and reducing your water footprint. To make a lasting and global impact, we need to look at the entire water usage cycle: from distribution to consumption in properties, and the sewage system where it all ends up and gets treated for future use. That makes monitoring wastewater networks an essential part of sustainable water use around the world.

That’s why Smartvatten for Water Utilities, our newest division, is focused on the sustainable management of water utilities’ wastewater networks. Utilities around the world have to maintain countless pipes, pumping stations, and treatment plants and go through enormous amounts of data to keep track of the state of their networks. That makes it both a complicated and time-consuming task.

 

Facing Challenges

Apart from the size of the networks to monitor and the sheer amount of data, water utilities face additional challenges: infrastructure is aging, and there’s only limited resources to put toward maintenance and renovations. Add to that tightening legislation and extreme weather phenomena due to climate change, and the tasks ahead are considerable. Our wastewater network analytics service was created with exactly those challenges in mind.

Smartvatten for Water Utilities is a user-friendly cloud-based service that enables utilities to combine, visualize, and analyze data from every existing source on the wastewater network – from pumping stations to weather data and sea levels. It helps utilities focus on solving problems instead of finding them, by identifying leaks, blockages, and overflows with real-time alerts and assisting in optimizing the efficient allocation and prioritization of resources to maintain the network – customized for the needs of each network.

 

The Impact of Monitoring

Contributing to the water efficiency of these networks is not just good for utilities, but for the environment as well. By finding anomalies like leaks and blockages early on and continuously tracking the state of their installations, utilities are able to direct their repairs and maintenance (with limited resources) to those parts of the network that most urgently need them. And that minimizes or prevents unnecessary treatment of excess water or harmful overflow of untreated water into the environment.

An example of the impact our service can have is the case where one of our clients was alerted to a wastewater amount that was 10 times as high as usual. On-site research revealed that a neighboring pipe in the water distribution network was leaking, and leaked into to another broken pipe in the wastewater network. Had the leaks not been detected, the costs of the excess water would have been €300.000 to €500.000 per year, not to mention the potential environmental impact of improperly treated water that gets into the terrain.

But even smaller anomalies can have a big impact. A blockage was detected in the network of another client through deviations in pump runtimes and flow rates. Manual inspection revealed no anomalies, but eventually the partial sewer blockage was detected in an offshoot far from the pumping station. The blockage lasted 21 days, resulting in 1200 m3 of untreated wastewater discharged into the nearby terrain.

Digital monitoring of these networks helps prioritize repairs and make maintenance and renovations efficient, making the most out of a limited budget. It saves resources, money, and helps reduce the environmental impact of our global water consumption.

Want to know more about Smartvatten for Water Utilities and its services? Contact us at utilities@smartvatten.com