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WIPAC Monthly April 2019


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Welcome to the April 2019 edition of WIPAC Monthly, the magazine from the LinkedIn Group Water Industry Process Automation & Control.

In this month's edition we have articles on

The questions and answers about the smart water industry which is feedback on the questions asked at this years WWT Smart Water Networks Conference
Five vision on global water leakage which is a prequel of the Global Leakage Summit coming up in June
An article on the Digital Asset Management Revolution

Enjoy the latest edition


Published in: Engineering
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WIPAC Monthly April 2019

  1. 1. WIPAC MONTHLYThe Monthly Update from Water Industry Process Automation & Control Issue 4/2019- April 2019
  2. 2. Page 2 In this Issue WIPAC Monthly is a publication of the Water Industry Process Automation & Control Group. It is produced by the group manager and WIPAC Monthly Editor, Oliver Grievson. This is a free publication for the benefit of the Water Industry and please feel free to distribute to any who you may feel benefit. However due to the ongoing costs of WIPAC Monthly a donation website has been set up to allow readers to contribute to the running of WIPAC & WIPAC Monthly, For those wishing to donate then please visit all donations will be used solely for the benefit and development of WIPAC. All enquires about WIPAC Monthly, including those who want to publish news or articles within these pages, should be directed to the publications editor, Oliver Grievson at From the editor............................................................................................................. 3 Industry news.............................................................................................................. Highlights of the news of the month from the global water industry centred around the successes of a few of the companies in the global market. 4 - 11 What are the questions (and answers) around the smart water industry...................... This month’s feature article is a follow up to last month’s insofar as the editor of WIPAC Monthly, Oliver Grievson, has attempted to answer the questions asked at this year’s WWT Smart Water Networks conference as well as present what was discussed at the wastewater network breakout session facilitated by +Add Strategy 13-15 Five visions on global leakage........................................................................................ This year’s Global Leakage Summit will take place on the 25th and 26th June and in this article we see what five of the speakers at this years conference are going to talk about. It is particularly relevant this year as all of the discussions around leakage and how technology and the smart water industry can be used to detect it. 16-18 Smart Thinking: The digital asset management revolution............................................ In this article the various technologies around the digital asset management revolution are discussed from Artificial Intelligence to BIM are discussed. 19-21 Workshops, conferences & seminars............................................................................ The highlights of the conferences and workshops in the coming months. 22-23
  3. 3. Page 3 From the Editor What is the roadmap to a “Smart Water” Industry? It is a question that I am increasingly being asked? It is a question that really belongs to the Water Industry and the counter-question is “What do you want?” I have sat opposite various people in the industry and said it is all about the informational needs, it is all about informed decision making, it is all about the operational visibility and the situational awareness. We are an industry who have been hung upon alarms in the past and the Smart Water Industry is not about alarms but having events. It is possible when you see the inside of a control centre in adverse conditions that there is organised chaos. Working with events rather than alarms allows situational awareness and ensures that operational staff only go out to situations where they are needed. This is the heart of the Smart Water Industry. So how do we deliver it? The first stage is working out what informational needs that the industry has. It is going to be individual to each company as all of the companies have different operational needs but some elements are common, for example the customers. To start off with it is a factor of stakeholder engagement. Defining the informational needs of everyone from the CEO of the company to the operator on the ground. This isn’t a contentious point as some have contested in the past but it is going to back to the basics of the industry. What do we need to know to do the daily tasks within the industry? Once the informational requirements are know then from this feeds the need for data and the need for sensors within the operational environment (be this a distribution or collection network, a treatment works or even the customer). This is the strategic piece of the Smart Water industry from which the horizontal and vertical segments come from. When it comes to the horizontal segments the temptation that the water industry is falling into right now is to concentrate on the Level 4 and Level 5 layers with the visualisation and data analytics that are on offer at the current time. Although in time this will become relevant this is like jumping to the end of the story. In reality one of the things that the water industry needs to concentrate on as part of the Smart Water Industry is both the Level 2 and Level 3 with the need for increased data quality and transmission capability. One of the reasons that some aspects of the Smart Water Industry has not realised the success that it promises to have in the past is that the quality of the data that is needed to feed the “Artificial Intelligence” or “Machine Learning” is just simply not there. If a “machine” is fed with “Garbage” then it will learn “Garbage” and the resulting intelligence that it will deliver is.....guess what... “Garbage.” This doesn’t mean that the Smart Water industry is not deliverable without sorting out the horizontal layers first. It is but we as an industry have to concentrate on the vertical segments as well as the horizontal ones too. We’ve seen this as an industry and one of the best examples is the work that has been done in non-revenue water and in the area of leakage. It is a particularly contentious area of the water industry right now with the announcements by Sir Jams Bevan and the promises of the industry to nationally reduce leakage by 15% (on average) in the next five years. With the technologies that are available today it is a target that is more than possible to deliver but what else is possible? In water consumption the big areas are in serving the customers and helping them to help themselves including smart water metering and customer gamification. The target of getting consumer PCC to 100L/hd/day is a tough target and in reality will take a blended approach of water saving devices (technology) as well as customer-side leakage reduction and customer education. In areas where we have seen low PCCs it is the customer will that has some of the largest influence on any target. Although there are technologies that can help with this it is not something that technology can directly influence. So what else can the smart water industry deliver? The answer to that is of course a lot? From everything from the factory approach in wastewater and sludge treatment to bringing the wastewater collection network together with the treatment works to create a managed circular economy targeting resource recovery across the entire system whilst of course achieving the ultimate aim of serving both the customer and the environment. Have a good month, Oliver
  4. 4. ABB Provides Smart City Solutions To Support The Needs Of All Cities ABB is working closely with cities and utilities to obtain greater efficiencies from existing infrastructure and build unified, attractive City services as part of a move towards Smarter Cities. From small to mega cities, ABB is helping modern cities deal with the increasing pressure of rising populations and aging infrastructure by working with governments and citizens to implement initiatives focusing on Smart Utilities, Smart Buildings, Smart Transportation and Smart Industries. Most recently in Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), a city with expanding boundaries and an increasing population, ABB has deployed solutions to help reduce the loss of over 30 per cent, or 150 million cubic meters, of clean water through leaking and damaged pipes. The project, commissioned by utility Saigon Water Company (SAWACO) has included expansion of the current network capacity, integration of more isolated sections, reduction of water leakage, and real-time control and monitoring of the network conditions to prevent major disruptions. The result will be an increase in the volume of water delivered to households and industries, as well as minimizing an estimated 500,000 cubic meters of non-revenue water lost per day, which is roughly the daily capacity of a medium-sized water plant in the city. “Successful smart cities of the future will combine the best aspects of technology infrastructure, while making the most of the growing potential of ‘collaborative technologies’,” said Kevin Kosisko, Managing Director, Energy Industries, ABB. “In doing this, we can enable greater collaboration between urban communities and between citizens and city governments aimed at improving quality of life.” In Europe, an example of ABB collaboration with digital transformation is in Sweden’s fifth largest city, Västerås, where city energy company MälarEnergi is transitioning from a traditional utility into a provider of integrated ‘infraservices’ with end-user experiences in mind. This collaboration is delivering high-value innovative services for the city’s 150,000 inhabitants and businesses in the areas of district heating optimization, water leakage detection and asset management. The project includes delivering a platform for customer collaboration, and supporting agile development, co-creation and analytics to integrate best-in-class technologies and services from ABB and Microsoft with MälarEnergi’s existing operational expertise. The key objectives are to combine the monitoring facilities into a single control room view from which all services will be operated and optimized, as well as provide other significant benefits based on integrated data view, such as better investment planning. This will free up financial resources to reinvest in areas that will truly benefit MälarEnergi’s customers and citizens. In Germany, ABB has been integral in shaping innovative projects, including developing new energy management systems focused on maintaining grid reliability, coping with load demand and ensuring maximum usage, often in volatile and decentralized markets. In Mannheim, ABB has created an energy management system for a recent city district of over 9,000 people, while in Trier, ABB has deployed a solution that allows for integration and digitalization of multiple municipal assets, including wind power, solar photovoltaic, biomass, combined heat and power (both large- scale conventional and micro CHP), water turbines, waste water turbines, sewer-gas plants, battery storages and EV-charging infrastructure. “The German government has launched several initiatives to combat the consequences of growing urbanization in cities across the country,” said Markus John, Senior Vice-President, Energy Industries, Germany, ABB. In an effort to reduce CO2 emissions and pollution from transport, ABB is also working with the City of Kiel (Germany) to expand its e-mobility capabilities. To improve the stability of the planned supply grid, intelligent energy storage systems will be implemented, with a uniform information system required to control the energy flow between the power grid and electric vehicles. ABB will highlight its offering for urban infrastructure futures to city and utility leaders during the Global Water Summit from 8-10 April in London. ABB is a pioneering technology leader writing the future with ABB Ability™ digital solutions for smart cities and providing integrated power and automation solutions with unparalleled experience in partnering with the energy and water, oil and gas, specialty chemicals and primary pharmaceutical industries for improved operations and sustainable progress. ABB delivers integrated and secure digital systems, services and solutions to automate and optimize the performance of conventional and renewable power plants, water facilities and process industries. Page 4 Industry News
