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WIPAC Monthly September 2018


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Welcome to the September 2018 edition of WIPAC Monthly the magazine published by the Linked In Group Water Industry Process Automation & Control.

In this month's edition we have a preview of the Water, Wastewater & Environmental Monitoring conference & exhibition as well as articles on

Foam Control in Anaerobic Digesters
How big "Big Data" is in the Water Industry
Building a foundation for Artificial Intelligence
Reliable design in plant hydraulics

If you've enjoyed this edition then please sign up for the WIPAC Mailing list at

Have a good month
Oliver Grievson
Executive Director, Water Industry Process Automation & Control

Published in: Engineering
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WIPAC Monthly September 2018

  1. 1. WIPAC MONTHLYThe Monthly Update from Water Industry Process Automation & Control Issue 9/2018- September 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 web site 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 from the article by Stuart Cain that discusses the Best Available Technologies for treatment plant design by modelling the hydraulics using various different techniques. 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 plus a report from the SWAN Forum conference in Barcelona. 4 - 11 WWEM to focus on the hot topics................................................................................ In this preview article of the Water, Wastewater & Environmental Conference & Exhibition the various activities of this year’s event are discussed including WIPAC’s involvement 12-13 Bringing Anaerobic Digester Foam Under Control......................................................... In this article by Sam Gould of Hycontrol, the problems of digester foam in anaerobic digesters are explained and the use of instrument based control systems to resolve the problem discussed. 14 - 15 How big is “Big Data” among water utilities................................................................... Big Data as a concept has been around for many years and promised a great deal for the water industry. In this article by engineering consultants, Black & Veatch, the popularity of Big Data is growing but there is an uncertainty over its benefits to the water industry. 16-17 Smart Utility: Building a foundation for Artificial Intelligence......................................... In this article by Michael Karl of Brown & Caldwell And Greg Wyatt of Suez the use of data and the decision making power that it bring is discussed 18-19 Reliable Design of Water Treatment Plant Hydraulics..................................................... In the engineering design of any treatment plant the hydraulics are absolutely essential. Mistakes can be costly. In this article by Stuart Cain of Alden Research Laboratory the different methods of modelling treatment plant hydraulics are discussed 20-21 Workshops, Conferences & Seminars............................................................................ The highlights of the conferences and workshops in the coming months. 22-23
  3. 3. Page 3 From the Editor This month I listened to a discussion at a Sensors for Water Interest Group (SWIG) meeting about the concept of Data Quality and the two ends of the discussion was very much at polar opposites to each other. On one hand you had the highly technical person within the water industry, like myself, they had originated in the laboratory environment where you know exactly what the accuracy and precision of a method is. You know all the areas of uncertainty and you strive to get your result both reproducible and as accurate as possible. On the other end of the spectrum you had someone repre- senting action and decision making, the concept being postulated was that accuracy is not necessary and data only needs to be as accurate enough to allow the correct decision to be made. Striving for absolute accuracy is a dangerous concept as it tends to get in the way, or be used as an excuse, of action and leads to the opposite inactivity through uncertainty. So who is right and who is wrong? In something that is very typical in the water industry, especially for the Process Engineers in the industry, they are both right and they are both wrong. There are some situations where accuracy is absolutely essential and the knowledge of the uncertainties of measurement is an absolute fundamental of what we do. Dosing chemicals into the water supply. If the data isn’t right there is risk of under-dosing or over-dosing that puts people’s health at risk. Accuracy is absolutely essential. Other situations where control of regulated parameters say flow control on wastewater inlet where on a flume and weir, a single millimetre,matters. It is in these positions where accuracy is again absolutely essential. However is this the case all the time, do we need to as accurate as possible all the time or is there a case where the accuracy of the data that we use can be sacrificed to a degree to make a more timely decision. Of course it does depend on what you are doing and what you are intending to do with the data that can allow the data to be less stringent that it sometimes is. An example a coagulation system stripping colour from raw water. Do you actually need to measure pH to two decimal place or will one do as long as the uncertainty of the measurement is known then this can be built into the control system. The same can be said to a certain extent for dissolved oxygen in activated sludge. Where a completely inaccurate measurement would be unacceptable it is not absolutely necessary to be accurate so that the quality of the measurement is an absolute certainty. Saying this though, the uncertainty of the measurement should be known, as there are risks associated with inaccurate data. The uncertainty of the measurement and inaccurate data can lead to further problems and then the risks of potential over or under-design due to inaccurate data can actually outweigh the costs of ensuring the accurate data in the first place. The related discussion that also happened was around the timeliness of data. The discussion looking at the situation where operational data needs to be as quick as possible where it comes to the actions of the part of the industry that is in strategic operational control. With alarms coming in at high speed the timeliness of data and information is essential and as long as the data and information allows for the correct decision to be made then a certain amount of the accuracy of the data can be sacrificed. All of the discussions around data and data quality highlight the situation that the industry needs to know what data and what information it needs and in what situation. This should be appropriate for the tasks that it is being used ranging from the situation of operational control where there is balance between speed and accuracy, to regulatory compliance where accuracy is essential but timeliness is not a factor to asset management where the degree of accuracy needs to be known and some element of uncertainty is acceptable as long as it is know and the time scales can range requirements can range from upwards of years. From these discussions it can be concluded when it comes to data and information it just essential to understand its application as the application of the instrumentation that is the source of where it comes from. Have a good month, Oliver
