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WIPAC Monthly November 2018


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Welcome to the November 2018 edition of WIPAC Monthly, the magazine from the LinkedIn Group and membership organisation Water Industry Process Automation & Control. In this month's edition we have:

A round up from WWEM 2018
An article looking into Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the Water Industry
An article about the digitisation of the Water Industry

Enjoy the latest edition and for more news, events and the archive of all of the last two years of WIPAC Monthly then please visit the WIPAC Website at

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WIPAC Monthly November 2018

  1. 1. WIPAC MONTHLYThe Monthly Update from Water Industry Process Automation & Control Issue 11/2018- November 2018
  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 The picture on the front cover is a selection of photographs from WWEM 2018 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 A review of WWEM 2018................................................. ............................................ A summary of WWEM 2018 from the perspective of WIPAC including the WWEM Instrumentation Apprentice Competition, the WIPAC Learning Zone and of course the WIPAC Flow Forum 12-14 What place has Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning in the Water Industry.......... The Water Industry is currently hearing a lot about the concepts of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. It is easy to think that these concepts are “science fiction” and they will never get used in the water industry where in reality it can be seen we’ve actually be using them for years. 15 - 16 What to consider when digitising water management................................................... In this article by Suez the benefits of using the digital concept is suscinctly explained in terms of why the industry doesn’t have the time to go digital and perhaps why it shoud make the time in order to create the time. 17-18 Workshops, conferences & seminars............................................................................ The highlights of the conferences and workshops in the coming months. 19-20
  3. 3. Page 3 From the Editor This month has all been about WWEM and the various activities that WIPAC does there. This year was special as it is the year that WIPAC has launched in the UK as a membership organisation (althought as I yet I am trying to get a Board of Directors together so that I can register WIPAC as a company). This years WWEM has shown that there is a huge amount of talent within the water industry. The Instrumentation Apprentice Competition brought the cream of the apprentice talent to the forefront of the industry and we have some well deserverd winner in the form of Natalie Oliver& Dan Calvert from Yorkshire Water, a coleague of mine who I have a lot of respect for described the pair as “scarily good at what they do,” which coming from this particular individual is quite some compliment. These two apprentices represent the future of our industry and in reality we must nurture and develop this talent. This all fits with the comments that I have been hearing in the past few years about a “skills gap” within the industry and these people are the future way in which we can fill the gap. Also at WWEM this year we had the “Learning Zone,” and this is the short/medium term method of doing the same by training the potential within the industry, by training those that want to learn. It was at WWEM this year that we heard Michael Strahand, of ATi, talk about the Smart Water Industry and the need for both the water industry and the wider industry to come together in helping to deliver this approach. It is a sensible route to take as the water industry isn’t on its own in the “Smart Revolution” and in reality the water industry will need to collaborate with the Smart Cities approach and collaborate with wider industry. We are already seeing this in a way with the communications industry, a vital part of any industry, bringing innovations in to the industry but with a lack of understanding of the application to water or wastewater. The initial reaction of the water industry is to reject these approaches, the “this is our area and you don’t understand it,” but we must resist this approach and work collaboratively. There are lots of examples of this happening, certainly within industry, with water companies collabrating with the supply chain but it is in a very early stage of development at the current time. There are also the approach where supply companies have techologies and “widgets” that are available....products rather than solutions and these have always struggled to be adopted within the industry as a whole. This has traditionally come about through a lack of collaboration and a lack of the water companies saying “this is what we need,” and the supply chain is forced to guess and develop things at great cost which may or may not be adopted which presents a huge risk in research & development. So Mike Strahand is 100% correct in his call for all of us to collabrate and as an industry we must there are opportunities for collaboration and we have seen Northmbrian Water and their innovation festival lead the way in this regard as well as companies such as Anglain Water with their “shop window” approach. There does need to be more of this as we move forward to the next Asset Management Period and there is a need to develop the smart approach even more. It is through events such as WWEM in the instrumentation world and WEX Global in the wider “Smart Industry” world along with organisations such as SWIG and now WIPAC that we will see the industry take the leap into a Smart/Digital future Have a good month, Oliver
  4. 4. Yorkshire Water win the WWEM Instrumentation Apprentice Competition 2018 Yorkshire Water have won this years WWEM Instrumentation Apprentice Competition at the WWEM Conference & Exhibition taking place at the Telford International Conference Centre. The team of Dan Calvert & Natalie Oliver narrowly won the final of the competition beating the team of Alex Ward & Chris McGhee from United Utilities. Trophies were presented to Dan & Natalie at the WWEM Gala Dinner and training days are being organisedwiththesponsorsofthecompetitionwhoincludeABB,ATi,Partech,RSHydro, Siemens, Siris & Vega to further develop the skills that they demonstrated during the competition. Andy Godley of the WRc, a supporting company of the Apprentice Competition highlighted the importance of instrumentation apprenticeships within the water industry and the need for all companies to come together to support their development. Oliver Grievson, of WIPAC & Z-Tech Control Systems, who originally conceived the concept of the competition at WWEM in 2014 said: “Each year we have talented apprentices come to compete at the Instrumentation Apprentice Competition and show that we have a wealth of technical talent within the water industry who will have a pivotal influence within the industry as we deliver the concept of Water 4.0” Three new MCERTS Inspectors appointed This year’s Water, Wastewater & Environmental Monitoring conference saw three new MCERTS Inspectors to the Flow Monitoring scheme. The three new inspectors were • Chris Richardson - Siris Environmental Flow Services • Lucy French of Critical Flows Systems Ltd • Tomas Borondi of Critical Flow Systems Ltd The new MCERTS Inspectors were presented with their MCERTS Inspectors certificates after the WWEM Gala dinner at WWEM. At the same ceremony new MCERTS products certificates were presented to suppliers who have taken the effort of undertaking the product certification process ensuring that their products meet the MCERTS standard. The MCERTS Scheme is celebrating 20 years since its inception this year Chris Richardson of SIris Environmental Flow Services receiving his MCERTS Inspectors certificate from current scheme manager, Tony Wood. Water Industry Process Automation & Control (WIPAC) launches at WWEM TheWaterIndustryProcessAutomation&Controlgroupofficiallylaunchedasamembershiporganisation at the Water, Wastewater & Environmental Monitoring Conference that took place between the 21st and 22nd November 2018. The group still has to be set up as a Community of Interest Company but the new Board of Directors is being formed and the WIPAC Workshops and Webinars are starting to be organised for 2019. The Water Industry Process Automation & Control Group was setup as a LinkedIn discussion group in May 2011 by its group manager, Oliver Grievson. The group has grown to an industry leading discussion group about the opportunities and issues surrounding the “digital” water industry including the subject areas of Data and its use, instrumentation and process automation & control. The group as a whole spreads the word about how the digital water industry is developing and the things that have worked through WIPAC Monthly which is a magazine that is produced by the group. WIPAC Monthly is distributed on a global basis using the LinkedIn platform and has quickly become a globally popular resource for Water Industry Professionals to pick up on the trends of the “digital” or “smart” water industry. Page 4 Industry News