  5. 5. South East Water in smart metering deal South East Water is taking part in a digital water meter trial which could revolutionise the way the water industry detects and prevents leaks. South East Water is taking part in a digital water meter trial which could revolutionise the way the water industry detects and prevents leaks. The water company, which supplies 2.2 million customers in parts of Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, is the first utility in England to have a full NBIoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) commercial agreement in place with Vodafone UK. It will use the partnership to transmit data for analysis from digital water meters at 2,000 homes in the trial area, as well as information from other network sensors. In addition, a collaboration with ATi and Syrinix is the first time data from both their pressure and water quality monitors have been combined into one data set for analysis. South East Water’s Operations Director, Dr Simon Earl, said: “In total, this trial has brought together nine specialist companies in their respective fields to test the latest cutting edge digital water meters, sensors, advanced analytics and telecommunications channels. “If successful, it has the potential to alert us to the smallest leaks on both our 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.” Anne Sheehan, Director, Vodafone Business, added: “We are really excited to be partnering South East Water on this project. Narrowband Internet of Things technology 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 Managing Director Europe, Dr Mike Strahand, said: “This project is a significant step forward; it is the first time all the layers needed for a smart water network have been brought together. It is a fantastic example of the multi-stakeholder collaboration that is 100 per cent necessary to make smart water happen.” 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.” Alongside Vodafone UK, ATi and Syrinix, the trial involves partnership working with Xylem, Visenti, Gutermann, Diehl, Sensus, Z-Tech and Honeywell. Dr Simon Earl added: “South East Water has met its leakage target for more than 10 years, but we are not complacent and are committed to using the latest, most innovative technology to drive leakage down further. We anticipate by undertaking this trial over the coming year it will give us a solid head start to meeting our commitment to reducing our leakage levels by 15 per cent by 2025.” Page 5
  6. 6. Severn Trent and United Utilities in global World Water Innovation Fund initiative Water companies from around the globe are today joining forces to form the World Water Innovation Fund, which aims to find, develop and accelerate the ground-breaking technologies that will make a real difference to peoples’ lives across the world. Water companies from around the globe are today joining forces to form the World Water Innovation Fund, which aims to find, develop and accelerate the ground-breaking technologies that will make a real difference to peoples’ lives across the world. The ambitious multi-million pound fund aims to pool the intellect, resources and funding of some of the world’s most forward looking water companies to protect this precious resource against the growing challenges of climate change and population growth. Members have each committed resources and investment to a central fund which will then be used to develop innovative techniques and to undertake trailblazing research. Members will each conduct a number of large-scale trials of new technologies, and will create a seed-fund that aims to accelerate water innovation across the world. An example would be collaborating with leading researchers and manufacturers to develop robotic products that can be standardised for the water industry that could actively seek, locate and even repair leaks inside pipes. The fund will have a direct benefit to at least 50 million customers but, crucially it will share and publish its findings, allowing customers all around the world to benefit. Liv Garfield, Severn Trent chief executive said: “Water scarcity, triggered by climate change and population, is a huge challenge for the water industry across the world which is why today’s launch is so important. “We are the custodians of what is a precious resource, and which is so vital to everyone across the world. “By creating this fund we’ve joined forces with like-minded companies from across the globe who recognise the challenges we face and who want to do things differently, to find new ways of working, and to leave a lasting water legacy for future generations.” Ofwat senior director John Russell said: “The challenges facing the water sector are profound, long-term and global. Innovation is vital to meeting the challenge of significant leakage reduction. That is why it is so important to see companies across the world pooling resources and ideas. “With the right culture innovation can thrive. This is a step towards embracing that collaboration culture to foster a global response which is creative, ambitious, and able to solve problems and create new possibilities. It is a really exciting initiative and we’ll follow it with real interest.” The water companies that have signed up span three continents and are: UK - Severn Trent and United Utilities Americas – LADWP and DC Water from the US, and Aegea from Brazil Australia - Hunter Water, Melbourne Water, Yarra Valley Water, South East Water and City West Water Further information about the fund and the companies who have signed up can be found at United Utilities announced that it will be contracting seven different parties to deliver its wastewater maintenance over the next six-years, a decision which marks a move away from its traditional dependence upon a single supplier. Amey Utility Services has provided the maintenance for United Utilities’ wastewater services for the past nine years, but the company will now be working with a wider range of suppliers in addition to Amey, including Morrison Utility Services, Sapphire Utility Solutions and T&K Gallagher. Kevin Fowlie, Network Delivery Director at United Utilities’ cites a developing focus to consider all maintenance activities from an end-to-end perspective in order to improve customer experience and maintain the highest standards of health and safety. This change in tactic comes as part of its pursuit of greater innovation to raise standards within the industry. With United Utilities shaking things up, will we see other companies following suit? Who will come out on top as other networks lock in their long-term contracts? Companies across electricity, gas and water are currently making their strategic decisions about investing in technology to enhance their asset maintenance so that they can deliver an outstanding service while balancing system cost. A break in traditional contracts being awarded means that it’s all to play for as the industry undergoes a shift in pace. On 26th June key stakeholders for network strategy are coming together to carve out their future at Future of Utilities: Innovation in Networks. Learn what’s on their agendas when considering innovation investment decisions, meet crucial decision makers and ensure your name is in the mix of those driving thought- leadership in this area. Shake-up for United Utilities’ maintenance contracts Page 6
  7. 7. MWH Treatment: Building on a legacy After a recent change of ownership from Stantec, the MWH Treatment brand has returned to the UK water market. Stantec opted to sell its design-and-build division to maintain focus on its core consulting services business at the end of last year and, for MWH Treatment, resuming its former brand has been a positive process. “It’s been very, very easy to bring the brand back to the market,” MWH Treatment managing director Paul Bresnan says. “Returning to MWH has been so well received in the marketplace.” The spell under Stantec lasted a little over two years but, as a design-and-build process contractor dedicated to the water sector, MWH Treatment ends AMP6 as it began. “Stantec’s ownership allowed us to continue to focus on our organisational strategy within core water,” Bresnan says. “We were already secured on a number of frameworks so we carried on delivering our work.” Since its re-emergence, MWH Treatment has already enjoyed some success in relation to one of those frameworks: Severn Trent recently announced that the company has secured both a capital delivery design-and-build framework and a capital delivery build-only framework for AMP7, prolonging their 20-year relationship. MWH Treatment has also been nominated for three 2019 Water Industry Awards in the Contractor of the Year, Design for Manufacture and Assembly Project of the Year and Data Project of the Year categories. The Contractor of the Year nomination focused on transformation to digital delivery and its ‘Digital Delivery Toolbox’, which the company is using to re-shape the way it delivers demanding projects. The toolbox takes four core areas into consideration – digital initiation, digital engineering, digital assembly and digital operation – to see each project from the strategy phase to the asset management phase. It involves making use of federated 3D models to facilitate effective collaboration and interface management; augmented reality to boost operational engagement and buy-in; and 4D simulations to enable the construction and commissioning works to be rehearsed in the safety of a collaborative meeting room. At project handover, MWH Treatment can provide the client with an asset-rich, highly detailed model to support operation and maintenance in the context of systems thinking. “We’re really pleased to be short-listed for the Water Industry Awards,” Bresnan says. “We are front and centre of digital delivery at the moment. You hear a lot of talk in the market about digital engineering. “As an integrated design-and-build contractor, we’re about digital delivery – it’s not what we could do, it’s what we’ve done, what we’ve learnt and what we’re going to do next. “It’s bringing the digital approach not just to engineering, although that’s an important part of it, but also the whole delivery of the project at site through into the operations as well. That’s a real area of focus for us at the moment – trying to open up the digital operations. We can’t do that on our own but we’ve got a tremendous amount of coverage across the UK.” The toolbox is playing a valuable role in promoting creative thinking. “One of the key benefits is the increased level of innovation that just seeing things visually brings,” MWH Treatment engineering director Tom Standring says. “It’s like the difference between watching a film and reading a script. Because you’re not concentrating on 2D drawings and trying to understand what it looks like, all of a sudden we’re seeing levels of innovation from new areas. “For example, when we’re doing digital rehearsals and collaborative planning, we can bring in a crane driver now and listen to and adopt their ideas. Because you see everything visually, you’ve got more mind space to think about innovation in so many different areas from so many different stakeholders.” Bresnan adds: “We’ve done some amazing things on our conversion projects where we’ve used different technology that engages the client operations and lets them see what the assets are going to look like once it’s completed. It’s a very smart application of technology and it’s had some amazing results on some of the projects we’ve built so far in terms of operator and customer engagement and satisfaction.” The techniques are also being used to drive improvements in health and safety. The 4D simulations provide the basis for the digital rehearsals, which can help to ensure staff, supply chain and clients understand and adhere to plans. “If you’re walking through in the digital world beforehand, you’ve got a far better chance of picking up the issues that would come up when they get to the physical work,” Bresnan says. “That’s taken us up to another level on our health and safety performance.” Beyond the benefits the digital approach offers to MWH Treatment and its construction partners, the company has identified the potential to use visualisation technologies with customers. As part of a recent maintenance project on a major river water supply aqueduct, for example, 3D models were showcased to the local community on a ‘BIM Bus’ in collaboration with a client. Page 7