  4. 4. The Future of WIPAC: Events at WWEM So where are we this month on the Future of WIPAC? The website seems to be working, the changes that LinkedIn have made with groups certainly a negative impact but overall things have not been going too badly, The active users on the website is interesting as well as the fact that the users come from all over the world, very much like the group. It was certainly a bit of slow start but the users on the group do seem to stabilising and growing. There is more work to do in getting the website suitable for most platforms.. In terms of setting up WIPAC as a company things have been a little bit slow as the main concentration has been working with everyone at International Labmate to set up all of the activities that are going to happen at this year’s WWEM. It is probably WIPAC’s (and my) busiest event and I’ve been preparing programmes, brochures and marketing material for what is basically going to be WIPAC’s launch event as a company and as a membership organisation. The programme of events for WWEM is certainly interesting. I’ve been working with the sponsors of the Instrumentation Apprentice Competition and working hard in getting teams together. We have got four teams so far and are working on three more. The four teams so far are from Anglian Water, Yorkshire Water, United Utilities and a joint team from Morrison Utillities Services and Barhale. It is fantastic to have these teams on board already and we have an interesting and fun day for the Apprentices to pick new skills and meet members of the industry who they will work with in the future. The WIPAC Flow Forum has got a really exciting programme with three sections concentration on the Maintenance & Installation of Flow measurement devices, the use of Flow Control Devices as well as new developments within the industry. Highlights include Marc Swain of Severn Trent Water who have over 30 years of experience in flow who will be talking about the maintenance of open channel measurement structures. As well as Marc we have Steven French of Z-Tech Control systems putting a practical approach to instrument installation in the field. Case studies from Nigel Langham of Langham Industrial Controls and Lorenzo Pompa of Anglian Water finish off the second session of the Flow Forum and leads onto sessions on advancements in flow measurement with presentations by Dr Andy Nichols who is talking about Sheffield Universities work Free Surface Measurement and by Greg Wainhouse of Burkert Fluid Control Systems on Surface Acoustic Wave Measurement. On top of the Flow Forum are plentiful opportunities to learn about instrumentation at the WIPAC Learning Zone that has picked up a fifth room in the past month which is open to everyone to get technical and practical experience on some of the technologies that are used in the water industry. Page 4 Industry News
  5. 5. i2O launches new eNet event management software solution for water utilities i2O has announced the addition of eNet to its suite of smart network solutions. eNet extends i2O’s ability to help its clients deal with the challenges of increasing and urbanising population, more extreme weather events, ageing network infrastructure, an ageing workforce, customers becoming more demanding, and difficulty in increasing revenue or accessing capital. eNet is an incident management system tailored to the needs of water utilities. It can be used for bursts, sewer overflows, water quality events, security breaches, and health & safety incidents. It: • Helps ensure all appropriate actions are taken and none are duplicated • Records actions and rationale – an irrefutable audit trail • Enables decisions to be made in possession of all available information • Enables people to track progress either by logging in, or by having it pushed to them by email/SMS • Makes information available on all types of devices in all locations – office, field, home; making decision making possible from any location Resulting in: • Less water is lost, less pollution occurs • Customer satisfaction is maximised • Penalties are minimised • Reputation is protected eNet is powered by Badger Software’s CLIO product. Badger Software is the UK’s leading supplier of Critical Incident Management software. Originally developed to help police forces manage spontaneous incidents and civil emergencies as well as covert operations, Badger’s client list now includes manufacturers, retailers, and other government departments. The system is tried and tested, robust, and easy to use. eNet will in due course be more closely integrated with i2O’s suite of smart network solutions: • iNet, the network monitoring and analytics solution, which can identify events • oNet, the advanced pressure management solution, which can enable remote control and automatic optimisation of pressure in the network Joel Hagan, i2O CEO commented “Our clients want cost-effective ways to quickly identify, diagnose and resolve incidents that affect their ability to supply water to their customers, and to learn lessons from these events. eNet ensures that relevant information is easy to access; it keeps everyone up-to-date in every location with every action undertaken, decision made, and the rationale for each decision; and enables post-event review to be undertaken efficiently.” British Water launches innovation search engine An innovation search engine that can help match utilities, industrial users and contractors with the water technologies they need has been launched by British Water. BWinnovate complements the trade association’s popular onsite Innovation Exchanges with utilities and other client organisations and the supply chain. The searchable portal is hosted on the trade association’s website and seamlessly integrates with its member database. Members are invited to post as many innovative “solutions’ as they wish along with images, documents and video links. Access to the searchable database is open to the worldwide web. A facility for member utilities and end-users to post their technology “needs” in a section visible only to other members is also included. Paul Mullord, UK director, British Water said, “BWinnovate is a natural extension of our popular Innovation Exchanges where supply chain companies present their services and technologies to potential clients. It allows our members to present to a global audience and facilitates detailed searches to help identify the most appropriate solutions available. “BWinnovate is much more focused than a regular search engine and the benefit goes both ways. Those searching for innovations can find them all in one place and at their convenience.” British Water has worked closely with its members to identify the most effective search criteria for the solutions. Prescribed categories include whether the solutions enhance health and safety, productivity and sustainability or whether they are water, wastewater or environmental solutions. Doug Workman, president of Modern Water Monitoring said, “The water industry needs innovation, but it is not always easy for busy project managers and consultancies to identify the most appropriate technologies. Modern Water will certainly be making use of BWinnovate and the more companies that get involved, the greater the benefit for customers.” Dr Stephen Bird, managing director, South West Water said, “BWinnovate is a very useful search engine for utilities. It creates an easily accessible library of innovation across multiple companies. It sits in one place, can be accessed at any time and is continually updated. It could save businesses valuable time and contribute to major cost savings across all operations.” Mullord added, “The industry is under considerable pressure to cut costs while conserving water and reducing carbon footprint. BWinnovate can help stakeholders identify solutions that can truly benefit their customers. I believe it will prove particularly beneficial in the new retail market.” Page 5