  5. 5. Mobile weather radar deployed in Cumbria to improve flood forecasting The Environment Agency and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) have successfully deployed a mobile weather radar in Cumbria. For the next 12 months, the NCAS X-band radar will provide data that will help improve the Environment Agency’s rainfall detection capability and should lead to an improvement in flood forecasting and warning services. The deployment is a collaborative research project between the Environment Agency, the University of Leeds and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, called Radar Applications in Northern England (RAIN-E). The radar will be used to: • Improve the weather radar coverage in north Cumbria for up to a year • Provide information to support the development of a long term weather solution for Cumbria • Further understand the challenges associated with collecting high quality data over mountainous terrain • Learn more about bringing multiple sources of rainfall data into the national weather radar • Weather radars are the most effective way to collect real-time rainfall information and NCAS operates the only mobile weather radar in the UK. The radar measures rain, wind and other parameters. Importantly, the location of the radar will improve the observations of rainfall over Cumbria, helping to make flood forecasting in the area more accurate. Data collected by the radar will provide evidence for the need to invest in a permanent solution and help researchers better understand the type of extreme rainfall that sometimes affects Cumbria. A separate partnership project between the Environment Agency, Met Office, National Resources of Wales, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Department of Infrastructure Northern Ireland is developing a national strategy for the UK’s radar network over the next 15 years and data from the radar will help to support the development of a long term radar solution in Cumbria. Tim Harrison, Senior Advisor for the Environment Agency said: “The deployment of the NCAS radar will help us to build a strong case for investment where it’s needed. We’re seeing many benefits from the collaboration including a greater interest from all parties to integrate data from deployments like this, and other third party radars into the national Met Office rainfall products.” Ryan Neely and Lindsay Bennett, scientists at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science added: “We are happy to be working with the Environment Agency to provide them with high resolution data in this under-observed region so that they may improve their flood forecasts. For NCAS, we are excited to make observations in a new region that will allow us to explore many scientific questions about the rainfall processes in mountainous terrain.” Radar Applications in Northern England (RAINE) data collected by the NCAS X-band radar in Cumbria is available for researchers and members of the public to view. Anglian uses Bluesky 3D models to improve infrastructure Highly detailed 3D models, derived from the latest aerial photography, are helping Anglian Water design, build and communicate major infrastructure and non- infrastructure asset projects across the east of England. Created by aerial mapping company Bluesky, the 3D models are being used by the @one Alliance, a collaboration of consultants and contractors working together to deliver more than half of Anglian Water’s capital investment programme. The Bluesky models are being used to create 3D animations and fly-throughs that communicate potentially complex plans in an easy to interpret and engaging way. Examples of projects where the Bluesky models have already been used by the @one Alliance include a £3 million scheme to upgrade pumping stations and reduce the risk of flooding in Great Yarmouth and an ambitious project to relocate Cambridge’s Waste Water Recycling facility to Waterbeach. “The models from Bluesky are an important starting point when developing a digital project environment,” Clare Kovaks, 4D Planner at the Anglian Water @one Alliance, said. “The Bluesky models enable us to create understandable but still accurate visualisations that are used at every stage of the project lifecycle. We use the Bluesky models to inform designs, communicate ideas and gather public support. “In addition to helping communicate and engage the Bluesky models also allows us to digitally rehearse the build sequence, giving the model context. This can highlight potential issues onsite saving time, and therefore costs, and mitigating risk.” The Bluesky 3D models are photogrammetrically derived from high resolution stereo aerial photography. Supplied ready to use in the Google SketchUp, and onward use in Synchro the 4D construction scheduling software, the Bluesky models provide a detailed visualisation of the environment allowing for interaction, analysis and interrogation of the landscape and infrastructure. Geographically accurate, the 3D models also included a Digital Terrain Model (DTM). The @one Alliance will design and build around 800 schemes worth approximately £1.2 billion including water and water recycling treatment centres serving more than six million people in eastern England (and the Hartlepool Water region) and maintaining/improving the region’s water mains and sewerage network. Alliance partners are Anglian Water Asset Delivery, Balfour Beatty, Barhale, MMB, SWECO, Skanska and Stantec Treatment. Page 5
  6. 6. Fatberg detecting 5G sewer nervous system goes down under When you bang your toe, the human nervous system instantly transmits a signal to tell the brain where to feel pain. Ouch. Imagine a similar system for sewer pipes that could inform utilities exactly where a crack or potential blockage of fats, oils, greases and wipes – known as fatbergs – is taking place, all in real time. Well such an idea is being turned into a reality. British organisation nuron has raised over £2 million in investment, loans and grants and is working to commercialise and scale up a fibre technology that acts like a human nervous system, but for sewers. Developed in conjunction with Sheffield University, the company believes its solution could disrupt what has historically been a low-tech part of the water cycle network: transporting wastewater from source to treatment. How it works The fibre sensor extends along the bottom of sewer pipes with claims to be able to measure flow, depth, temperature and structural integrity every five metres along the sewer pipe. “By measuring multiple parameters at the same time, every 5m along a sewer network, it enables potential incidents to be accurately diagnosed, alert, rapidly localised and averted,” the company said. To differentiate itself from existing sewer sensor technology, the company’s fibre sensing technology is not ‘spot’ but rather offers ‘continuous’ in-pipe monitoring. Although distributed acoustic sensing technology is not new, currently being used in oil and gas market, the company believes “enhancements” will ensure it works in open flows, rather than pressurised systems. nuron is hoping its system can serve two purposes: predictive management of sewers but also a way to roll out digital infrastructure by integrating broadband and 5G networks fibre cable networks into the sewer pipes. Going down under Northumbrian Water in the UK will be the first utility to adopt nuron’s solution. A pilot project in a “live operational sewer” will take place for eight months, with installation set for December and initial results in early 2019. To retrofit old pipes, sewer flow will be stopped before pipe cleaning. A robotic system is then used to pull the containment through the sewer, before installing it backwards, in turn “sticking” it to the sewer floor. Sally Askew, sewerage project manager at Northumbrian Water said the technology will enable the utility “to understand how to pro-actively monitor the sewer network in real-time” with the aim to “identify issues such as blockages before they affect customers”. Australia’s largest water and wastewater provider Sydney Water has also signed up as a partner on the Northumbrian trial and will gain access to the data. According to nuron managing director Claire Fenwick, the Australian utility is specifically interested in how the fibre sensors can detect hydrogen sulphide, a challenge in the Australian market as result of numerous metal sewer pipes. Spot the competition Addressing why the business is focusing on sewer pipes, Fenwick said: “We could have started out on drinking water networks but we chose not to as multiple solutions already exist in this space. “We found that in wastewater there was virtually nothing, apart from spot monitoring, to measure the operational performance of sewers.” The managing director added: “It’s a challenging environment. On the clean water side, it’s easier to address from outside of the pipe. Whereas if you want to know what’s happening on a gravity fed sewer system, you need to have in-pipe solutions.” Nuron’s short-term plans are to keep focused on the UK market, with the “utilities going through a digital transformation”, before looking internationally, she said. Fighting fatbergs One of the potential areas where the technology could benefit water utilities is the detection of fatbergs: extreme masses of wet wipes, nappies, fat and oil forming rock-hard concrete blocks in sewer pipes. Utility Thames Water estimates it spends £1 million per month clearing blockages from sewers in London and the Thames Valley alone. Page 6
  7. 7. WEX GLOBAL 2019 Applying Intelligence to the Circular Economy in Water and Energy 4th – 6th March 2019 | Porto, Portugal Register your interest now! The utility made headlines after its sewer maintenance team discovered a giant 250 metre long fatberg weighing 130 tonnes – the same as 11 double decker buses. Using the nuron system, if a blockage occurs then the depth and flow change would be detected and an alert sent to the control centre, according to the company’s schematic (pictured below). Industry reaction Wastewater industry consultant and expert Jan Pereboom believes coupling the technology with telecommunications services can help offset the capital investment. “Using the nuron fibre network for other services like broadband and 5G can substantially reduce investment costs for such networks,” he said. “This new monitoring system will not make conventional camera inspection redundant, but such systems can be used in more dedicated applications.” Pereboom said the company’s claims still need to be evaluated in “large-scale and long-term testing but seem more than plentiful and thus justify such large- scale tests”. Meanwhile, Oliver Grievson, group manager of the Water Industry Process Automation and Control (WIPAC) group, said: “The nuron technology is certainly interesting, with claims to be able to measure both level and flow. However, what I don’t see is how - there doesn’t seem to be any “sensor” per se and optical fibre is not going to do it on its own.” Grievson added: “There is also a big debate over whether you actually need flow in a gravity sewer or actually whether just level is more useful.” Page 7