  8. 8. “That led to additional input on what the walkways needed to look like and for the access to be improved,” Standring says. “It was a heavily recreational, trafficked area so allowing the customer the input into the finished product is great. “Particularly with streetworks, that visualisation is really helping with the customer engagement. Previously the first thing the customer was practically faced with was disruption. Now we can show them the options we reviewed and that what we did was the best way we could do it. Having customers seeing how we’ve arrived at decisions visually is so powerful.” The digital approach ties in with the growing shift towards greater collaboration across the sector, and Project 13 could take that idea forward significantly. The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) launched Project 13 last year as a blueprint for improving the operating model. An industry-led movement to improve the way high performance infrastructure is delivered, it promotes enterprises characterised by “sophisticated, maturing and typically longer-term relationships between owners, investors, integrators, advisors and suppliers”. MWH Treatment, Mott MacDonald and Stantec are co-hosting an event on Project 13 at ICE on 7 May to raise awareness in the water industry, and Standring says: “We think it could really help the water sector with its constant efficiency challenges. “It’s not one-size-fits-all and that’s the point of the conference. There are some real nuggets in there that I think could create some real efficiencies in the sector.” Collaboration is important to MWH Treatment, and the majority of its current framework contracts involve partnerships: the @one Alliance for Anglian Water, Advance for United Utilities, ESD for Scottish Water, CMDP for Southern Water and SMB for Thames Water. “We worked on the water sector’s first ever partnered project in 1999 and the first ever partnered programme in 2003, and it’s probably fair to say that we’re currently the sector’s most partnered company,” Bresnan says. “To be able to claim that, you truly do need to be a collaborative organisation at heart. “We’re working with some of the major contractors and having real, mature relationships. Having a real, meaningful collaborative instinct at the centre of your culture is really important.” All five of those partnership contracts contain options to extend through AMP7 and he adds: “At the end of the day, our plan in terms of growth is to retain all our frameworks and to build sustainably through key selective opportunities.” Standring says the company will be looking at opportunities in major capital projects that go to the wider market competitively, such as thermal hydrolysis plants. “We specialise in higher-end technology and process projects, so that’s where we’ll grow when competitive opportunities come out, particularly around water treatment, bioresources and technologies involved in reuse schemes,” he says. MWH has history dating back to 1820 and, while the company is making plans to celebrate next year’s double centenary with its clients and suppliers, the focus remains on ensuring it is primed for the future. “We are a truly integrated design-and-build process contractor and there are not many of them around,” Bresnan says. “That’s something that sees us being at the heart of many of the frameworks in the UK water industry. “It’s worth saying that the reason we’ve been around 200 years is because, working in one industry, you’re continually looking at the sector’s challenges and changing the shape of your company offering so that we continue to add value to clients, customers and the industry as a whole.” MWH Treatment’s Digital Delivery Toolbox has reshaped the way demanding projects are delivered Page 8
  9. 9. Thwarting Nitrification With A Proactive Approach A lack of real-time monitoring capabilities for treated water once it leaves the plant has many utilities scrambling to manage nitrification, which can appear abruptly and then be difficult to contain. Fortunately, advanced testing tools are available so water plant operators can take a proactive approach to the hazardous condition in their distribution systems. Nitrification occurs when water disinfected with chloramine travels across the long set of pipes in a distribution system on its way to customers. Several variables — including temperature, water age, and excess free ammonia — contribute to the occurrence of nitrification. Excess ammonia present during chloramination serves as food for the ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) that grow in clusters and tend to accumulate in sediment and along pipe walls. AOB grow slowly, but are resilient and can live at low ammonia concentrations for long periods of time before causing trouble. These bacteria grow faster at higher temperatures, so they are subject to seasonal variations, but they are hearty enough to survive cold winters. Vulnerable spots for nitrification in the distribution system include storage tanks, closed valves, and cul-de-sacs. Even at high disinfection levels, AOB can become resistant as they are protected by the biofilms or sediments. In favourable conditions they can grow rapidly and consume ammonia, generating nitrites and eventually turn into nitrates. When that happens, total residual chlorine needed to prevent other organisms from growing in the distribution system also drops below threshold limits, sending a water utility into additional compliance violations. Nitrification is an acute problem when it happens, but it can become a chronic issue that can take years to mitigate. Successfully executing a nitrification management plan requires a complete mapping of the distribution system, an understanding of where the hot spots are located, selection of the proper parameters, and then testing on a regular basis. Key Indicators Totalresidualchlorine,nitrites,freeandtotalammonia,andheterotrophicplatecount(HPC)aresome of the important parameters to monitor as part of creating or refining a nitrification management plan. When total residual chlorine drops below a certain level, water managers can switch off the ammonia supply (known as a chlorine burn) or perform extended flushing of the system. AOB are difficult to culture in a lab environment, because they are slow-growing, but they do produce a microbial by-product that is consumed by the heterotrophic bacteria and can be measured by HPC. Newer technologies feature already-prepared media to make the HPC test much simpler than traditional methods. Monitoring nitrite and ammonia regularly would provide advanced notification for the potential to form nitrate, which then indicates the advanced stages of water quality deterioration. Water turnover is an additional consideration in which many utilities don’t have a tight control. The amount of time water spends in a system, also referred to as its age, impacts the volume of sediment and biofilm. Understanding the water age in a system can provide more information on managing nitrification. This allows utilities to know when to flush parts of the distribution system as part of their management plan. Advanced technology is making it easier for water plant operators to perform testing and map their distribution systems. For example, portable parallel analysers combined with colorimetric and probe-based testing in a field kit would require fewer bulky accessories, enabling operators to acquire measurements in the field. These analysers feature as many as six parameters, which are tested in parallel and offer faster results with all chemicals and processes entirely contained. A Successful Turnaround In 2016, the City of Corpus Christi, Texas’ water department began to see the loss of chlorine residuals in its distribution system, while free ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates began to increase. The department, which serves more than 300,000 people plus surrounding counties, was facing a major nitrification problem. Corpus Christi’s system has seven storage tanks, and water can travel as much as 40 miles through pipes to reach the end of the distribution system, making it a prime candidate for nitrification. Plant operators tried a variety of fixes to gain control, including conventional flushing, chlorine sweeps, valve sweeps, unidirectional flushing, tank draining and cleaning, and even some isolated chlorine burns. This herculean effort was effective in the short term, but the system needed a long-term fix. The result was a nitrification action plan that included the use of advanced equipment to monitor at 17 different sites in the distribution system. Click here to view the Corpus Christi case study video. The acquisition of portable parallel analysers allowed Corpus Christi to test for total chlorine, free available ammonia, nitrites, and monochloramines. Now, system operators have one snapshot of all the data they need to determine if treatment protocols are necessary. Nitrification in a water distribution system can lead to violations, large expenses, and loss of customer confidence. Once nitrates are in the system, it’s too late to go back, so the best approach is to get as far ahead of the curve as possible. Page 9