  6. 6. 80 GHz enables new applications in the wastewater sector Although flow measurement is quite common in the wastewater sector, measuring ‘foreign’ water ingress is still a very involved process. As sewers are basically partially filled pipes, the use of typical magnetic-inductive sensors is hardly possible. That’s why ultrasonic Doppler systems are often used here, but these still require a minimum coverage and can quickly become soiled in the wastewater. Venturi flow measurement is based on level readings and mathematical algorithms in conjunction with a Venturi channel. The advantage of a Venturi channel is that it cleans itself and creates very little backwater. It is quite easy to handle and ideal for partially filled systems. Realizing this, the managing director of the engineering company UMS came up with the idea of developing a venturi channel for quick installation with a special clamping device and they are having it patented. The advantage: The UMS channel can be integrated very quickly into existing sewer systems without special tools or structural alterations. Since the usual characteristic curves of standard channels cannot be used for these small, compact designs, UMS creates special characteristic curves for the different channel versions. This makes it possible to achieve high accuracy even under unfavourable conditions. The UMS channel is available for different diameters. The conception and development of the channel was only possible thanks to the very compact design of the VEGAPULS 64 sensor. And the final design engineering of the UMS channel would not have been possible without the latest developments in radar level measurement technology. To determine the filling levels, a radar sensor was needed that is small and, above all, measures all the way to the bottom of the channel. Until recently there was no instrument suitable for this task. Due to its very compact design, VEGAPULS 64 fitted perfectly into the system. And when it comes to water resistance, the sensor has a high rating: IP 68. Thanks to its light weight, the Venturi channel is easy to position, clamp in place, and make ready for immediate use. There are no problems such as backwater, as is common in magnetic-inductive flow measurement, or leakage through sealing pads. The measurement flumes can be installed very quickly, which facilitates work tremendously when measuring foreign water ingress. UMS therefore decided to acquire multiple systems at the same time in order to detect foreign water ingress in a systematic manner. 80 GHz in the wastewater industry The advantages of 80 GHz are particularly evident when the sensors are installed in very confined spaces. Typical applications are narrow pump shafts with numerous internals or heavy buildup on the shaft walls. VEGAPULS 64 with its encapsulated plastic antenna is extremely easy to install. Several flood-proof versions are available: WEX GLOBAL 2019 Applying Intelligence to the Circular Economy in Water and Energy 4th – 6th March 2019 | Porto, Portugal Register your interest now! Page 6
  7. 7. Northumbrian Water Group aims to lead the way on innovation in water sector Northumbrian Water Group, owners of Northumbrian Water and Essex and Suffolk Water, is aiming to become the most innovative and forward thinking company in the water industry as part of their 2020 - 2025 business plan. Essex & Suffolk Water recently hosted its first ever ‘Day of Innovation′ , building on ideas generated at the Northumbrian Water Innovation Festival 2018, which took place in Newcastle in July. More than 250 innovation experts, scientists, engineers, designers, artists, customers and representatives from major global businesses came together in Essex for the special one-day event, which saw 13 ‘sprint sessions′ take place, each tasked with a major social and environmental challenge to solve. The Day of Innovation was an opportunity to develop and test the big ideas that came out of these sprints, through a series of workshops, tech demos and interactive presentations. Some of the major ideas showcased and developed during the day included underground maps, well-being apps, travel assistance for the visually impaired, smart devices to monitor the water, ‘dog bogs′, self-sustaining homes and a ‘drop swap′ so people can save money as they save water. A team from the ‘Blue Planet′ sprint even took the event on tour and headed into Billericay to speak to around 40 local businesses about becoming Refill stations, with many signing up on the day. Refill is the national campaign that urges people to ditch single use plastics by filling up their reusable water bottles at Refill points across the country. The only water company to sit on the CBI innovation Council, Northumbrian Water is looking beyond the water industry for inspiration and hosts an Innovation Panel, which brings together experts from global customer service leaders including Apple, Amazon and IBM to challenge their thinking to help get the most from innovation. Earlier this year the company won the Digital Innovation Award at the prestigious Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards, in recognition for its innovative approach to reducing flood risk. The company is currently working on a number of industry leading innovative projects including: • Smart sewers: NWG is the first company in the world to install a fibre-optic ‘nervous system′ in a live sewer network. The innovative technology, developed by nuron, a company set up to exploit the growth of fibre for high speed digital communications to support the wastewater industry, enables us to measure water depth, flow and temperature in real time, every five metres along a sewer pipe. Using this data NWG can manage their sewer network proactively and predict and resolve issues before incidents occur • Digital Twin models: which are replicas of NWG′s physical assets, systems and processes to provide the best environment for them and their partners to experiment and run large-scale simulations using cloud-computing power; • Innovation Festival 19: Annual Innovation Festivals to push through innovative ideas at scale and speed, and to promote innovation within the company. The festival has been held two years running with thousands of attendees. NWG Group Information Services Director Nigel Watson said: “Super-charging our innovation culture is essential if we are to continue to deliver world class experiences to our customers and if we are to become the industry leaders in this field. “It′s the target we′ve set ourselves, and it′s an ambitious one, but we′ll continue to rise to this challenge by finding new solutions, working in partnership, and adapting the very best from within and beyond the sector to help get there.” “At NWG we firmly believe that innovation is key if we are to continue delivering unrivalled experiences for our customers, and in our recent business plan submission to OFWAT we made the ambitious pledge to lead in innovation in the water sector and beyond.” NI Water rolls out SMART metering technology trial A new SMART water metering trial, piloted by NI Water (NIW) on Rathlin Island last year, is now being expanded to some key customers on the mainland to investigate the potential benefits it can offer them. The system collects detailed, hourly reads and displays them on a customer interface, allowing NIW’s customers to manage their consumption more effectively as well as having the ability to detect leaks and burst pipes. Dr Gary Curran, NI Water Head of Metering and Billing commented: “This new technology allows NIW and its customers to view much more detailed information on their water consumption. With this granularity of information the customer and NI Water can monitor trends in use, investigate potential leaks and compare consumption with other similar properties and businesses to improve water efficiency.” “These investigations into water efficiency have enabled the customers in the trial to potentially reduce their consumption and where appropriate, minimise discharge to the wastewater network. This has savings for both NI Water and their customers. Any queries the customer may have, are easily addressed as there is a clear understanding of the information available.” NI Water introduced the SMART water metering pilot scheme on Rathlin in July 2017. The scheme allows 13 revenue meters on the island to automatically report back to a base in mainland Northern Ireland, with the information being used to read customer meters on the mainland and alert NI Water to any potential water leaks. Page 7