  8. 8. Innovative AI system set to transform how water companies plan for housing growth An innovative AI-based technology developed in consultation with Anglian Water is set to transform how water companies plan strategically for housing growth. HOUSING DEVELOPMENT 1Anglian Water has collaborated with EnginSoft UK on the development of an AI-based system which enables immediate assessment of the impact of new housing developments on water networks. The technology is currently being beta tested prior to full release. ThenewAI-basedtechnologyenableswatercompaniestoinstantlyassessdrainagenetworkimpactfrompotentialhousinggrowth.EnginSoftUK’sstrategicGIANT system quickly and accurately assesses the impact of specific housing developments on local water infrastructure, enabling planning and costing times to be significantly reduced. Based upon the creation of a digital twin, the strategicGIANT system can respond instantly to different development scenarios and facilitates “what if?” analysis. No specialist modelling skills required According to EnginSoft, strategicGIANT will enable growth teams to develop growth scenarios and strategies with no specialist modelling skills required. Any permutations of housing growth can be instantly assessed for flooding volumes and upgrade costs. Gareth Barker, Developer Growth PR19 Programme Manager for Anglian Water, commented: “strategicGIANT is ideal for Anglian Water to operate effectively in 2018 and beyond, and we’ve worked hard with EnginSoft UK to create a system which responds to the key issues we face in the industry, such as high risk and low flexibility. “We can now develop truly strategic plans for the next three, five or ten years knowing that we can instantly model any permutation of growth scenario –we don’t have to wait for prohibitively long modelling studies.” “Nuanced legislative changes are driving the need for water companies to evolve their ability to instantly assess the impact of wastewater. We can now generate strategic plans with a high degree of accuracy, reducing the risk for us of either over- or under-allocating funds – which in turn smooths stakeholder relations and increases confidence.” System could revolutionise evaluation process and streamline development of water infrastructure for new housing EnginSoft UK’s strategicGIANT is based on the company’s AI and machine-learning expertise that has already been proven in the manufacturing and automotive industries. It enables the sidestepping of extensive manual assessments and provides enhanced flexibility to respond to changes in growth forecasts for upgrade plans and project scheduling. The system could revolutionise the evaluation process and streamline development of the water collection infrastructure for new housing yet requires no specialist modelling skills. EnginSoft UK Managing Director, Bipin Patel explained: “The Infrastructure charge legislation means water companies must predict the impact on their drainage services up to 20 years into the future, over many different development scenarios and growth rates.” “Up to 300,000 new homes are expected to be built in the UK over the next year alone, making it essential that water companies can accurately predict and plan for the growth in demand on their local flood and drainage infrastructure. This is a significant new task which Anglian Water foresaw five years ago; they asked us if our machine-learning expertise could automate the process and make it more responsive to any development scenario.” “We believe that strategicGIANT can help water companies cope with the uncertainties of housing growth by significantly accelerating traditional simulation processes that have been both labour and cost-intensive, and extremely inflexible,” Patel continued. “Once a digital twin of the drainage network has been created, the time required for new housing growth impact assessment is cut from weeks to minutes. This is especially timely as the industry prepares for AMP7 which transfers risk to water companies, potentially resulting in over or under investment in network upgrades.” Assessments are graphical, interactive and easy to interpret Network flooding simulations were previously required as a response to a planning application: a water company would assess the potential impact of a proposed development on the water drainage network as part of the planning process. Infrastructure charge legislation now means developers pay water companies a per-dwelling fee for assessments to forecast future capacity requirements. “Modelling is possible when the inputs are known – but when inputs are unknown, advanced machine learning techniques come into their own”. Patel added. Assessments provided by strategicGIANT are graphical, interactive and easy to interpret. The software has been designed to offer intuitive navigation and data input, with a clear understanding of the impact of growth from the solution output, including ‘what-if?’ analysis. “We aim to ensure that water companies can avoid the problems we’ve seen in other cities around the world and can plan so that housing growth receives the headroom it needs, when it needs it,” Patel concluded. Page 8
  9. 9. Northumbrian Water launches interactive leak map for customers Northumbrian Water has unveiled the latest tool in its quest to stop water being lost to leaks - a new interactive online map which gives customers the power to report leaks and track repairs at the touch of a button. The North East water company has pledged to reduce leak- age across its network by 15% over the next few years, through sig- nificant investment and an innovative approach. Northumbrian Water said customers can play a key role in this by reporting leaks as soon as they see them and the new interactive leak map lets them do this quickly and easily. The interactive map shows reported leaks on the Northumbrian Wa- ter network which customers can use to find if a leak has already been reported, and check the progress of the repair. If it hasn’t been report- ed they can then make their report online, which is passed directly to an advisor. The map also features tools to help customers describe the type of leak they have seen, and they can even upload photos so it can be identified and prioritised for repairs. Once a leak has been reported it will be included on the interactive map, and updates will be provided until a repair has been completed. Eliane Algaard, Water Director for Northumbrian Water said: “We are firmly committed to driving down leakage across our network and have set ourselves an ambitious target of reducing it by 15% by 2025. To achieve this we are making a significant investment into finding and fixing leaks, and taking an innovative approach. We are putting more resources into hunting down leaks so we can get them repaired as quickly as possible, and our customers can really help us by reporting anything they spot to us. “The new interactive map allows our customers to check whether we already on the case with a leak they have spotted, and report it to us quickly and easily if not. We are also committed to keeping our customers updated on our progress, so once a leak has been reported they can track the repair right through to completion.” The company is currently working on a number of innovative approaches to reducing leakage, including using satellite technology to capture images which can be used to detect leaks, which can then be passed on to leakage technicians on the ground. EU project uses virtual smart city model to gauge resilience of smart critical infrastructures An EU-funded project is developing new tools and methods for assessing the resilience of smart critical infrastructures (SCIs) like water and energy and their interdependencies and vulnerabilities. Today, both public and private operators are integrating digital technologies into Europe’s critical infrastructures, including the electrical grid and utility and financial networks. The EU-funded SMARTRESILIENCE project aims to develop new tools and methods for assessing SCIs vulnerabilities, in particular their resilience to attacks or failures. The project is considering a broad variety of issues relevant to SCI resilience. These include human factors, security, geopolitics and socio-economic factors. Key issues addressed include: • Will these smart critical infrastructures (SCIs) be “smartly resilient” when exposed to extreme threats, such as extreme weather disasters or terrorist attacks? • If making existing infrastructure “smarter” is achieved by making it more complex, would it also make it more vulnerable? • How is the resilience of an SCI (e.g. as its ability to anticipate, prepare for, adapt and withstand, respond to, and recover) affected when exposed to extreme threats? More complex and extended smart networks become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks or other failures For operators of SCIs, the integration of digital technologies enables more efficient management and resource utilisation. More and more homes, businesses and government facilities are being connected digitally to SCIs, in the roll-out of the first wave of connected smart homes, buildings and cities. As smart networks become more complex and extended, they also become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks or other failures. Protecting and securing them requires primarily understanding the actual extent and nature of their vulnerabilities. SMARTRESILIENCE begins with the identification of suitable SCI resilience indicators, including those identified by analysing ‘big data’. The project team is developing a new resilience-assessment methodology, as well as an IT-based, user-friendly ‘SCI dashboard’ tool. The tools are being trialled in eight different European countries in a series of studies involving real water, energy, health, and transportation infrastructure. The combined results are being used to model a complete, virtual, smart city which is helping researchers understand how a wider network of linked SCIs would cope with an attack or general failure. This will help protect against attacks or other catastrophic failure that could ultimately harm citizens. The UK is currently one of the partners in the € 4.9 million SMARTRESILIENCE project, which started in May 2016 and is due to complete in April 2019. The City of Edinburgh Council is a project participant. Page 9