  10. 10. Sydney Water Hub wins Smart Water project of the year as Evoqua wins digital water of the year The Sydney Water Hub and Evoqua were some of the big winners at this year’s Global Water Awards showing the importance of smart technology and its application in the modern water industry. The Smart Water Project of the year was won by the Sydney Water Customer Hub. The Water Hub works by gathering and acting on feedback from up to 5 million customers in real-time, Customer Hub allows Sydney Water to be proactive in client communications and predictive in asset management. Customer Hub’s technology comprises a geo-spatial situational awareness tool (Spatial Hub), online customer portals, automated customer notification and feedback channels, and an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor pilot, simplifying Sydney Water’s complex water and wastewater networks, making identifying and scheduling maintenance simple. The customer Hub was an in-house product, bringing together Sydney Water’s customer engagement expertise and service structures under a single point of leadership and making the most of their internal software development capabilities. The Spatial Hub reduced water outages to around 100,000 properties in 2018, shrinking the number of customers affected by service interruptions by 25-30% annually. By reducing negative customer experiences and service impact, Spatial Hub has already saved Sydney Water over $800,000 in customer rebates. Additional web channels allow customers to report leaks, view current water outages and register to receive notifications online. Over 20,000 leaks have been reported this way. Customer Hub has piloted IoT sensors to better understand network performance and identify problems before they become customer issues. The pilot has already returned benefits, with 19 sewer blockages detected and rectified before reaching crisis point. This leading-edge technology will be continually improved to build its predictive capability and focus the Customer Hub on getting ahead of incidents. Earning a Distinction was the Cape Town Day 0 demand management project which was important becaused as 2018 began, Cape Town’s future was bleak. ‘Day Zero’ – the day the city’s taps would run dry – edged closer, and most solutions to belay the crisis were too slow, complicated, or expensive. Utility Systems’ Water Management Device (WMD) offered a simple way to reduce water consumption quickly and played a pivotal role in avoiding Cape Town’s desiccation. When linked to a pulse output water meter, Utility Systems’ WMD enabled operators to manage the water supplied to each outlet, affording remote, two-way communication, configuration, and valve control. Utility Systems developed its WMD entirely in house, but worked closely with regional distributors – Saki’khaya Suppliers – and the City of Cape Town to make sure the solution was rolled out quickly, efficiently, and exactly where the city needed it most. Utility Systems’ domestic demand management solution helped the City of Cape town reduce its consumption by a stunning 40% as it successfully avoided Day Zero. After supplying Cape Town with WMD for 10 years prior to the crisis, Utility Systems’ WMD coverage doubled last year; ramping up supply and providing an additional 1,600-2,400 units/month during the crisis. The system now covers 30-40% of Cape Town households. Utility Systems’ hardware will now form the basis of a new AMI and leak detection network for Cape Town. The data the system provides is an integral part of Cape Town’s long-term water security planning. At this years awards the Digital Water Company of the year award was won by Evoqua Water Technologies who In 2018 Evoqua simply reinvented the way customers interact with a water treatment supplier through the launch of its Water One service across North America. A revolutionary concept that combines the firm’s water service know-how with data analytics, Water One continuously monitors water systems allowing company personnel to pre-empt issues before an alarm is triggered and gives clients unrivalled 24/7 support. Clients including a state-of-the art laboratory in Florida and a hospital in Massachusetts needed a constant supply of high-purity water at all times with zero margin for error. Through the Water One service, Evoqua foresees an issue that may put water quality at risk, and arrives on site before it happens, allowing the highly demanding healthcare sector to operate worry-free about water quality. Evoqua also ensures the security of ground-breaking research aimed at solving the world’s greatest challenges. A project at MIT’s nano facility saw Water One remotely monitoring 30 critical water quality data points to the parts per billion range in real-time, optimising water system performance and effortlessly meeting the exacting requirements of nanotechnology research. With 730 customers already brought onto the platform in 2018, Evoqua is exhibiting breathtaking pace in connecting its vast customer base, meaning the benefits of digital water systems are felt immediately in industrial, commercial and university applications. Veolia Water Technologies won a distinction in the Digital Water Company of the year as in 2018 saw VWT launch its game-changing Aquavista platform, a four- offer, fully cloudified digital service to optimise water treatment plant operation around the world. By consolidating and expanding its previous digital offers and building in world-leading process expertise, VWT have produced a holistic service structure that maximises the value of client data, and allows users to get the most from their resources. The four Aquavista offers – Plant, Insight, Portal, and Assist – are linked into a common, cloud-based, data library system bolstering the data resources available to each and setting new standards for data handling and cyber security. Cloudifying its water treatment management systems means VWT offers truly automated plant operation services (Aquavista Plant), with 80 clients already integrating the offer across Europe, the US, the Middle East, and China. Since implementing the AI and process expertise driven service, clients have reported truly remarkable upturns in efficiency: BlueKolding’s Agtrup WWTP seeing a staggering 23% reduction in energy consumption, a 46% drop in precipitation chemical use, and an 80% increase in stormwater capacity coupled with an 83% reduction in overflows. With more than 1000 installations using VWT’s Aqauvista services to gain process insight across 20 countries, the French firm are bringing the benefits of data- driven operations management to more clients than ever before. Page 10
  11. 11. Tracking sludge flow for better wastewater treatment and more biogas A new way of tracking how sewage sludge flows during thermal treatment could help engineers design better wastewater treatment plants and boost production of biogas. Researchers at RMIT University demonstrated how the flow behaviour of sludge can be used as a tool to gauge how quickly organic matter is dissolving at high temperatures, paving the way for online monitoring of process performance. Traditional methods of assessing the performance of thermal treatment require time-consuming sampling and chemical analysis. But rheology calculations – which measure and detail how liquids flow - can be done online in real time. The study, published in Water Research, found a correlation between how sludge dissolves and changes in its flow behaviour, indicating it may be possible to monitor thermal treatment performance simply by tracking the flow. Lead investigator Associate Professor Nicky Eshtiaghi, from the School of Engineering, said correctly estimating the rheological parameters of sludge is critical to efficient process design. “Our technique enables engineers and plant operators to conveniently obtain these parameters without having to perform the measurements at high temperatures themselves,” Eshtiaghi said. We hope the research encourages more serious consideration of flow behaviour in optimising and designing high pressure and high temperature sludge- handling processes. The equations in the study are based on direct measurement of sludge at conditions that mimic real-world thermal treatment processes. The new technique can measure flow behaviour without destroying the samples, often a big challenge during data collection of concentrated sludge. Thicker sludge, more biogas The study also showed that varying the thickness of sludge has little impact on the effectiveness of thermal treatment. This means plant operators could increase biogas production downstream, by increasing the solid content of sludge during initial treatment processes. “Thicker sludge can be beneficial for both optimising efficiency overall and for producing more biogas,” Eshtiaghi said. “With our discovery that the thickness of sludge makes no difference, this research gives plant operators more flexibility in designing processes that can better exploit the renewable energy potential of wastewater sludge treatment.” Eshtiaghi, a member of the Water: Effective Technologies and Tools (WETT) Research Centre at RMIT, said the research could enable more efficient design and trouble-shooting of pumps, mixers and heat exchangers in the sludge treatment process. Yorkshire Water water efficiency trial at 400 homes in Sheffield saves three million litres a year A water efficiency project trialled in Sheffield by Yorkshire Water has helped save 400 homes 8,000 litres of water each per year thanks to free water saving devices fitted in each home. YW Sheffield Trial Conservation The ‘Fit2Save’ project is part of efforts by the firm to manage water demand in the region and reduce the average amount of water customers consume, which is currently 155 litres of water per day. By cutting down water consumption, the 400 homes involved managed to reduce their annual water bill by an average of £24.77 if on a meter. Yorkshire Water technicians visited all the homes to install up to 10 water saving devices, which included shower timers, water butts for the garden and specially designed shower heads. During the visit any minor leaks from toilets or dripping taps were also identified and repaired. Sheffield was chosen as the trial area following the long dry summer of 2018, in a bid to keep the city supplied from the same water sources they are used to. Yorkshire Water’s grid system had to be utilised to top up Sheffield’s supply during the summer heatwave which tastes slightly different. Adrian Flanagan, the ‘Fit2Save’ campaign lead at Yorkshire Water, said: “Water is a finite resource that should not be taken for granted, which many people are starting to slowly realise. Due to climate change and growing populations the risk of water shortages in the coming decades is very real unless as a society we start to use water more efficiently in our homes. “Our Fit2Save trial in Sheffield will save a total of 3,186,092 litres of clean drinking water per year, every year. Simple devices, such as tap adaptors and shower regulators, can really make a difference and cut down water usage without impacting on people’s everyday lifestyles.” Page 11