  8. 8. Sending Your Wet Weather Problem Back To The Cloud(s) Most of us don’t have to think about the vital infrastructure that supports our society. Water is delivered to our homes and businesses 24/7, and wastewater is efficiently and cleanly whisked away. The ability of our utilities to manage these services means we only take notice at times of inconvenience: water outages, sewer blockages, or stormwater overflows. Storm Clouds on the Horizon While our utility staffs work diligently to avoid any issues, the confluence of aging infrastructure, population growth and a more volatile water cycle is presenting challenges beyond the capacity of our existing systems. As a result, the U.S. EPA estimates that approximately 75,000 sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) occur annually in the US, discharging almost a trillion gallons of untreated wastewater into our waterways and environment. Far from just an aesthetic or environmental issue, exposure to contaminated recreational waters from SSOs and CSOs contributes to up to 3,700 illnesses a year. In a dedicated effort to remedy the current situation, the USEPA has stepped up enforcement of non-point source discharges with cities entering into multimillion- and multibillion-dollar consent decrees to address the impact of wet weather and collection system capacity limitations. Unfortunately, many of the proposed solutions perpetuate an old-school approach: pour concrete into the ground and build more and bigger systems. However, in an era where utilities are already experiencing declining revenue, increasing costs, and opposition to rate hikes, it is imperative we maximize the capacity of our existing capital investments before undertaking the wholesale construction or replacement of our wet-weather and sewer infrastructure. Unfortunately, despite the value of our sewer and stormwater collection systems in protecting environmental and public health, the understandably conservative nature of the industry has generally delayed application of 21st century technology to understanding the real-time condition of our sewer infrastructure. Consequently, our sewer collection systems are often invisible: un-instrumented, uncontrolled, and unwatched. So we cannot optimize their utility or their value. With technology readily available and in-service today, utilities can access data-driven options to avoid encumbering our cities with unaffordable capital obligations. Before investing in massive infrastructure rebuilds , we should seek to answer these questions: Can we extract capacity from our existing infrastructure using technology? Can we leverage the power of affordable cloud-based services to bring advanced sensor and analytics tools to optimize performance? Can we better protect public health by understanding the real-time condition of our infrastructure through affordable sensor and communication strategies? In short, can we use our own data clouds to defend against storm clouds? The Cloud vs the Clouds By design, a sewer collection system is distributed — reaching the full breadth and extent of a community. This has complicated ability to acquire real-time operational data. Rapid innovation in sensors and economies of scale in communication are simplifying the problem. Wireless (e.g., dedicated, cellular, satellite) communication is now widely available in most areas — at costs that are well within reach for the typical utility. Improvements in battery life and optimized power requirements are redefining the sensor network. Integrated, cloud-based data storage and analytics services means sewer system operators now have unparalleled access to monitor and control collection systems to improve operational performance. These services are affordable, reliable, and do not burden utility information technology systems. In fact, they can provide a positive return on investment, increase efficiency and lower the costs to consumers. The benefits of these innovations are re-writing the way we manage our collection systems, providing our wastewater collection system operators with the ability to actively:[4] • Reduce or eliminate sewer backups and street flooding. • Reduce or eliminate SSOs. • Reduce or eliminate CSOs (combined sewer overflows). • Manage/reduce energy consumption. • Avoid excessive sediment deposition in the sewers. • Optimize cleaning routines. • Manage flows during an unplanned (not anticipated) system disturbance, such as major equipment failure or security-related incidents. • Manage the rate of flow arriving at the wastewater treatment plant. Most importantly, understanding the condition of our collections systems in real time means we can continue to protect public health at lower operational and capital costs. For example, the City of Newburgh, NY deployed SmartCover Systems sensors and platform to provide city staff and the public real-time notification of CSO events while also addressing the regulatory reporting and public notification requirements. SmartCover Systems connects operators with their infrastructure allowing data-driven control of these events in real time. This information is available from cloud-based services at any time, through any internet-connected device, anywhere, providing cities with the information necessary to get the most out of their stormwater management systems. A recent news broadcast highlighted the effectiveness of using data to better operate stormwater systems, detailing SmartCover Systems role in significantly reducing flooding events in Toronto, ON. The Rainbow after the Storm SmartCover Systems is leading the drive for intelligence in our sewer systems. Cloud-based services for managing collection systems offer unique opportunities for utilities to extend the capacity of existing infrastructure and reduce the costs of SSO and CSO control. The ability to install sensors with integrated communication technology in any location is increasing our understanding of the dynamic conditions existing in our sewers and improving operations, lowering costs. With these data, we can better predict, control, and prevent any overflow condition, optimize existing infrastructure, and protect public health in an efficient and affordable manner. Page 8
  9. 9. Augury and Grundfos Enter Strategic Partnership: Digital Knowledge and Water Expertise Drive Innovation Grundfos, a world leading pump and water technology company, and Augury, a leading AI-based mechanical diagnostics provider are partnering to change the way the world accesses water, enabling even more reliable and sustainable water services to their customers. Grundfos and Augury are partnering to bring continuous diagnostics to Grundfos’ current and coming customers as well as co-developing smart diagnostics capabilities in future products. The partnership will combine Augury’s unique knowledge within algorithm powered machine listening, with the deep expertise in water technology and pump systems of Grundfos to create ready to implement, world-class condition monitoring services and solutions. Ultimately presenting the companies’ customers across the globe with new, digitally enabled, resilient and reliable offerings with best in class competencies, technologies and market propositions. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are transforming how we access and consume water,” said Fredrik Östbye, Group Vice President, Head of Digital Transformation at Grundfos. “We’re excited about our new partnership with Augury and together we will make water and pump systems more reliable, sustain- able and resilient for years to come. Furthermore, together we can use our capabilities to create something new, adding more value to our customers based on our joint expertise.” For Augury, this cooperation widens market access and provides exposure to Grundfos’ broad experience in the pump business. With Grundfos, Augury expects to further fine-tune its algorithms leading to the creation of new and innovative solutions - which will solidify Augury’s position as a leader in the predictive analytics market. “We’re thrilled to be working with Grundfos,” said Saar Yoskovitz, Co-Founder and CEO of Augury. “Together we are in a unique position to shape the emerging market of connected devices as it introduces new business models that provide more value to end users. Our mission is to make machines more reliable while reducing their environmental impact and this partnership is a significant step to achieving that goal.” The combination of Grundfos’ leading water and pump system expertise and Augury’s unique predictive analytics technology will create world-class condition monitoring services and solutions. This partnership will provide Grundfos’ current and future customers new, digitally enabled offerings that will transform the way they purchase, maintain and operate pumps. “This partnership will accelerate and digitally enable our service offerings,” said Thomas Rosenkilde Anderson, Group Vice President, Grundfos Service & Solutions. “It will allow us to continue doing what we do best, providing great water solutions and services. Augury will bolster our capabilities to provide our customers solutions that detect problems before they cause loss of production and allow response time to fix them.” This new strategic and co-development partnership is strengthening the business relationship, originally initiated in the United States of America, two years ago. Grundfos’ customers are already reaping the benefits of this sophisticated condition monitoring system, backed by a strong service agreement, allowing them to optimize productivity and protect their most valuable assets Thames Water appoints new supplier to deliver better digital customer experience Thames Water have appointed London-based firm Hugo and Cat as their digital supplier to deliver a better digital customer experience. The service provider will create Thames’ “to be” vision for its website. The water company said the site re-structure/design is needed to express and bring to life the TW brand and TOV in a digital environment to promote engagement and work towards its brand aspiration. Existing content will also be audited and rationalized based on usage, relevance, topic and format and revised architecture. The contract also includes the requirement for future technology developments to be presented e.g. social contact, Webchat, Rant and Rave. Thames is also aiming to ensure its brand “story” is embedded “to convey the emotional value of water and the precious nature of water (and Thames) in everyday life, work and play and in the longer term.” Water companies will need to offer at least 3 online channels for PR19. Water sector regulator Ofwat is replacing the current service incentive mechanism (SIM) as a measure of customer service effectiveness and measuring success with WaterworCX for PR19. WaterworCX is an umbrella term for a mechanism comprising two new measures: • the customer measure of experience (C-MeX); and • the developer services measure of experience (D-MeX). One of the key drivers for the change was the fact that the SIM does not reflect changing communications technology and how customers interact with retailers. Under WaterworCX, companies will need to offer at least five communication channels, including at least three online channels, to receive contacts and complaints. C-MeX will have a reputational incentive on complaints performance and will also widen the definition of ‘complaint’ to include those made via any channel, including social media. C-MeX will also offer higher potential financial performance payments than the SIM. The water companies will be ranked annually based on their C-MeX scores, with the top three performers each year receiving a performance payment of up to 1.2% of residential retail revenues. Higher performance payments of up to 2.4% of residential retail revenues would only be available if a company is within the top three performers and performs at or above the cross-sector threshold. The poorest performers will receive a penalty of up to 2.4% of residential retail revenues annually. Page 9
  10. 10. Showcasing WWEM Viewreal-timewaterquality live at WWEM 2018 Visitors to the Meteor Communications stand No.10 at WWEM 2018 will be able to view the UK’s largest integrated, real-time water quality data network, and interact with water quality, flow, level and weather data from selected rivers across the UK. The remote sites from which this data is collected form part of the ESNET (Environmental Sensor NETwork) created by MeteorCommunications for customers such as the Environment Agency, utilities, consultants and academia. Delivering complete managed monitoring services, Meteor’s innovative business model provides high resolution, real- time water quality monitoring, available on a lease or purchase basis. The company’s portable and kiosk-based multiparameter monitoring systems will be on display, offering WWEM visitors the opportunity to explore the ESNET platform. Typical systems measure Ammonium, pH, EC, temperature, DO and turbidity, with options for several other parameters using industry leading sensors, including Xylem sondes and OTT nutrient monitors. “We already have over 400 stations operating in the UK, so the products are well proven,” says MD Matt Dibbs. “Our innovative technologies are suitable for catchment or small final effluent applications, and their transportability and simplicity makes them ideal for short-term investigations, or for sensitive locations where alarm capability is required.” Matt Dibbs will deliver a presentation entitled: Remote monitoring of final effluent using multiparameter sondesat 10:40am at the WWEM SWIG Conference - Day 2 (22nd Nov.) He will also deliver a workshop on remote water quality monitoring in Room 5 at 2:30pm on Day 1. The Meteor Communications stand will also feature the company’s remote, low-power, rugged cameras which provide visualisation of key assets such as construction sites, flood gates, weirs, flumes, screens, grills etc. Over half a century of sensor technology expertise for the water industry “With a 54 year history of manufacturing sensors, specifically for water and waste water treatment, Partech are uniquely qualified to providetherightequipmentandcomprehensive technical support for our industry,” says Angus Fosten. The new TurbiTechw² D-ISO uses half a century of sensor design to produce a highly accurate low range Turbidity monitor that captures stray light to ensure a stable zero point. Fully ISO7027 compliant with an integrated cleaning system and a 2 year warranty as standard; the D-ISO is the perfect solution for providing peace of mind for low range Turbidity applications in both Raw and Final Water or Final Effluent Discharge monitoring. Partech will also be introducing their latest handheld water quality platform. The 750w² builds on the success of the global leading 740 Portable Suspended Solids monitor; used in over 70 countries around the world. Visit Partech at stands 98 and 99 for a full hands on demonstration. Long-term flow metering with integrated data transmission The latest portable measurement system made by NIVUS GmbH operates reliably with minimum maintenance and provides an intuitive operating concept. Visitors to WWEM will be able to see for themselves by visiting stands 140 and 141. Thepatentedcrosscorrelationtechnologydetermines the currently prevailing flow profile