  10. 10. Loudoun Water Digitizes Field Operations With Trimble Unity To keep pace with increasing demands, Loudoun Water decided to improve its process for handling asset maintenance and field service work orders. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Loudoun Water provides drinking water and wastewater services to more than 80,000 households in one of the nation’s fastest-growing counties. Loudoun Water maintains over 1,200 miles of water distribution pipelines, more than 900 miles of wastewater collection system pipelines and a growing reclaimed non-potable water system. To keep pace with increasing demands, Loudoun Water decided to improve its process for handling asset maintenance and field service work orders. Background Since implementing the SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and it’s mapping technology, Geo.e, Loudoun Water has worked to deliver the benefits of an integrated geospatial solution to its 150+ operations staff when they are working in the field and facility/plant. The challenge was to find an easy way for these workers to manage their daily workload while eliminating an inefficient and labor-intensive paper-based process. Implementation How it came together Loudoun Water determined that Trimble Unity’s mobile and GIS-based SaaS platform approach was the right solution to solve its immediate need for improving field operations and mobile work management. Trimble Unity met the requirements for an offline-capable, map-centric work order management solution that integrates with Loudoun Water’s existing SAP ERP and Esri GIS systems, and runs on multiple mobile platforms (Windows 10 and iOS). Field staff loved that it put their work and the GIS together in a single user-friendly window; IT liked that it was cloud-hosted and leveraged existing SAP/Esri investments. Loudoun Water’s project to roll out Trimble Unity was broken into two phases. The first phase was on a hard deadline and needed to be completed in time for the utility’s annual Spring hydrant flushing program. A Trimble Unity app was configured and deployed to meet that schedule and used to generate more than 20,000 orders while tracking the work. Field technicians used a simple iPad app to spatially visualize hydrant flushing assignments, progress each through the configured workflow, capture all required information, and track progress. The second phase involved implementing multiple apps, each optimized to streamline a specific business process. These Trimble Unity apps named “My Orders”, “Report It” and “Fix It”, include the capability to manage truck and crew assignments, manage and complete SAP generated work orders and service orders, create SAP notifications to report assets needing repair, record repairs, and track inventory, labor and material usage. For in-plant assets, Trimble Unity offers users multiple ways to access SAP functional locations and equipment, providing operators with the capability to browse and search the asset hierarchy when creating a work order or notification. Trimble Unity delivers full access to the assets shown in GIS and for in-plant assets like pumps and controls, operators can search or drill-down the asset hierarchy associated to the object to record repairs or create notifications. Benefits - Up-to-date GIS maps, SAP work orders and data on their iPads and Windows Tablets in the field The deployment of Trimble Unity has eliminated labor-intensive, paper-based processes and provides Loudoun Water with an easy way for its 150+ field staff to manage their daily workload. This digital workflow empowers end-users to record data directly in SAP and gives management real-time access to their results. Utility work crews now benefit from having access to up-to-date GIS maps, SAP work orders and data on their iPads and Windows Tablets in the field, with the ability to manage daily workloads and interact with their back-office SAP system through a simple, easy-to-use mobile application. And with Trimble Unity, Loudoun Water is able to leverage their existing investments in SAP and Esri GIS and extend technology to the field, all while using a cloud-hosted solution model that avoids the additional costs and resources required for operating traditional in-house IT infrastructure. Royal HaskoningDHV joins Smart Water Networks Forum Royal HaskoningDHV, a leading, international engineering consultancy and project management firm has announced its plans to join the Smart Water Networks Forum (SWAN), the leading global hub for the smart water and wastewater sectors. The move by Royal HaskoningDHV will further contribute towards efforts to promote global sustainable development. Cities worldwide face escalating urban challenges in the wake of rapid urbanisation, aging infrastructure, and a changing climate, with these challenges expected to intensify in the decades to come. Today, city water operators must link with relevant stakeholders and global experts to leverage innovative, digital solutions to build a resilient future. The not-for-profit SWAN Forum brings together key players in the water sector to optimise the data processing of water and wastewater networks, making them smarter, more efficient and sustainable. SWAN is the leading global hub for the smart water sector, accelerating the awareness and adoption of data-driven technologies in water and wastewater networks worldwide. Likewise, through Aquasuite®, Royal HaskoningDHV takes a real-time holistic approach to water management, by applying Big Data analytics, machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence to fully optimise, integrate and automate the entire man- made water cycle. Radboud van Kleef, Managing Director Aquasuite® at Royal HaskoningDHV commented: “Having recently attended the SWAN 2018 Conference in Barcelona, we recognise the excellent industry collaboration that SWAN fosters. WithAquasuite® being at the forefront of the water sector for over 20 years, it is a natural fit for us to join and help accelerate the growth of the smart water sector worldwide.” Amir Cahn, Executive Director of the SWAN Forum said: A sustainable water future will rely on data-driven solutions and global organisations such as Royal HaskoningDHV working directly with water operators to streamline their decision-making, performance management and process optimisation. We are honoured to have Royal HaskoningDHV, an innovative leader in the smart water space, join our fast growing community.” Royal HaskoningDHV use their digital experience and expertise to help clients with tailored technological solutions for water and waste water – the fruit of a network of in-house experts as well as external partners who develop, design and implement smart, innovative solutions. The firm works closely with operators in their decision making, performance management improvement and process optimisation. Page 10
  11. 11. UK regulators say data sharing by water and energy firms can help support vulnerable customers The UK Regulators Network (UKRN) has published a new report on data sharing by water and energy firms to support vulnerable consumers. The report from Ofwat ,Ofgem and the UKRN shows how the energy and water companies are making progress in putting this kind of data sharing in place. According to the regulators, for consumers in vulnerable circumstances accessing the support they need across multiple providers can be time consuming and stressful. Safe and secure sharing of data across water and energy companies, with customer consent, can reduce the burden and enable companies to offer those consumers seamless priority support. However, rolling it out across England and Wales will require continued focus to overcome challenges around customer consent, staff training and data quality. The report also challenges energy and water companies to work together more to improve services for vulnerable consumers, and regulators to explore the possibility of extending these kinds of initiatives to other sectors. Using data to identify consumers who need support Water and energy companies already provide a range of free services to support customers in vulnerable circumstances, such as large print bills, support to read a meter, or ensuring consistent supply for those who depend on electricity or water for medical equipment at home. Ofgem, Ofwat and the UKRN want to see improved take up of these services and make sure they provide high quality, tailored support. The companies need to be able to better identify customers in vulnerable circumstances and tailor support – the report says “data sharing can help the companies to easily do this.” In 2017 Ofwat and Ofgem, through the UK Regulators Network (UKRN), published a report calling on energy and water companies to work with third parties to identify who could benefit from these services and, with the customers’ consent, share the data. “Significant progress has been made” The new report presents a follow up on progress and says that “significant progress has been made.” Since the last report, a joint working group established by Water UK and the Energy Networks Association (ENA) has been working to implement arrangements for sharing the data of customers who are eligible for priority services between all energy and water companies, by April 2020. In October 2018 the UKRN created an action group for regulators to explore how collaborating on utilising data can support vulnerable consumers. Pilot scheme showed data sharing helps companies go further to help vulnerable customers Water UK and the ENA have run a data sharing pilot between Electricity North West and United Utilities in the North West of England. Data of around 2,000 customers across both companies who are eligible for priority services was shared between the two companies – 80% of which were new priority services register (PSR) registrations for United Utilities. The pilot proved that data sharing can remove the onus currently on the customer to register for additional support with multiple companies. It also showed that data sharing helps companies go further to help vulnerable customers. For example, during the pilot, when United Utilities registered one of ENW’s customers for its PSR, they found that the customer was eligible for a social tariff, which saved them money on water bills. The success of the trial has now seen non-financial data sharing implemented permanently at the companies. Next steps - data sharing scheme to be rolled out across England and Wales by April 2020 The ENA and Water UK are now looking to roll out the data sharing scheme across England and Wales by April 2020. However, the report says that doing this will require continued focus to overcome the challenges identified in the pilot, including: • staff must be trained to clearly explain the benefits of data sharing to customers and they must be able to reassure customers that their data will be protected • companies will need to balance the human touch with using IT software so they can more easily share data, rather than sending it manually as was done in the trial • companies must work out better ways to ensure customer data is matched between companies to avoid situations where customers are contacted simply to verify details such as their name and address. Regulators should explore possibility of extending data sharing to other sectors The report also encourages regulators to look at the wider benefits of data sharing. For example, exploring the possibility of extending data sharing to other sectors and considering ways in which sign-up to services across sectors can be simplified. The report also calls on energy and water companies to be more ambitious in how they identify and support consumers in vulnerable circumstances, including increasing the amount of collaborative working across companies and with partners from the voluntary and community sectors. The report says: “It is encouraging to see evidence of ongoing collaboration between water and energy companies. However, we think that there is still considerable scope for companies to go further. Industry must quicken pace and step up to embrace the learnings of this project in designing hassle free and high-quality support for their customers.“ The report says that water and energy companies should also identify lessons learned in other sectors that have made innovative use of data to identify vulnerability. Page 11