  12. 12. Waking up to AI in the water industry While the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is still in its infancy in the water management sector, early applications are showing great potential. Andrew Welsh, General Manager – Water Utilities at Xylem UK & Ireland, takes a closer look at how one of the most seemingly unlikely of industries looks set to become one of the most compelling stories to watch in the years ahead. Andrew Welsh: Last month, the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency declared England may face water shortages within 20 to 25 years. Last year, UNESCO published a report stating that around five billion people are expected to be living in countries or regions tackling water shortages by 2050. Considering these shocking figures and scenarios, it is unsurprising that the water industry is constantly working towards seeking new and more intelligent ways in which to deliver vital resources to those who need them most. Yet developing smarter solutions presents certain challenges and the water management sector has been conservative when adopting new technologies in the past. However, at a time when demand for water is rapidly accelerating to unprecedented levels, experts believe that AI has the potential to fundamentally transform the economics and productivity of water management in years to come. In turn, more intelligent water solutions will become available to areas racked by water scarcity. AI can be defined in many ways, but is best explained as the theory and development of intelligent response computer systems. These systems are able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence and analyse data at a far quicker speed and larger scale than any person could ever manage. The main benefits of AI include not only the ability to identify patterns in data, but also to learn from these patterns as a result of endlessly refining relationships between variables. AI has the potential to predict and determine any number of responses to given challenges on water and sewerage networks as well as the treatment works. This will truly put the customer at the heart of all decision making and transform performance. In an era where skilled staff will become increasingly harder to recruit, use of intelligent sophisticated solutions will be essential to maintain increasing societal demands. For the water industry, the ability to use AI solutions to learn and problem-solve at an unprecedented pace will be critical for meeting the challenge of water scarcity and improving resilience. Issues such as aging infrastructure, climate change, severe weather and overpopulation are continuous concerns for water systems managers and exacerbate the overarching problem. For these managers, who must combat the issue while also maintaining exacting environmental and public health standards combined with affording vital repairs, AI will be a powerful tool. Indeed, the water sector is using AI in increasingly sophisticated ways. For example, by adopting machine learning and artificial intelligence methodologies, one US water operator was able to detect a number of inefficient meters and make savings of just over $750,000. Expensive maintenance call-outs have also become much less frequent for water managers who have integrated AI into their smart wastewater pumping systems, where it can optimise performance levels and operating conditions. On an even greater scale, one large utility company that incorporated AI into their wireless sensor network reduced their combined annual sewer overflows by over a billion gallons. Yet these gains only scratch the surface of what AI can achieve. As adoption increases, the water sector will have access to an even wider array of predictive and prescriptive analytics that could enhance customer service, keep costs down and reduce overall environmental impact. AI could also allow water systems managers to better affect the infrastructure for which they are responsible and further supplement knowledge required to resolve challenges unique to their local area. In conclusion, AI is driving a paradigm shift across society and its impact will be keenly felt in the water sector. Faced with a future where water scarcity is an ever-growing problem, the application of AI solutions could help resolve a global crisis and enable water managers to better serve their local environment. It therefore represents the next evolution of tools that will propel the industry forward, making the life of the operator easier and allowing them to do more, with less. Most utility customers prefer digital billing, finds survey Two-thirds of utility customers would rather receive their bills for gas, electricity and water digitally, according to a survey of 2,000 consumers commissioned by multichannel communications expert Opus Trust Communications. The findings from the Hidden Opportunity Market Report show 49% would prefer email, 16% access via an online portal, 2% from an app and just 1% from SMS. However, before utility suppliers discard traditional methods altogether, a further 30% still expect to receive their correspondence through the post. What the findings highlight is that digital transformation is having an impact on the expectation of utility customers, with greater choice leading to preferences for a multichannel approach depending on the nature of the communication. When asked about contracts as opposed to bills, the figures show some change, with 45% of consumers preferring to receive these through the post and 41% by email, which demonstrates that direct communication is still the preferred method for non-transactional documents. In each instance, the two preferred methods of communication remain post and email (79% and 86% respectively). The wider report also found that within five years, a third of all consumers expect online chat functions to become their preferred method to communicate with service providers. Despite far fewer customers choosing to use online portals (16%) and apps (2%) compared to other sectors such as banking, utility providers may need to invest more in their omni-channel communications strategies to meet with the changing needs of customers in years to come. Chief Executive Officer for Opus Trust Communications, Tony Strong, comments: “This Hidden Opportunity Market Report has confirmed that consumers expect choice when it comes to the way that they receive communications from their utility suppliers. “Some utility providers have already proven the success of paperless billing, with the majority of customers willing to shift to digital communications, however findings have confirmed that consumers still remain loyal to post when it comes to non-transactional documentation. “We know that regular communications speak volumes about a company but can often be overlooked. What we want to see is companies turning conventional, more functional communications into engaging, relevant and informative customer experiences. “The message from this report is clear; customers are embracing new technology and channels, but there is no one-size-fits-all. Consumers each have individual preferences and organisations must ensure they offer customers a choice of channels to enable them to customise their communications.” Page 12
  13. 13. Feature Article: What are the question (and answers) around the Smart Water Industry? There is a lot of confusion around the Smart Water Industry and what it can deliver. It is a part of the industry that is full of technologies that promise a lot but in reality are an answer to a solution that may or may not exist. This is what is know within the water companies as “the widget culture,” and in general technology providers are likely to get some cursory interest and not much more. So what are the question and what is the direction of the industry at the current time? The WWT Smart Water Networks conference asked some questions which highlighted the industries questions and also highlighted some of the areas of interest. So, first to the questions. What is Smart Water? Is there a definition? The short answer to this question is no. There is no “official” definition of the “Smart Water Industry” in fact there are lots of different names for it including “Water 4.0” and “Digital Transformation. In reality this is very confusing and nobody really knows what it is all about. This of course encourages the “widget culture,” as technologies can be used to fit into the poorly defined culture. There are some resources though that may help people define themselves what it all means. The first is the SWAN Forum’s article on the SWAN Layers which was mainly designed around the Smart Potable Water Network and in reality mimics the earlier work of the Purdue Model and also looks similar to the OSI model of network communication. Additionally to this is the work that the German Water Partnership did when they first defined their definition of what Water 4.0 is. There are more definitions coming as various organisations define what Digital Transformation is. For me though, at least for the water industry, the whole Smart Water Industry is the using data to create situational awareness of how the anthropogenic water cycle (i.e. from source to customer and customer to discharge) to allow for informed decision making. This decision making can be by a person making manual operational decisions or by a machine allowing for active system control of the various networks, or real time control of treatment processes. At the centre of this of course the service that we give to customers by either informing them directly (e.g. about their water use) or increasing the efficiency of the system resulting in more efficient operational costs and ultimately cheaper bills for the customer BIM, Digital Twin, analytics and Big Data are all interlinked. However they seem to be looked at separately within utilities - how do we join them up In essence these are all technologies that are interlinked insofar as they can be applied to any industry but can form part of the whole of the water industry. They can be joined by many other technologies such as the Internet of Things (whether it is industrial or not) but again, like Smart Water, are actually badly defined. Some of these technologies are applicable to the water industry and some are not. Taking the examples of BIM and Digital Twins. Both these technologies could be seen as an approach of a technology being made to fit into the water industry however they do have their uses. The Water Infrastructure in the UK has necessarily had to relatively heavy on an infrastructure and construction approach. The number of assets that supply water and treat wastewater are actually vast and so the infrastructure level (Level 1) is big, there are always construction projects going on. In the past all of the information around these projects have been stored in reams of paper that nobody ever reads and so it was natural for BIM to be taken from the building industry and applied to the water industry. This, at least to me, allows for a huge amount of detail on the construction project to be recorded and fed into asset and operational models which will help in the long-term operation of the system as a whole. This can feed into both operational models for plant control and operational maintenance but can also be used to create Digital Twins. Now what do I mean by Digital Twins? The mistake that I am seeing a lot at the moment is that a Digital Twin is an operational model that can be used to control the system. It’s not, a Digital Twin is actually an offline model of the system that can be used for modelling how a system will react to operational systems. This can then be inputted into the real thing and the reactions of the live system used to alter the Digital Twin, using machine learning, so that the Digital Twin becomes more intelligent. An example of this for a discrete factory is to use a combination of 3D AutoCad and a Digital Twin approach to “build” a factory. This allows the function of the factory to be checked and altered before the physical factory is built. This has been very successfully applied by some of the largest automation companies in the world to ensure that the “concept” is right before anything is actually built. The Internet of Things (Level 3) is quite literally just a communication link between devices that facilitates Big Data and Analytics (Levels 4 & 5) which allows for informed decision making and analytics. From an application point of view this can be used through the whole process of the construction of any part of the water and/or wastewater system using cognitive hydraulic models for the water or wastewater networks which ensures that water gets to the right place (the customer or the wastewater treatment works) using active system control or it can use Real Time Control or Multi-Variate Process Control to control a treatment works. In an operational environment the whole water/wastewater system can be brought together in a number of different models which inputs into a System of Systems approach from an Artificial Neural Network (an aspect of Artificial Intelligence) to show the affects of rain on both the potable and wastewater systems to a hydraulic model for the distribution networks, metering of the customer all the way to the control systems on treatment works. At a site tech level do bespoke controllers have a future as most are now integrating their smart “apps” into connected PLCs or Edge Devices? At a site level controllers are essential, there is no need for these controllers to be bespoke and in fact in the water industry they aren’t bespoke now. The various programmable logic controllers that are onsite are basically computers that do the controlling on site. These control modules within these devices tend to be programmed using a library of standard controls. This has allowed the industry to put consistency into the various control functions that are used. These are the “apps” of 15-20 years ago. There is an aspect of the “application” of the water industry as we go to a more simplified approach so that people don’t need to understand the “standard way” of doing things but in reality we can’t reduce things down to the lowest common denominator as with any system you have to have fall-back approaches in case something goes wrong (an instrument failure for example). Keeping it simple the water and wastewater industry isn’t something that is necessarily common and so we can’t apply everything down to an application that we can control via a mobile phone so there will always be some aspect of “bespoke” but conversely there are some things that we can do in a standard way allowing the industry to make some efficiencies in both capital delivery and operations. Do you feel the Water utilities have a digital roadmap and know where they are going and at what pace? This very much depends upon what aspect of the “Smart” Water Industry is being talked about and whether you are talking about an individual application Page 13