in real time, providing high, accurate results. Measurement accuracy can be significantly increased by the parallel use of up to three flow velocity sensors. Accessories such as the NIVUS Pipe Profiler allow for reliable measurement results in part filled pipes starting at diameters of 150 mm even at very low flow levels Given a five-minute measurement and recording cycle, the measurement can be continued for up to 250 days without the need to replace the battery. The LTE modem with automatic transmission of readings andunitdataviae-mail,FTPortotheNIVUSwebportal is optionally available for the transmitter. Therefore, maintenance visits can be reduced to a minimum or can be planned in advance to save resources. Revolutionary flow, level and analytical instrumentation Endress+Hauser will exhibit a range of revolutionary devices and solutions on stands 15 and 16. They will showcasetheB200ultrasonic time-of-flightbiogasflowmeter,theirnewrangeof lowcostBluetooth enabled level, flow and analytical devices, as well as analytical solutions that meet all regulatory requirements. The B 200 has been developed to answer all the technical issues experienced in the measurement of biogas and landfill gas. This ensures an accurate flow and methane content measurement in the worst of flow conditions. In addition, the B 200 is less susceptible to installation effects than traditional methods. It requires less in terms of straight runs upstream and downstream, making installation easier and in many cases possible. Bluetooth connectivity is already well established in conjunction with flow and level devices. Additionally, Endress+Hauser has now launched a new compact transmitter for analytical measurements, in conjunction with innovative Memosens technology for sensor communication. This provides all the established benefits of Memosens in a two wire transmitter that is extremely compact and fits into existing assemblies. An example of the successful sample board arrangement for analytical measurements will also be on show, demonstrating how Endress and Hauser has met the requirements of both end users and regulators. They will also be presenting two workshops and four training sessions throughout the exhibition. The workshops will cover ways to improve analytical measurement thanks to Memosens and provide a digital, auditable trail throughout the life of specific sensors. Two of the training sessions will cover the aspects of biogas flow measurement, whilst the other two will cover developments in temperature measurement. Page 10
  11. 11. New velocity sensor technology to showcase at WWEM Technolog’s latest new product innovation is the MicroFlow-T velocity sensor. This is an easily deployable non-contact, low maintenance solution for remotely monitoring velocity in wastewater open channels, flumes, rivers and streams. The low power, velocity sensor is certified for use in hazardous environments (Zone 0) and designed for use in combination with the Cello IS or GS to provide a cost effective remote monitoring solution. When paired with an ultrasonic level sensor, the chamber dimensions can also be taken into account to calculate actual flowrate. The Microflow-T can form the backbone of a waste water early warning system or be used for hydraulic modelling of the wastewater network. Additionally, this can facilitate assessment of network performance remotely without the need to send operatives to sites on a regular basis. Visit Technolog at WWEM on stand 88 to find out more about the MicroFlow-T. Level and pressure measurement innovation on show at WWEM The Vega Controls stand will be of interest to anyone who needs to monitor and detect the levelofliquids,sludge,solids,evenmeasureairor gas flow. Whatever the challenge or application; from boreholes, reservoirs, open channel flow, flood management, waste water processing - to sludge handling, aeration systems, biogas generation, chemical storage and many more, why not come to the VEGA Stand, who will be delighted to chat, even provide test and trial devices for you to evaluate. Discover their low cost, compact radar level sensors, changing the way the water industry measures level. This state of the art, highly versatile technology is proven in hundreds of thousands of applications, and starts from just £390. Also available is the radar based MCERTS open channel flow system, simple to install and highly accurate. See how Vega’s ceramic, highly resilient dirt and abrasion resistant, flush- mounting or submersible pressure transmitters are unaffected by overpressure, water hammer and pressure shocks. Visit VEGA stand 106 Official WWEM sponsors to cutting edge sensor technology Join official WWEM sponsors, ATi for an insight into their exclusive range of intelligent smart water quality sensors and the profound impact they are having on the water industry. For the first time, the UK Water PLC will have the opportunity to see the effect that ATi’s revolutionary new MetriNet, along with its whole range of smart sensors, is having on the waywaterqualityismeasuredandmanaged.ATi will also discuss the importance of innovation and collaboration, which play vital roles in providing solutions to the industry’s challenges. Visit ATi’s water stands 121 and 122, to view this range of ground-breaking sensors that over half of the UK water companies now have installed, along with near real-time data that demonstrates network operational cost reductions and regulatory compliance. A flow solution for every pipeline FLEXIM, will be displaying the FLUXUS range of water and w a s t e w a t e r f l o w m e t e r s . The FLUXUS WD (water) & WW (wastewater,ATEX Certified) are state- of-the-art products delivering real world benefits. Non-disruptive installation is possible, without outages or additional costs such as waste tankering, etc. and setup is fast and accurate due to factory calibration. The flowmeters are IP68 protected for submerged or buried installations, and with robust fully stainless-steel construction and heavy duty tamper-proof clamps, they are built to last. Permanent coupling foils with no gels or greases mean that no maintenance is required. The instruments utilise VOS (Velocity of Sound) to indicate water temperature – for bug control or freeze/ thaw indication, and unique temperature-compensated transducers mean that zero accuracy is not affected by temperature. The meters are suitable for all pipe materials and for pipe sizes from 6mm to 6.5m.WWEM visitors are invited to stand 96 to discuss their flow measurement requirements. Wastewater flow measurement now possible under all conditions The successful measurement of low flows in partially full pipes and open channels has never been easily accomplished. Problems have ranged from questionable theory to real maintenance issues encompassing fouled sensors, sediment and plugging. The “point velocity” and “line velocity” theories that imply a velocity measured on the fluid surface or near the pipe wall can be substituted for the average velocity throughout the cross-section of the pipe have always been significantly challenged. In addition, flow sensors that sit in the invert of the pipe or hang from the top have made installation difficult, while providing a place for rags and other debris to accumulate. The accuracy of these single technology flowmeters are only consistent within a specific or prescribed range of conditions. If conditions change, the stated accuracy ratings are no longer valid. A new solution…. Accuron Hybrid Technology Cartridge Meters, available in the UK from Bell Flow Systems, who will be exhibiting at WWEM on stands 22 and 23, combine two distinct technologies in order to achieve maximum efficiency for monitoring of such flow under all conditions. The Cartridge Meter is the first open channel flowmeter to utilise hybrid technology. The new technology combines a stainless steel trapezoidal flume and Teflon level sensor combination for low flow applications with the highly accurate and non-fouling transit-time chordal velocity method for high flow applications. This new hybrid technology system allows for precise and highly accurate flow measurement during extremely low flows, high flows, flood events, reverse flows, stagnation and non-uniform hydraulic profiles. The risk and expense associated with repetitive confined space entry due to fouled submerged sensor problems is eliminated by using an “above the flow stream” submersible Teflon level sensor. The trapezoidal flume’s flat straight through bottom permits the flume to pass debris quite readily and reduces the problem of sediment build-up up-stream of the flume and the cartridge’s transit time velocity sensors are designed to prevent the accumulation of rags, branches and similar debris from interfering with the performance of the transducers. Page 11