  12. 12. Article: WWEM 2018 The Water, Wastewater & Environmental Monitoring (WWEM) Confernece & Exhibition is the highlight in the UK Water Industry instrumentation calendar and it is at this event that the industry gets a huge amount done. New innovations are released to market and old and new alliances are either formed or maintained. Discussions are abound and knowledge is shared. For WIPAC it is an important event too and there is a huge amount that is done, it is at WWEM this year that WIPAC launched as a membership organisation. At WWEM this year we had new innovations in the form of the Learning Zone as well as a return of events such as the Instrumentation Apprentice Competition and the WIPAC Flow Forum. The Instrumentation Apprentice Competition was interesting this year insofar as there was only a handful of teams involved after some last minute cancellations. It shows the state of the industry that a competition that is free to enter and is well thought of in the industry hasn’t got more teams competing but the quality of the teams that were present were second to none. The competition was split into three rounds with the first round setting the Apprentices scenarios to solve by engaging with the supply chain so that the practicalities and techniclal barriers of any solution could be understood. The learning points numerous insofar as engaging with industry is an integral part of what we all do as well as, of course, learning the basics of the applications that we measure,. The second round was a practical round with tests being set by a number of the sponsors including problem solving instrumentation on the Siris Environmental Flow rig, setting up a pumping station on the Siemens pump station controllers, Bluetooth setup of instrumentation with Vega as well as looking at quality instrumentation with both ABB & Partech. The third round was a quick-fire quiz round setup and managed by Andy Godley of the WRC which tested everything that the teams of apprentices had learnt throughout the day in an environment where they could only rely on their own knoweldge to answer the questions. In the end the results of the competition was very tight between the teams and Natalie Oliver & Dan Calvert of Yorkshire Water came out on top with the team of Alex Ward & Chris McGhee from United Utilities coming in a close second. As winners of the competition, Natalie & Dan, will be invited to a variety of training seminars throughout the next year to help them to hone their skills. Aspecialthankstoallofthesponsorsandsupportersoftheinstrumentationapprentice competition are due including ABB, ATi, Partech, RS Hydro, Siemens, Siris & Vega as well as SWIG, WRc, WWEM & WIPAC who help to put the competition together. Outside of the Instrumentation Apprentice Competition there was plenty going on at WWEM this year including the WIPAC Flow Forum. This year’s forum was split into three main areas including:the maintenance of flow structures, the control of wastewater flows and new technologies in flow measurement. The first session started with Marc Swain of Severn Trent Water who discussed the importance of maintaining primary measurement devices and the procedures that need to put into place to ensure that it is done. It highlighted the problems that the Water Companies. as a whole have, insofar as the huge number of sites and assets that have to be looked after means that unless there is a rigid procedure that is put in place then there is the chance that the maintenance of sensors can be mised. Marc in his presentation outlined the challenges that this and all aspects such as secondary verification present. With the correct procedures in place this can be managed but with great difficulty. In the second presentation of the first session we moved from the maintenance of sensors to the base maintenance of the asset base be it the cleaning of electro-magnetic flow meters to the replacement of sensors all the way through to the major replacement of entire structures. These are the sort of things that the Water Companies manage on a day to day basis. The presentation by Craig Handford & Sepideh Sobhdam of Morrison Utillities highligted some of the projects that they deliver on a day to day basis and some of the challenges that they have faced and learning points that they have picked up. All of these learning points feedback into the design of treatment works and what not to do. In the various projects this means locating dosing lines downstream of flow measurement structures, installing bypaases on regulated electro-magnetic flow meters or ensuring that all installations are accessible and safe to both operate and maintain. The last presentation of the first session was by Steven French of Z-Tech Control Systems and looked Marc Swain of Severn Trent Water Page 12 Natalie Oliver & Dan Calvert of Yorkshire Water
  13. 13. at the little details of instrumentation installations as it is in the little things that the reliability of assets can lead to realising the asset life of the instrumentation in the field and improve the accuracy of the various flow measurement structures that the industry has. A lot of these little things will be reflected in the new British/CEN standard for instrumentation in wastewater. This includes installing sensors in the correct place, ensuring that they are secure and fixed in place but also ensuring that glands are fixed protecting instruments from the environment. The second session concentrated on the control of wastewater flows which in England and Wales is increasingly becoming more and more important with the current event duration monitoring programme in place set to identify where there are problem CSO’s in the wastewater network and in the next asset management period the FFT programme that is under the Water Industry National Envirronment Programme. These programmes have a huge benefit with the aquatic environment but come at a huge cost. In terms of delivery this converts to a programme of work that is in the hundreds of millions of pounds if not billions. This was all highlighted by Oliver Grievson, the Executive Director of WIPAC. The second session continued by looking at the measurement of the gravity sewer with new technologies as presented by Claire Fenwick, the Managing Director of nuron. In this presentation we saw the potential of utilsing fibre optic cable as (a) a communication system for the sewer environment but (b) a sensing system for a variety of parameters such as flow, level, temperature and pipe condition. The technique has been developed by the University of Sheffiled and is in a trial stage with Northumbrian Water but at the moment within the water industry the understanding of how things work is not fully understood and hence there is some uncertainty. The potential is certainly there and is demonstrated by the third speaker in the second session, Lorenzo Pompa of Anglian Water. In this presentation the gathered audience learnt about the work that Anglian Water has done in installing technologies such as flow monitoring, automatic pump reversal and pressure monitoring within the pumped wastewater network that allow for enhanced visualisation and operation of the network. The developments are at an early stage however savings are currently being realised. The last session of the Flow Forum concentrated on technological developments in flow technology and started with Rob Stevens of RS Hydro, the sponsors of the Flow Forum, who discussed the developments in Time of Flight ultrasonic flow monitoring including being able to control the flow measurement technique from mobile devices. This led on to a presentation by Dr Andy Nichols of the University of Sheffield who have been looking into “Free Surface Flow measurement” through a number of PhDs over a number of years. Through these studies the state of the art has improved greaty starting with Dr Nichols’ PhD. The sensing technologies for the measurement of flow within the sewer using various techniques ranging from acoustics using modified mobile phone sensors, to microwaves and onswards to visual techniques including Microsoft’s Kinetic device have through the development of techniques have shown leaps forward. In the last presentation in the Flow Forum we saw Greg Wainhouse of Burkert Fluid Control Systems showed the technique that they have taken from the hygenic industry and have adapted it for use in the wastewater industy. The Surface Acousitc Wave (SAW) technology has the potential to be used in a similar fashion to Coriolis Technology insofar as it can be used to measure mass flow. In this regard id has a huge potential in the measurement and control of sludge processes especially considering the fact that wihtin the pipe there is no impedance and a relatively large bore. This technology is under development though and the presentation (and the flow forum) ended with an appeal from Burkert to help put the technology through its paces. One of the new innovaiations at this year’s WWEM was the WIPAC Learning Zone which was designed to allow apprentices, technicians and graduates to learn about the basic technologies that are in general use within the water industry. The four theaters that were at this years WWEM were focused on • Flow Measurement • Level, Pressure & Aeration Systems • Measuring Water Quality • Communications The rooms covered a variety of different technologies from electro-magnetic flow meters, level-based flow and area velocity flow measurement as hosted by Dr Laurent Soliec of Nivus in the flow measurement room all the way to aeration systems and their control as covered by Hach in Room 2 all the way to communication and control systems covering Profibus, HART, Bluetooth and Radio in Room 4. Generally the rooms were well attended but in the current time where the industry is suffering from a skills shortage in this area free sessions like this should be completely packed by the less experiences members of the industry as this was a chance for the industry to learn about the technologies that used all in one place and with the wider WWEM exhibition talk to the suppliers who were already there for visitors. A thank you to all of those who attended the WIPAC Learning Zone and to my helpers from Sheffield University who looked after the sessions and a special thank you to all the suppliers who ran their sessions including: Dr Andy Nichols discussing Free Surface Flow Measurement Dr Lauren Soliec discussing Area Velocity Flow tecniques in the WIPAC Learning Zone Page 13