  14. 14. (a vertical segment) or the whole smart water piece (so a horizontal segment). What do I mean by this? Well an example of a vertical segment is non-revenue water, this is an area of the smart water industry that is very well developed and can be considered technologically mature. In this area, because leakage is a relatively simple business case to justify, the water companies tend to have a mature strategy that they have developed and are in fact delivering. It is a technology based strategy that incorporates everything from smart water meters to DMAs (that pre-dates the “smart” water industry by a very long way) to event management systems that work on rate of change algorithms to “detect” where there is the potential for leakage to be an ongoing problem. Conversely the horizontal segment is something that is starting to develop right now and so it will be fair to say that the Digital Roadmap is still being developed examples of this are in the visualisation and analytics of data and some areas need to be refreshed and strategies that have been used in the past changed due to increasing demands within the water industry. This is especially the case with Level 2 (Instrumentation & Control) and Level 3 (Telemetry). In all fairness the main problems in these areas are legacy issues that over time will be resolved but there is no point changing something that is currently working and hasn’t reached the end of their asset life. What is obvious in the UK is that the whole area of “Smart” Water/”Digital Transformation” is becoming a more and more popular subject area. Some of the very large water companies have taken this on-board and are coming out with investment plans for a transformational change within the water industry. These plans will have a strategic basis as they will be backed up by a business case. Whether this takes advantage of the full benefits that “Smart” Water can bring is certainly debatable but whether or not there are plans in place is beyond doubt. Change, skills and of course data If we take on board that data is fundamentally at the core of the Smart Water Industry then there are several questions that were asked that were very apt including • How do we value data • Can you change people or do you need to “change” people • When trying to implement smart systems into treatment works then do you see much resistance from managers of those sites • No one has mentioned the skills shortage, what are the proposals to bridge the skills gap and can AI help this gap • Are the data analysts in the back office as important as the engineers out in the field? • What are the ethical implications of deploying smart tech, condition-based monitoring and AI • There are a lot of people who want to help provide smarter solutions if only water companies provide access to their data. How can we solve this? The key question here is how do we value data and the quick answer to this is the data has to be used, it has to have a point to it as if it doesn’t then the value of the data that we use drops to less than zero as not only is it not used it also costs money in terms of sensor replacement and communicating the data. The value of the data that we collect is key and it must not be data for the sake of data, but it has to allow for situational awareness and informed decision making in short it has to be useful information. As soon as data can be converted into useful information then any resistance on the ground falls away. Probably one of the best-case studies in recent times is Severn Trent Water’s project at their wastewater treatment works at Spernal. This was a project that was driven by site operations and brought the data sources together into a works-based information system. This brought together the three elements of the technology triangle i.e. systems, people and technology to deliver a project that truly used information this allowed the operators on site to see all of the information that was needed and allowed for informed decision making. This also had the effect of making an operations-led change to the works and increase the operational efficiency as a result. This obviously required not only special skills that were available within the business such as the ICA specialists. This is obviously the day to day operational data but there are occasions when on a larger-based system of system approach where data analyst teams are key to providing informational resources and this is an area that the water industry is developing at the moment. These are the areas that the likes of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence come into force and these areas do struggle in terms of the available skills especially as the people within this area also need domain knowledge in terms of how the water industry works. This is where educational programmes dealing with hydroinformatics come into play and although there is a limited skill base at the moment it is developing. This is where collaboration across the industry becomes vitally important and some of the water companies have opened up their data through the various Open Data Initiatives which will allow an industry collaborative innovation based approach to delivering the smart water industry And where do ethics come in? There are ethical issues about sharing data such as customer consumption data but if anonymised, as done in the medical industry, then some of these ethical issues should disappear. The other ethical issue is in people doing various tasks that they are not qualified to do and this is more of a problem but it is where there needs to be strong governance issues to ensure that someone who has the domain knowledge and knows the implications of what is proposed so that any potential risk is mitigated. Delivering the smart water industry – its all about the application There are several reasons why we should deliver a “Smart” Water Industry. We have seen the application of informed decision making in the area of non- revenue water with some good case studies presented on the day. The island of Sant Ferran was a good example of this with the installation of smart meter which increased the annual meter reads from around 9,000 to over 2 million for somewhere that has a population of just over 1,000 people. The need was water resources were short on an island which has a tourist population which outnumbers the residential population. In this case smart meters allow for a better management of water resources which is obvious business case. The same can be said in the UK where warnings over the availability of water are stark. In reality to deliver this something that is key is the concept of collaboration. There are several entrants by companies into the smart water market and has been over the past decade. There is the case of Innovyze and the Southern Water Smart Wastewater network which gave operators situational awareness in order to optimise the network and to reduce the risk of operation from a number of risk factors including climatic risk. More recently is the asset management partnership approach between Yorkshire Water and the engineering consultant Black & Veatch which looks at asset risk. This approach can of course work with any water industry operating company. The advent of smart water networks is almost becoming normal across the industry and several of the water companies are at least operating in the area although it is somewhat piecemeal as there is no need to convert everything to this approach only the areas which have the largest risk. There is a long way to go in the development of a “Smart” Water industry and there are several challenges to address including how we are actually going to Page 14
  15. 15. deliver it and this has come out in several sessions that have been run by the strategy company +Add Strategy when they have delivered workshops within this area when looking at the barriers to adoption of the Smart Water Industry. These include: • Intelligence cost to scale unclear • Approaches to procuring scale intelligence are unclear • Lack of experience / expertise in transitioning from old to new forms of intelligence • Cost of predictability – Lack of clarity of cost of higher volume data processing for insight • Lack of confidence in resilience of monitoring systems and telemetry offered As well as the current issues with the data and available insight at the moment including: • Focus – We are unsure if we are recording the right information to create useful insights • Data quality – A lack of trust in ‘data’ from the network in enabling clear decisions/ automating decisions • Lack of customer data and effective insight availability • Standardisation - Current issues with systems not communicating with each-other and not being agnostic • Asset conditions - We do not know what the asset condition baseline is/ what is the starting point? All of these issues are concerns for the water industry at the current time and these are the barriers that we have to address if the industry is to take a step forward. They are in fact issues that we have faced for many years. Standardisation has been partly addressed by protocols such as the Water Industry Telemetry Standard Protocol which is based on DNP3 but as we solve one issue another crops up with “apps” being developed by individual manufacturers meaning that no one application will suit all instrumentation on a site and so on. Data quality has been a perennial problem and this can be addressed by simple operation and maintenance of the instrumentation asset base and where this has been done there are some powerful examples of where pollution events can be detected before they happen or non-revenue water levels have shrunk as there is meter error. All of these have come out of discussion in events this year where companies have collaborated mainly due to the work done by firms such as +Add Strategy to bring to the forefront any resistance to the Smart Water Industry. These have brought about Challenge Areas which, for the wastewater network, include: These challenge areas of course have to be brought into application but any application must address the concerns. From these challenge areas we can see that data is at the centre of all of this and its conversion into information and insight the key. About this article This article was based upon the activities that took place at the 2019 WWT Smart Water Networks Conference including the questions that were asked by the audience and some of the answers that resulted. It was also largely based upon the wastewater network breakout session that was chaired by Oliver Grievson of Z-Tech, WIPAC & SWIG as well as being facilitated by Paul Sutherland of +Add Strategy Add the +Add Vantage stuff Page 15