  12. 12. Article: WWEM to focus on the hot topics The organisers of WWEM 2018, the water, wastewater & environmental monitoring event, have published details of a comprehensive programme of conferences, seminars and workshops that will take place during the 2-day (21+22 Nov) event in Telford (UK). Covering testing issues such as microplastics, nutrients and herbicides, the event will cover all of the most topical subjects in water and wastewater analysis and monitoring. Many of these presentations are free to attend; as is the international exhibition that accompanies them. The main purpose of the WWEM events, which began in 2005, is to provide the latest information on the regulations, standards, methods and technologies that relate to the testing and monitoring of water and wastewater. By bringing the whole sector together, including laboratory , online and field monitoring, the WWEM events provide a unique learning opportunity. As a focused event, visitors are able to meet regulators, accreditation organisations, members of Standards committees, academics, researchers, method developers, instrumentation experts and a wide variety of monitoring practitioners with environmental responsibilities. Registration for WWEM 2018 is now open and all pre-registered visitors will benefit from free parking, refreshments and lunch, in addition to free entry to AQE 2018, the co-located air quality and emissions event. Visiting without pre-registration will cost £20/day. The WWEM 2018 Conferences are CPD certified and with such a large selection of Conferences, Workshops, Seminars and a major international Exhibition, visitors are advised to plan their trip in advance. Day 1: 21st November 2018 An Analytical Conference, (£75 + VAT) organised by the Standing Committee of Analysts (SCA), will be introduced by Prof K Clive Thompson who will describe the history of the SCA and outline future potential. An impressive list of eminent and highly experienced speakers will then address some of the most topical analytical issues. In addition to sampling and information requirements, the presentations will address issues such as the analysis of inorganics and metals, as well as the stability and uncertainty in organics analysis. The chemical analysis of soils and associated materials will also be discussed. The evolution of drinking water microbiology will be described, in addition to the role of on-line water quality monitoring in the production of high quality tap water. The WWEM monitoring conference (£75 + VAT) will address some of the hottest topics in this sector, including on-line and at-site analysis, as well as the detection, counting and monitoring of microplastics. Following the ‘Blue Planet effect,’ the tide of public opinion on plastic waste and marine litter, is starting to turn, with inevitable political, and ultimately analytical consequences. Potential solutions to these challenges will be described in detail by Dr Andrew Mayes from the University of East Anglia, and Dr Claire Gwinnett from the University of Staffordshire. This will be followed by presentations covering online and at-site analysis in common environmental applications including, for example, real-time aquifer monitoring for shale oil and gas extraction. Improved and novel analytical solutions will be described including automated on-line monitoring for laboratory-grade monitoring of pollutants, and buoys fitted with smart sensors. Some of the new analytical techniques being covered include ion selective field effect transistors, on-site spectrometry, droplet-based microfluidic sensors, trace analysis of engineered silver nanomaterials, simple techniques for N and P with TOC, and the measurement of 5-day BOD in just 48 hours. The Flow Forum Conference (free to attend) will include presentations from industry experts covering themes such as the maintenance of flow measurement equipment, and flow control and management, as well as providing an update on the latest developments in flow measurement. The Pump Centre Conference (free to attend) is entitled: ‘Delivering BIM - Using Product Data across the UK Water Industry for Enhanced Efficiencies in Capital Delivery and Asset Management.’ As the UK water industry increasingly embraces BIM Level 2 during AMP 6 and AMP 7, there will be an increasing need for bespoke water industry product data templates. These will allow manufacturers to transfer product information in a digital format and in turn allow owner operators to directly import vital product information into their asset management system. This conference will provide an insight in to how this process works and what data templates have been created. The Engineering Futures Launch Initiative was created to help micro and small businesses to attract apprentices. The objective is to provide an affordable brokering service to partner enterprises with local schools, colleges and universities to help level the playing field. Effectively under the scheme, Engineering Futures becomes an extension to each micro or SME compiling and presenting on behalf of each company, thereby substantially increasing their chances of attracting the right candidates. It is believed that the initiative could save enterprises over £3,000 per vacancy fill, in comparison with traditional recruitment. A further 20% discount will be offered to companies that sign on at WWEM 2018. The WWEM Workshops (free to attend) on Day 1 have been mainly organised by WIPAC (Water Industry Process Automation & Control). Running throughout the day in rooms located within the Exhibition Hall, the workshops will cover a wide variety of themes including the measurement of flow and water quality as well as communications and data management. The flow monitoring themes will include primary measurement devices, electromagnetic sensors, area velocity, radar, ultrasonic level and thermal mass flow measurement. Chemical analysis presentations will include ammonia, chlorine, turbidity, dissolved oxygen (and aeration control) and free cyanide detection in effluents. A PROFIBUS Workshop is being organised by PI UK, an organisation which promotes the use of PROFIBUS in the UK. More recently it has added PROFINET and IO-Link to the range of technologies supported by the group and is now known as PROFIBUS and PROFINET International UK, or PI UK for short. A SWAN Workshop (Smart Water Networks Forum) will bring together key players to collaborate and accelerate the use of data-driven solutions in water and wastewater networks. Visitors to this workshop will: gain insights on the most pressing, water service challenges; learn about the latest, integrated smart water and wastewater solutions; hear real-life water company case studies and engage with water company and industry leaders through interactive roundtables. Page 12