  14. 14. • Alan Hunt, Juilan Edwards & Steve Gorvett of ABB, • Laurent Soliec of Nivus, • Simon Richardson of Siris Environmental, • Martin Ruck, Ivor Jones & Derek Moore of Siemens, • Matthew Westgate & Peter Devine of Vega Control Systems, • Joe Weston, John Hardman, Patsy Rigby, Stuart Jones & Martin Butterfield of Hach, • David Claridge & Chris Roberts of Endress+Hauser • Mike Strahand & Gary Tabor of ATi • Derek Lane of Wago • Peter Thomas of Control Specialists • Chris McComb of iTech • Dave Evans of Balluff • Richard Needham of HiPort Controls Outside of WIPAC’s activites at WWEM this year there was a huge amount going on including the Sensors for Water Interest Group (SWIG) Early Career Reasearcher’s prize. This is something that SWIG has been doing for a number of years. In this year’s competition there were a number of posters that were submitted and this was whittled down to three posters which were presented at WWEM. This included posters from Ilaria Frau of Liverpool John Moores University, Jennifer Redmond of the University of Oxford & Francesca Cecinati of the University of Bristol. In the end the winning poster was by Illaria Frau for her poster on Microwaves and Functional Materials: a Novel Method to Continuously Detect Zinc Ions in Water with Francesca Cecinati for her poster on Radar-gauge rainfall merging with uncertainty: Kriging with External Drift and Non-Stationary Variance (KED- NSV) and Jennifer Redmond coming in third place for her poster on Water sensing for in-airway monitoring of ventilated patient. WWEM 2018 was a great success with the WWEM Instrumentation Apprentice Competition, the WIPAC Learning Zone and the WIPAC Flow Forum along with all of the other technical conferences by the Profibus Association, the SCA, SWIG and the SWAN Forum amongst others. It is rare to get, what was orginially an exhibition, having such a strong technical programme. There is a reason that WWEM is at the very centre of instrumentation in the Water Industry and this is just a flavour of what went on at Telford on 21st & 22nd November. Roll on WWEM 2020..... Page 14
  15. 15. Feature Article: What place has Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning in the Water Industry? You can’t help to notice at the current time that there is a plethora of solutions that are available to the Water Industry at the current time which involve some sort of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence or some of sort of aspect of Machine Learning. However, what does this actually mean to the Water Industry, are their applications when these sorts of technologies apply or is it one of the water industry’s favourite phrases – a different flavour of “snake oil,” another widget or technique that will fail to develop within the water industry. So let’s go back to basics and actually see what Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can actually be defined as: Artificial Intelligence - AI (artificial intelligence) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions) and self-correction. Particular applications of AI include expert systems, speech recognition and machine vision. AI can be categorized in any number of ways, but here are two examples. The first classifies AI systems as either weak AI or strong AI. Weak AI, also known as narrow AI, is an AI system that is designed and trained for a particular task. Virtual personal assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, are a form of weak AI. Strong AI, also known as artificial general intelligence, is an AI system with generalized human cognitive abilities so that when presented with an unfamiliar task, it has enough intelligence to find a solution. The second example comes from Arend Hintze, an assistant professor of integrative biology and computer science and engineering at Michigan State University. He categorizes AI into four types, from the kind of AI systems that exist today to sentient systems, which do not yet exist. His categories are as follows: Type 1: Reactive machines. An example is Deep Blue, the IBM chess program that beat Garry Kasparov in the 1990s. Deep Blue can identify pieces on the chess board and make predictions, but it has no memory and cannot use past experiences to inform future ones. It analyzes possible moves -- its own and its opponent -- and chooses the most strategic move. Deep Blue and Google’s AlphaGo were designed for narrow purposes and cannot easily be applied to another situation. Type 2: Limited memory. These AI systems can use past experiences to inform future decisions. Some of the decision-making functions in self-driving cars are designed this way. Observations inform actions happening in the not-so-distant future, such as a car changing lanes. These observations are not stored permanently. Type 3: Theory of mind. This psychology term refers to the understanding that others have their own beliefs, desires and intentions that impact the decisions they make. This kind of AI does not yet exist. Type 4: Self-awareness. In this category, AI systems have a sense of self, have consciousness. Machines with self-awareness understand their current state and can use the information to infer what others are feeling. This type of AI does not yet exist. Taking into account that types 3 & 4 don’t exist yet and type 1 Artificial Intelligence is only designed to carry out specific tasks then it can be seen that if Artificial Intelligence is present within the Water Industry it would be a system of Strong/Limited Memory AI that is capable of looking at the different areas of the business to make predictions about efficiencies within the Water Industry. So how about “Machine Learning,” what exactly is it? Well, Machine Learning can be defined as Machine learning (ML) is a field of artificial intelligence that uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to “learn” (e.g., progressively improve performance on a specific task) from data, without being explicitly programmed. The name machine learning was coined in 1959 by Arthur Samuel. Machine learning explores the study and construction of algorithms that can learn from and make predictions on data – such algorithms overcome following strictly static program instructions by making data- driven predictions or decisions, through building a model from sample inputs. Machine learning is employed in a range of computing tasks where designing and programming explicit algorithms with good performance is difficult or infeasible; example applications include email filtering, detection of network intruders, and computer vision. Machine learning is closely related to (and often overlaps with) computational statistics, which also focuses on prediction-making through the use of computers. It has strong ties to mathematical optimization, which delivers methods, theory and application domains to the field. Machine learning is sometimes conflated with data mining, where the latter subfield focuses more on exploratory data analysis and is known as unsupervised learning. Within the field of data analytics, machine learning is a method used to devise complex models and algorithms that lend themselves to prediction; in commercial use, this is known as predictive analytics. These analytical models allow researchers, data scientists, engineers, and analysts to “produce reliable, repeatable decisions and results” and uncover “hidden insights” through learning from historical relationships and trends in the data Page 15
  16. 16. So, looking at Machine Learning we can see that some of the highlights of Machine Learning such as Predictive Analytics are definitely areas that are of use within the Water Industry but there are other concepts that are in use in the industry at the current time and have been used for a number of years so is it a question of the industry have already using Artificial Intelligence techniques. For example, the use of Artificial Neural Networks and Multi-variate (model based) process control. To explore this a little bit more what are these two techniques? Artificial Neural Networks - (ANN) or connectionist systems are computing systems vaguely inspired by the biological neural networks that constitute animal brains. The neural network itself is not an algorithm, but rather a framework for many different machine learning algorithms to work together and process complex data inputs. Such systems “learn” to perform tasks by considering examples, generally without being programmed with any task-specific rules. For example, in image recognition, they might learn to identify images that contain cats by analyzing example images that have been manually labelled as “cat” or “no cat” and using the results to identify cats in other images. They do this without any prior knowledge about cats, for example, that they have fur, tails, whiskers and cat-like faces. Instead, they automatically generate identifying characteristics from the learning material that they process. An ANN is based on a collection of connected units or nodes called artificial neurons, which loosely model the neurons in a biological brain. Each connection, like the synapses in a biological brain, can transmit a signal from one artificial neuron to another. An artificial neuron that receives a signal can process it and then signal additional artificial neurons connected to it. In common ANN implementations, the signal at a connection between artificial neurons is a real number, and the output of each artificial neuron is computed by some non-linear function of the sum of its inputs. The connections between artificial neurons are called ‘edges’. Artificial neurons and edges typically have a weight that adjusts as learning proceeds. The weight increases or decreases the strength of the signal at a connection. Artificial neurons may have a threshold such that the signal is only sent if the aggregate signal crosses that threshold. Typically, artificial neurons are aggregated into layers. Different layers may perform different kinds of transformations on their inputs. Signals travel from the first layer (the input layer), to the last layer (the output layer), possibly after traversing the layers multiple times. And Multi-Variate (or model-based) Process Control? Multi-variate or model based process control is a variant on statistical process control which is a method of quality control which employs statistical methods to monitor and control a process. This helps to ensure that the process operates efficiently, producing more specification- conforming products with less waste (rework or scrap). SPC can be applied to any process where the “conforming