  16. 16. Article: Five visions on global leakage This years Global Leakage Summit will take place on the 25th and 26th June 2019 where the discussions will be centred around the crisis that the UK water industry has around its supply-demand gap and what the industry as a whole can do to address this not including the reduction of leakage from the water supply system but also efforts to reduce the per capita consumption from a figure that has been typically around 150 litres per head per day down to under 100 litres with some areas of the country famously having an aspirational figure of 80 litres. This does take a national change in attitude towards water and reducing things like customer-side leakage which is one of the “hidden” problems within the water industry. In preparation for the Global Leakage Summit the organisers have interviewed five industry leaders and technical specialists about the areas that they are going to talk about and their hopes for the industry. Alicja Solarczyk, United Utilities Alicja Solarczyk will be speaking about the readiness for AMP 7 from trunk mains to the customer which through her involvement in the WRMP planning process she can say that she has contributed to developing strategies for in all three of the main areas of from the customer to the distribution network and of course trunk mains. Alicia started her career with a master’s degree in maritime construction engineering from Technical University of Gdansk. After she graduated she saw an advert for a project engineer role from a UK based company – Crowder Consulting. The advert stated that the successful candidate will be expected to travel to the UK for a two-week training course. She got the job and 15 years later she is still working in the UK. She was at Crowder Consulting for over 10 years and throughout this time was involved in many great and challenging projects related to leakage management and leakage economics, working with a number of water companies in the UK. She then decided it would be good to experience “the other side of the fence” and when the right opportunity came along she decided to grab it. She has now been at United Utilities for around 5 years, most of which has been spent as a Leakage and Demand Strategy Manager. She has been heavily involved in the production of the United Utilities WRMP and CBP leading the demand strategy work stream. It was the first time she was involved in the price review and definitely learned a lot from the process. Recently, she moved on and taken a Senior Project Management role in the Water Network Technical Team which will be focused around delivering the strategy developed as part of the planning process. Even with smart network sensors and advanced leak noise correlators, we are still sometimes dependent on some traditional technologies for detecting leaks in ‘difficult’ situations. How successful has UU’s deployment of Snipe – the leak sniffer dog – been for finding leaks in trunk mains? There is no “silver bullet” when it comes to leakage reduction and each technology plays its part. We have had some great results from the trunk main surveys carried out by Cape and proved leaks detected by Snipe. Due to nature of our network, and those leaks being in difficult locations i.e. on strategic pipes, a lot of planning is involved before a repair can be arranged and this is what we are focusing on now. Looking at the agenda for the two days of the Summit, what do you expect to be the main highlights for you to take away? And do you see any scope for adding value to your own project work at UU from what you will have heard during the discussions? To be honest, the whole agenda looks great and there are many presentations that I am really looking forward to, for example trunk mains leakage management and monitoring, progress made with noise logging technology (there are few suppliers presenting on this) and also advance pressure transient monitoring and proactive network management – I strongly believe that we should be as focused on leak prevention as we are on leak detection and repair. So yes, there will definitely be lessons there for me that I can use in my project work. I brought quite a few ideas from the conference last year, some of which we have already trialled. I hope it will be the same this year. Without revealing the full details of your full presentation, with 50-100 words can you describe your presentation and how it will help your fellow colleagues? What I find from various conferences and forums is that people usually share only the “bright side” and often forget about the obstacles they have encountered on the way. Hannah and I are planning to talk about the good as well as the bad. From my experience in trialling new technologies/kit often things look great on a piece of paper and then reality hits when you get out to field. So there will definitely be “lessons learnt” in our presentation. Professor Bruno Brunone, University of Perugia Professor Brunone will be discussing the Reliability of Transient Test-Based Techniques for Fault Detection in Transmission Mains at this year’s Global Leakage Summit and discussing “Safe Transients,” which is not a term that the industry is used to. “Safe Transients” can be described as the injection in the pipe system of a small amplitude pressure wave (i.e., a pressure wave with an entity of few meters of the water column). You have tested the technology in the laboratory – how successful has the field testing been? Did you manage to do a test on a live transmission main? And how did the results compare with using more conventional technologies for leak detection in large pipes? The proposed transient test-based technology was firstly examined by means of numerical tests; then it was checked in the lab. Several tests have been executed in live transmission mains with very good results (we localized anomalies in Milan and Trento pipe systems). To be sincere: in the field of large transmission mains technology is in progress and then, in my opinion, the term ‘conventional’ does not apply properly. Page 16
  17. 17. Research and Development by universities and joint ventures is an essential component of innovation, and all emerging technologies need a sponsor or joint venture company to move from a prototype to a commercially available product. What are the next steps for marketing this technology? Marketing of the proposed technology is taking place within a University of Perugia and Technical University of Bari joint spin-off company. A EU project focused on leak detection in real pipe systems would help a lot the dissemination of the technology. Without revealing the full details of your full presentation, with 50-100 words can you describe your presentation and how it will help your fellow colleagues? The presentation at the 10th Global Leakage Summit, prepared by Silvia Meniconi and me, will show the possibility of using safe transient tests as a powerful tool for detecting anomalies in real transmission mains. The results of the field tests will be discussed in terms of the time needed to prepare the experiments, their repeatability, and effectiveness of the injected pressure waves. Mark Tully, Southern Water Mark Tully, the Network Strategic Planning Manager at Southern Water, will be discussing integrated sensor management using all network sensors, communication channels and data management tools to give ‘one picture. He is in water engineering, specifically pipeline design and network management. Although he has significantly diversified in recent years working across asset management, strategic planning and operational areas for a number of UK water companies. Within this role he covers all aspects of water networks policy and strategy but particularly the 5 to 50 year plans including leakage, PCC, water quality, network performance and network resilience. This with the overall aim of reducing leakage by 50% by 2050 and to reduce consumption to 100 l/h/d by 2040. In the context of your presentation how important is continuing innovation, such as AI and machine learning, to this concept? And what are the major emerging technologies being used or trialled at Southern Water to support future integration of network sensors? AI/machine learning are vital to being able to improve performance, the key is being able intervene earlier (particularly with leaks) and even prevent other issues such as bursts/water quality events. We are currently trialling some machine learning approaches and looking at a number of platforms for integration. The key for us is to find a way of fusing the data together and show this geographically to help prioritise interventions / improve operational situational awareness. Southern Water is one of the UK water companies in the water-stressed south east region of England, so reducing leakage is even more crucial, as is reducing customer demand, for maintaining resilience and security of supply. Do you feel confident that the company’s water resources can be maintained to meet customer demand? By 2030 we will have a supply/demand deficit of 294 Ml/d in severe 1 in 200 year droughts. We are using a multi-track approach to deal with this including: • Developing new resources (desalination, water re-use and a new reservoir). • A new regional water grid for our Western Area (which is the most water stressed with a sustainability challenge of 188 Ml/d). • Demand Management – reducing leakage by 15% by 2025 and PCC to 120 l/h/d by 2025. With a significant emphasis on developing a smart network to also improve water quality and interruptions performance to provide more resilience. • Catchment Management – preserving our existing sources to ensure resilience to drought, nitrates, pesticides etc.… How important is Water Resources in the South East (WRSE) group, an alliance of the six water companies in the south east region, for sharing resources – both water and knowledge – to your role as Strategic Planning Manager? WRSE will be important going forward to co-ordinate not only within the region but also with the other water resource groups such as WRE. It will also be vital to co-ordinating knowledge sharing and closer collaboration on technical solutions to reduce leakage and consumption. Without revealing the full details of your full presentation, with 50-100 words can you describe your presentation and how it will help your fellow colleagues? It covers a few main points: • Overview of the challenge faced by SWS and the south-east • Brief description of the multi-track approach • More detailed description of the leakage and PCC challenge looking a different horizons from 2020/2025/2030. • The technological mix needed and key decisions to be made. • How we are trying to integrate the various technologies. • (Provisionally) a view on regional collaboration with other companies and how we can learn from each other (everyone seems to have a strength). Eng. Mohammad Eid Ibrahim, Al Ain Distribution Company Mohammad Eid Ibrahim is the Water O&M Division Manager. His key focus is to continue the digital transformation of the AADC water distribution network to be smart while maintaining economic leakage levels and O&M cost optimization as par international best practices.Hispresentationison‘SmartNetworkMonitoring–PuttingNewTechnologyintoPractice’whichisacasestudydemonstrating the many components of a smart network. With regards to your presentation has the system helped you to identify specific areas of leakage and other weaknesses in the network? Well first of all the meticulous review and calculation of IWA water balance baseline for each DMA has helped us in understanding the basis system performance Page 17