product” (product meeting specifications) output can be measured. Key tools used in SPC include run charts, control charts, a focus on continuous improvement, and the design of experiments. An example of a process where SPC is applied is manufacturing lines. SPC must be practised in 2 phases: The first phase is the initial establishment of the process, and the second phase is the regular production use of the process. In the second phase, a decision of the period to be examined must be made, depending upon the change in 5M&E conditions (Man, Machine, Material, Method, Movement, Environment) and wear rate of parts used in the manufacturing process (machine parts, jigs, and fixtures). All of this can be seen to be part of the same whole and in reality the water industry has been using Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence techniques for quite some time already just under a different name. The models for the basis of the Activated Sludge process have been around since 1982 when ASM1 was produced. This isn’t Artificial Intelligence but can be used as the fundamental basis for model based control, giving a framework for Machine Learning to work upon. The fundamentals of Model Based Process Control uses inputs from different parts of, for example, a wastewater treatment plant and makes process control decisions based upon the functional state of the works. As this is balancing different inputs for example the results of online monitoring, valve positions and state inputs (whether a pump is running or not) over the base of a model is the basics of multi-variate process control. Putting a situational learning protocol within this is Limited Memory Artificial Intelligence. All of this is opposed to a controller within a part of the works taking discrete inputs and using this to control parts of the process. Is the instrumentation based control artificial intelligence or is just simple control? Is there a place for some degree artificial intelligence in the water industry. The answer, arguably, is that it already is and have been for many years and it is mere a case of having the right inputs in place to make sure that the data and information is available and this is usually where the potential for the whole suite of artificial intelligence techniques fall down. The whole crux of artificial intelligence and machine learning relies upon the data inputs and within the water industry this is the online instrumentation that is the crux of what data analytics and artificial intelligence can deliver to the industry. Figure 1:A typical Artificial Neural Network Page 16
  17. 17. Article: What To Consider When Digitizing Water Management Identifying the correct pace for digitizing water management at the industrial plant has many managers ready to “pull the plug.” Most would agree that the digital transformation wave promises to provide significant efficiency to their operations. However, in the rush to compete with others along the new digital frontier, many vendors seem to be glossing over the plant managers’ legitimate concerns about data security, mixing new and legacy systems, and ongoing service and support. And in an industrial setting where managers have plenty of other areas to focus on, dedicating the time and resources to a thorough evaluation of their water management systems becomes delayed or remains deprioritized. That’s why many are turning to water management experts to help evaluate digital options, understand the cost-benefit analysis, and select a data-secure and protected system. Why Should You Consider Going Digital? Water treatment plants and assets are underinvested for improvement and replacement. For this reason, many operators are looking to increase the remaining lifecycle of their assets through digital solutions, including remote monitoring, asset performance management, and smart signals via IOT, which enable water treatment plants and operators to run their assets more efficiently and effectively. Water management at industrial plants has long been a labour-intensive, manual process requiring plant personnel to measure and record data throughout the day at various assets. But digital sensors and modern communication networks now allow routine data to be captured and communicated remotely, allowing operators to spend more of their time analyzing results and less of it grabbing samples. Digital transformation can be truly transformative when you think of it as a replacement for the employee’s time in walking to the asset to take a measurement by hand. Work schedules can be significantly changed to prioritize higher and best use activities when around-the-clock manual instrument reads can be reduced. For those plant functions, like checking effluent conductivity and silica levels that require hourly measurement, the addition of digital recordings can significantly reduce the burden on overstretched staff. Although there is no replacement for the visual alert that a knowledgeable eye can capture as your staff operate the plant, digital data collection also offers the benefits of a higher frequency of collection and the compounding effect of analyzing data over time. With manual data collection, there’s almost always a delay between the collection of data, its entry into the system, and its later analysis. What digital systems do very well is automatically process the data against benchmarks and generate alerts to help identify issues sooner. This allows real-time operations, preventive maintenance, and resource and budget allocation. The analysis of large amounts of data over time helps plant operators identify degradation trends to better forecast maintenance needs and timing, which can lead to operational savings. For example, plants that utilize mobile service deionization (SDI) trailers can better schedule when replacement trailers arrive to optimize efficiency. Without digital tracking, plant managers may order replacements too soon, which results in lost efficiency and increased costs. Or they may order too late, which can lead to downtime. Digital tools and software capabilities can alert plant operators when maintenance is required or even communicate to outside vendors who can order replacements or schedule maintenance directly under service contracts. Why Should You Consider Outsourcing Digitization? Outsourcing to a third party when considering digitizing your plant has several advantages. There are many capabilities you’ll want to consider and look for when choosing a vendor for help: 1. A vendor that runs many plants can bring the fleet intelligence to the customer’s operation. 2. Cyber security and risk mitigation through a vendor is a relief for many clients. 3. Focus on core activities and have an experienced vendor to handle water treatment operations. First, consider how the data you collect will be gathered, analyzed, reported, and stored. To realize the benefits of installing such tools, you’ll need to have a way to actually see and understand the data you receive. Manufacturers may provide software or reports for each instrument. However, having a dashboard that provides reports on several instruments can be advantageous. SUEZ’s InSight* platform is a good example. It allows users to connect a variety of sensors and instruments of varying manufacturers and types to their platform. The flexibility of the platform allows plants to monitor various parameters like tank level, flow, conductivity, and pH from one dashboard, as well as manually input data to track trends for any assets that are not digitally measured. Another consideration is how easily third-party instruments can be set up in the plant. Some digital tools have the capability to collect and send data wirelessly over cellular networks, making them much easier to install throughout plants. Digital tools may also send data to the “cloud,” where it’s stored without the need to purchase and install hardware onsite. It’s especially important to consider what kind of support you have from the manufacturer or vendor for any system you choose. Some digital technology manufacturers offer initial training and assistance for how to set up and use their tools. However, this isn’t a substitute for ongoing support and could mean you’re on your own later if things go wrong. Instead, look to vendors who offer a network of hands-on support. SUEZ operates Service Reliability Centers (SRCs) in North America, Latin America, Europe, and China. These centers are staffed by teams of SUEZ experts who use InSight to monitor customer assets and make recommendations, assist with account setup, and troubleshoot in the event of an alarm or issue. This offers plant operators peace of mind beyond what InSight alone can provide. How reports from the data collected are delivered is another important factor. Automatic reports can be helpful, but they’re only useful if you’re able to understand what they say and easily identify alerts that need attention and trends to help better plan for maintenance. Request sample reports from vendors before purchasing a solution to ensure you’ll find them useful. Third-party vendors may offer support from expert analysts who review your data and contact you to discuss any issues or maintenance needs. This level of support can be like having a member on your team to monitor your plant without having to hire employees to manage your digital tools. Page 17
  18. 18. Vendors may even assign process experts to your plant. This gives plant managers a specific point person to contact. Process experts provide specific recommendations to help reduce operational costs from analysis they conduct with data from the plants they work with. Finally, it’s important to consider guarantees the manufacturer or vendor offers when it comes to the services they provide. If your plant experiences a water failure, how will your operations be impacted? Look for vendors that not only help in alerting you of the failure, but can be triggered off those alerts to mobilize and send technicians, services, or even water to keep processes up and running. Large vendors like SUEZ have fleets of equipment that can delivered onsite within hours to meet emergency water needs. These backups, coupled with digital technology, help to ensure you have the water you need to keep your plant operating, even under distress. Smartphone App Delivers Reproducible And Precise pH Analysis Traditionally, when it comes to analysis, there have been two ways to measure pH. The first is the inexpensive method of using test strips, which requires little time or training. The second requires the use of a pH electrode or probe and because it requires more training, time, and equipment, is far more expensive. However, a hybrid application is now available that brings together the ease of use of test strips with technology to ensure preciseness. Using test strips is pretty straightforward. The strip is immersed in the sample, and a color change in the reaction zone gives information on the concentration of the tested parameter. “Test strips for different parameters may require different handling procedures and incubation times,” says Saskia Schröter, Global Product Manager Mobile and Analytical Workflows at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “Then there is the issue of comparing the results to a color chart. The readout is semi-quantitative, with a finite number of color hues corresponding to respective readout values. Visual analysis is subjective, and the determined values can differ between users. If the user is color blind or has eye issues, it makes it even harder for them to match the color on the strip to a color value on the chart correctly.” Human issues can affect the quality of your pH measurement when using test strips. The time spent on documenting test strip results is also an overlooked cost and liability when comparing test strips with probes. It’s important to document your test strip reads to reduce errors and have the ability to track an event back to its source. The traditional way to do this is using pen and paper. The operator makes the measurement, obtains the result, writes the result in a log, and then transfers the log to a documentation system. At each step in a linear process like that, there is the potential for human error. “For instance, notes can be lost or mistakes can be made when transferring the data,” says Schröter. Precise Digital Readout These are all issues that can be avoided by using a digital readout solution, such as the MQuant® StripScan measurement app. StripScan technology uses a smartphone to determine precise chemical parameters, moving away from a specialist-driven approach to an intuitive approach. The package consists of three integral components: • An iOS smartphone app; • MQuant® test strips; • Credit card-size reference cards as an external color standard. The MQuant® StripScan is complemented by a free browser-based web application. The web version is not a copy of the app functionality-wise, but rather offers different, additional functionalities for downstream data management. It is designed to provide the user with a means of easy data transfer to their desktop device and allows the user to manage, analyze, and visualize their data more conveniently on a large screen. Measuring with the MQuant® StripScan system requires the user to dip the test strip in a sample and place it on the reference card. They then select the parameter (pH or nitrate) on the MQuant® StripScan app. A countdown appears and when the countdown is complete, a camera mode is engaged. The operator brings the reference card and test strip in view of the camera and an image is automatically acquired, similar to reading a QR code. The result is displayed instantaneously on-screen and the data can be transferred easily on to a computer to manage and store the analyses. Schröter says the app can identify things that may bias the results. For instance, it knows when the test strip doesn’t match the reference card used. The app can also let the user know if they are standing in harsh light that causes a shadow on the reference card. Thus, result accuracy is twice as precise compared to semi-quantitative test strip measurement, she says. “The test strips provide measurements in increments of 1, but the app also gives intermediate values of .5, such as a result of 1.5,” she explains. “The goal is to increase the precision of the results while maintaining reproducibility. We hope to provide even more precise results in the future.” Bringing Fun To Measurements This precision is one of the features that sets MQuant® StripScan apart from other chemical measuring apps on the market, says Schröter. Additionally, other apps read lateral flow tests for any parameter and simply provide a yes or no answer. “StripScan provides a more intricate analysis when it comes to reading color hues and values for more precise and reproducible results.” To support her claims, Schröter points to a research facility working with frogs and fish. The lab technician used the app to measure pH levels daily in the aquarium water. “This lab worker could complete his work faster with the app and no longer had to document results because it was all done automatically.” Having the measurement data readily available enables sharing and collaboration among coworkers. Eventually, Schröter says coworkers will be able to use the app to measure parameters beyond pH and nitrate. In the meantime, she says: “When choosing methods for measurements, important factors are ease of use, reliability, affordability, and convenient data management. This is what the app provides.” Page 18
  19. 19. Page 19 Conferences, Events, Seminars & Studies Conferences, Seminars & Events January 2019 WWT Wastewater 2019 29th January 2019 Birmingham, UK Hosted by Water & Wastewater Technology Remote Environmental Monitoring 29th January 2019 Birmingham, UK Hosted by Sensors for Water Interest Group Sponsored by Xylem March 2019 WEX Global 2019 4th - 6th March 2019 Porto, Portugal Hosted by WEX Global Flow Metering in a Smarter Water Industry 6th March 2019 Swindon, UL Hosted by Sensors for Water Interest Group WWT Smart Water Networks 21st March 2019 Birmingham Hosted by Water & Wastewater Technology May 2019 Flow Metering in a Smarter Water Industry 6th March 2019 Swindon, UK Hosted by Sensors for Water Interest Group September 2019 17th International Computing & Control for the Water Industry 2nd-4th September 2019 Exeter University, UK Hosted by University of Exeter Intcatch Conference 4th -6th September 2019 London, UK Hosted by Intcatch2020 Conferences Coming Soon Remote Enviromental Monitoring Where: Freshwater Biological Association, Dorset, UK When: 30th January 2019 The workshop will provide an update on the drivers coming through from UK environmental monitoring policy, and how sensor and communications technologies are addressing these challenging requirements for permanent, semi-permanent and portable monitoring systems, both in the sensing and communications hardware and data delivery to the client. The workshop will include presentations from organisations implementing policy, monitoring system users and providers, and academic presentations on novel remote monitoring systems. This workshop is sponsored by Xylem Analytics and is organised by the Sensors for Water Interest Group Flow Metering in a Smarter Water Industry Where: Swindon Steam Museum, Swindon, UK When: 6th March 2019 The water industry has been challenged to make further significant cuts in leakage and consumption in the next 10 years. Technology, in the form of smarterandmoredatadrivensystems,isexpectedtoplayamajorroleinhelping meet these targets. Flow is likely to remain one of the most fundamental and important parameters for understanding and managing networks from source to tap. So how will the demands on flow measurement and metering change? Will it, for example, be for better accuracy, low flow sensitivity, data availability or assurance of data quality? How will the flow measurement and metering systems being developed and installed now meet those needs? This seminar will look at the demands on flow measurement and metering in tomorrow’s networks and the solutions being developed and implemented to meet those challenges Smart Water Networks Where: Birmingham Conference & Events Centre, Birmingham, UK When: 21st March 2019 The transition between PR14 and PR19 has seen the water industry expe- rience a paradigm shift, making innovation and smarter ways of working a strategic imperative. The increased drive to understand infrastructure in real time and pre-empt network issues have become an essential aspect to providing a resilient and improved service to the customer. From smart metering to IoT and AI, technology optimisation is key to improv- ing day-to-day operations in addition to ensuring the long-term success of the industry.
  20. 20. WEX Global is the place to create new business in the water industry. The global exchange is for suppliers, utilities and the leading thinkers in water and energy to work together, meeting and talking in person over three important days. FEATURED SESSIONS INCLUDE: ‘WATER 4.0’ SMART WATER SESSIONS AT WEX (IN ASSOCIATION WITH WIPAC) 1. Communication & Security in Water & Wastewater 2. Instrumentation & Control in the Water Industry – Sponsored by Hach 3. BIMS and the Water Sector 4. Improving Asset Management using Intelligent Monitoring Solutions 5. Turning Data into Informed Decision-Making 6. Digital Desalination in the Circular Economy: Intelligent Water for the Future Sponsored by Acciona THE INNOVATIONS FORUM SPONSORED BY AQUALIA An interactive forum featuring six game-changing new technologies presented by invited companies. Judged by an international panel of distinguished experts, the winner will receive the Aqualia Innovation Award, to be presented at the WEX Global Gala Dinner on 5th March 2019. Contact us to find out more about attending WEX Global and to see the full agenda! SPEAKERS 2019 With more than 30x countries represented to date and counting, WEX hosts speakers from both commercial and technical backgrounds, working across the public and private sectors. Meet directors or equivalent from companies including the following live at WEX:- • Aguas de Gaia • Aguas do Porto • Aguas do Portugal • Aguas do Tejo Atlantico • Algerian Energy Company • Anglian Water • APG–Neuros • Asian Water Magazine • BESIX • BeWater • Black & Veatch • Budapest Waterworks • CDM Smith • City of Cincinnati • Cole Engineering • Czech Water • EPPA - Switzerland • EPAL • FCC Aqualia • Finnova Foundation • Green Tech Challenge • Guyana Water Inc • Hach • Hydrolia Water Works • Kalundborg Utility • Krevox • L’Oréal • Nairobi Water • National Water & Sewerage Corporation • NWWEC • ONEE • Portuguese Water Partnership • Remondis Aqua International • SABESP • Sonede • South East Water • Stantec • Suez • Sweco • Jamaica National Water Commission • Uganda National Water & Sewerage Corporation • United Utilities • Utico • Veolia • WRc • Yorkshire Water …and more being added every day! ‘WEX has a remarkable reputation in the water industry as the go-to place to do significant networking and to meet the right partners to move your technologies forward.’ Malcolm Fabiyi, Drylet Applying Intelligence to the Circular Economy in Water and Energy 4–6 MARCH 2019 | PORTO, PORTUGAL +44 (0)1772 429808 SPONSORS INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORTERS Page 20