  18. 18. better, and prioritizes which DMAs to focus our efforts. One interesting result of the system is the clear trend that there is no, or very little, leakage from DMAs with pipeline age less than 10 years, another important observation was that 94% of the leaks found over the first 2 years were located on service connections, and this has helped us in improving our procedures. In your opinion, which component demonstrates most the benefit of an integrated network - hydraulic modelling, automated water balance or noise loggers to guide leak detection? Or are all the components necessary for your data management system, HOMIS, to work efficiently? The whole idea of the system is to improve the synergistic effect of integrating all subsystems and thereby get access to more, and better, information. As an example it is now possible for us to evaluate the potential severity of leak alarms from the noise logger system by integration of noise logger data with the hydraulic model and the CIS. This enables us to combine information on the actual pipeline pressure and the hydraulic importance of the pipe and if there are any critical customers who will be affected if the pipe bursts. Thereby we can prioritize leak alarms, and we can even chose to react on a warning level if the location is very critical. Have you been able to maintain leakage in your case study area at the low figure, and what operational support (data analytics, leak detection) do you have in place to sustain such a low level? Was HOMIS developed in-house? As part of the initial works we conducted monthly house-to-house surveys to read the meters manually, to identify malfunctioning meters and to identify faulty connections (not illegal connections), connections that have not been correctly registered in our systems. Together with the online DMA monitoring, hydraulic modelling and noise loggers the NRW level was reduced to 2-10% for the DMAs, a few DMA that is less than 10 years of age even shows NRW at around 0%. This level was maintained thereafter. HOMIS is developed by one of our consultants, but the functionality and design for the implementation with AADC was heavily influenced by our requirements. What advice would you give to delegates who are considering installing a similar integrated network monitoring system - where would they start? Well, it all depends on the specific water company, but in general I would recommend starting by conducting a very thorough audit. Such an audit should be a combination of the standard water audit as described in AWWA M36, combined with mapping and assessment of all operational procedures and ICT systems in use. The outcome of such an audit and assessment will produce the knowledge required to design a system that will fit the actual water company, and be aligned with the overall strategy. Without revealing the full details of your full presentation, with 50-100 words can you describe your presentation and how it will help your fellow colleagues? Our presentation will discuss the need to eliminating waste as one of the crucial water security challenges to overcome. In order to make safe, clean water reliably accessible to everyone, the reduction of waste is almost as important as securing the initial supply. The use of smart technology has a significant role to play here, as we’ve succeeded to reduce the NRW levels in Al Ain Region from 21 % in year 2010 to just below 10% in 2017. This was achieved through the integration of innovations including network zoning and sub-zoning , successive metering , pressure & flow management , real-time hydraulic modelling, automated water balance calculations and automatic leakage detection equipment. Jean Spencer, Independent Chair of the Senior Steering Group for the National Framework for Water Resources Jean Spencer is keynoting the Global Leakage Summit talking about “Understanding Regulatory Drivers’ borrowing on her wealth of experience as Anglian Water’s former Director of Strategic Growth and Resilience - and now as Independent Chair of the National Framework for Water Resources Steering Group. What particular experiences from your time at Anglian have you been able to bring to the Steering Group? As Regulation Director at Anglian Water, I was responsible for developing its Strategic Direction Statement, first published in 2008 – this set out the key challenges for the region of drought, climate change and growth. The Anglian Region is in the driest part of the country, with only two thirds average rainfall compared with the rest of England and Wales – the same rainfall as Jerusalem! So, of course, having resilient water supplies is at the heart of Anglian Water’s strategy and delivering resilient services for customers. As a reflection of these challenges and the priority that Anglian Water gives to resilience, I volunteered to chair the Water UK Water Resources Long Term Planning Framework, as well as chairing a national collaboration, working closely with WaterWise, focussing on water efficiency and demand management. The UK water industry has to meet strict leakage targets between now and 2050. Ofwat has set a 15% reduction by 2025, the National Infrastructure Commission has gone further – with a 50% reduction by 2050. In your view, these targets achievable? The earlier target may well be achievable by more technology innovation and improved network operations, but what investments need to be made in the longer term – in both network infrastructure and water resources to make the 2050 target achievable? Yes, I believe a 50% reduction is achievable. It won’t be easy but companies are up for the challenge. It will require a focus on innovation, learning from global experiences in applying new technologies. Significant investment is needed, and the costs increase as companies chase further reductions and use ever more sophisticated new technologies. That is why the Global Leakage Conference is so important – in learning from best practice internationally. We all face the same challenges of water scarcity and making the most of precious resources. What inputs is the Steering Group having towards shaping policy for the National Infrastructure Commission’s long term policy? What would be the single most significant recommendation to guarantee resilience and sustainability of future water resources? The NIC are a member of the Steering Group and so we’re working closely together. The Steering Group is currently carrying out further modelling of the impacts of more severe droughts than we currently plan for. Making a decision to invest to increase resilience to drought and climate change will be critical to the sustainability of future water resources. Leakage and demand management are essential to delivering this resilience. Page 18
  19. 19. Article: Smart thinking: The digital asset management revolution With many of the pieces now in place for a digital asset management revolution, AI and machine learning solutions are set to have a significant impact throughout the sector While the water sector has already made significant strides in the use of BIM for design and build, digital asset management could deliver more substantial benefits, and artificial intelligence and machine learning are among the technologies promising transformational approaches. How long the transformation will take remains uncertain but, with tech companies demonstrating that cutting-edge AI can be adapted for the water sector, the journey has already begun. New Solutions While the industry can gain real insights from the existing standards of instrumentation used to measure asset health, there is scope for improvement – instantly identifying when an asset has failed is not nearly so useful as accurately predicting that it is due to fail and being able to intervene. The opportunity to move from reactive to proactive approaches, and being able to understand an asset’s role in a connected system, could be significant. “Everybody’s trialling new non-destructive testing or measurement methods to look at asset health below ground, but we’re seeing very few widespread, systematic solutions,” SES Water innovation manager Jeremy Heath says. “We’re really waiting for a lot more data to come through.” Two key developments have the ability to facilitate change. The water sector is set to be hit with a surge of new data as the industry takes advantage of the superior, and more affordable, communication protocols offered by the Internet of Things (IoT) to install a raft of new sensors above and below ground. However, more data creates its own problems. The Veritas Databerg Report 2015 for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) estimated that 54 per cent of stored data is ‘dark’, meaning no value is derived from it, and 32 per cent is ‘ROT’, meaning redundant, obsolete or trivial. The amount of data generated is also growing at a phenomenal rate – an IBM report in 2017 estimated that 90 per cent of the world’s data had been created in the previous two years. Like most sectors, water is at risk of being overwhelmed. “There’s a wonderful acronym for water companies,” Heath says. “DRIP – data rich, information poor. Water companies are great at collecting loads of data and doing nothing spectacular with it. There’s no point in getting data back if you can’t process it.” The solution to that could come with the implementation of AI and machine learning technologies, which have the ability to process and utilise vast amounts of data. These technologies will also allow companies to move beyond just descriptive analytics, which uses the data to understand past incidents and trends, to predictive analytics, which establishes what is likely to happen, and prescriptive analytics, which suggests actions on the basis of the predictions. A number of tech companies and universities that have developed such platforms are now looking to seize the opportunity in the water sector. “There’s a lot of entrants that have never been associated with the water industry coming in because they have an AI engine and recognise the amount of data we’ve got,” Heath says. “What we’re seeing from the first demonstrations is that they’re very good at looking at systems and working out whether they’re working normally or not. “They will learn your particular system and how it operates, which is completely different from the old system of putting in an alarm and saying: ‘If it goes above or below that level, send me an alert. If it’s between the two, I’ll assume it’s fine.’ With an AI solution, you can start to program exactly how that asset should operate.” Hitachi is among the big-name companies to have identified an opportunity in the water market, but Canadian technology firm EMAGIN became the first to introduce large-scale artificial intelligence into the UK water sector late last year following a successful trial with United Utilities. “We see the market as ready for this,” EMAGIN CEO and co-founder Thouheed Gaffoor says. “They’re looking for new technology to optimise operations connected to some of the capital planning and have a more holistic approach.” EMAGIN recently signed a two-year strategic partnership with Black & Veatch Water Europe that adds asset management and engineering know-how to the former’s HARVI artificial intelligence platform. Page 19