  13. 13. Day 2: 22nd November 2018 The WMSOC Conference (£75 + VAT) will run in the morning of the second day, and is entitled Rapid Microbiology Practical Applications. Organised by the Water Management Society, this conference will provide the latest advice on testing for Legionella and other water-borne pathogens. The speakers will share their experience in testing and monitoring techniques as well as outbreak management, with real-world case studies. The WWEM monitoring conference (£75 + VAT) on day 2 will address a number of field and laboratory sampling and analysis themes. The first speaker, for example, will be Prof Gary Fones of Portsmouth University, who will describe the use of a passive sampler for monitoring pollutants such as herbicides in rivers. This will be followed by a presentation on automated sample preparation and GC-TOF for SVOC and pesticide analysis. Organised by the Environmental and Food Analysis Special Interest Group (EFASIG) of the BMSS, a series of presentations will address the screening of wastewater. Speakers will cover recent advances in Ion Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry and online monitoring of VOCs from waste effluent by GC-FID and GC-TOF MS. Advanced deconvolution tools will be described for improved GC/MS identification rates. The screening of pharmaceutical and other medicinal compounds within environmental samples will be explained in addition to a rapid measurement of FOG (Fat, Oil and Grease) from wastewater using bench-top NMR. Later in the afternoon, taste and odour challenges will be addressed, with a description of the world’s most sensitive detector, and then speakers from IME, University of Chicago will describe a ‘cyberphysical’ sensing system in India monitoring high frequency temporal and spatial variation in river water quality parameters. The SWIG conference (£75 + VAT) is entitled: Industrial discharge monitoring & Smart water: extracting value & insights from data. There has been increasing awareness of the work by the Environment Agency to implement the ‘polluter pays’ principle, which is also at the heart of current government plans for a green Brexit. The aim of the morning session is to provide industrial dischargers, water companies, contractors and instrumentation providers with an update on systems which ensure compliance and deliver benefits from discharge monitoring. For example, Matt Dibbs from Meteor Communications will demonstrate remote water quality monitoring systems that can be deployed on sites without the need for power or data connection. The afternoon session will explore the way that insights and value can be extracted from the huge amounts of data that is either already available or that will be generated by future deployments. The presentations will include an outline of a large scale water quality monitor deployment in Southern Water’s clean water distribution network. The PROFIBUS Workshop (free to attend) will continue on day 2 as outlined above, and some of the WWEM Workshops from Day 1 will be repeated on day 2 – see for details. International Exhibition The WWEM 2018 Exhibition will feature organisations from around the world, offering an opportunity to see the whole sector in one place. There will be almost 150 stands representing more than 300 of the world’s leading providers of testing, analysis and monitoring equipment, and related services. The WWEM exhibition offers free entry for pre-registered visitors, but for the first time, it will be co-located with AQE 2018, which means that visitors will be able to walk freely between the two events. Commenting on the 2018 line-up, WWEM Event Manager David Hellyer says: “It is difficult to think of any major brand in this sector that is not represented in the Exhibition Hall. However, it is also very gratifying to note the number of new and emerging companies that are also participating, so this will be a great opportunity for WWEM visitors to find out about all of the latest technologies, methods and techniques that have been developed since the last WWEM event in 2016. In addition to the updates on regulations that will be provided by many of the conference speakers, both the WWEM and AQE exhibitions will feature a ‘ Regulators Stand’ providing help and advice from the regulators of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern and Southern Ireland. A Gala Dinner for both AQE and WWEM will take place on the evening of 21st November. The winners of various competitions will be announced at this event - such as the SWIG Early Career Poster Competition, the SWIG Photography Competition and the WIPAC Instrumentation Apprentice Competition. The Instrument Users Group will present two awards, both voted for by the water companies. These will be for: ‘The best after-sales service’ and ‘Breakthrough product.’ The guest speaker for this black tie event will be Mr Brian Blessed. WWEM co-located with AQE 2018 Explaining the reasoning behind the decision to co-locate the two events, organiser Marcus Pattison says: “Many of the visitors to these events are responsible for environmental monitoring generally, rather than just water or air. Similarly, environmental researchers and consultants take a holistic approach to environmental monitoring, and water companies have to address issues such as confined space gas analysis and emissions from generators and incinerators. “We have therefore made it free and easy to pass between the two events, but I would strongly urge those visitors that would like to attend both events to plan a 2 day visit, because it would be impossible to visit both exhibitions and attend the workshops or conferences of interest in just one day. “In summary, for those visitors that come for both days and plan their time carefully, this is a unique opportunity to meet people they wouldn’t normally meet; learn things they didn’t realise they needed to know; and to see a world of environmental monitoring in one place.” Page 13
  14. 14. Article: Bringing Anaerobic Digester Foam Under Control The popularity of anaerobic digestion and biogas generation has increased significantly in recent years, and it is easy to understand why. This renewable energy resource is a perfect fit for many businesses in the food, waste treatment, and other industry sectors; waste generated in their own processes is used to power ongoing production , with the option of selling any excess power back to the grid. Besides this, Energy from Waste (EfW) has been proven to be a profitable industry in and of itself, taking in waste from other producers that may otherwise be abandoned to landfill and recycling it into a very useful, necessary product. This expansion has been encouraged with a range of government incentives; for example, the UK Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) offers a tax-free boost to sites, allowing them to recoup installation costs in 5-8 years . This has proven a tremendous support for industry growth. In 2017, the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA) found that AD plants across the UK now have enough capacity to power over a million homes . Anaerobic digestion is generally held to be an environmentally responsible, effective strategy that, long-term, reduces both waste and costs. Given all of these positive factors, it seems somewhat incongruous that costs for setting up and running AD plants are increasing, most notably insurance. Premiums are high, with insurers demanding strict standards and frequently despatching their own engineers to conduct site inspections. So what is the perceived risk associated with anaerobic digestion that drives up costs? Problems caused by AD foam A serious issue, from both a risk and cost perspective, comes from the thick, sludgy foam produced in AD. This is a natural by-product of the biological reaction that converts waste to biogas, but its behaviour can be unpredictable and difficult to manage. In fact, foaming is a persistent, complicated issue for many biogas producers. As previously stated, foaming is a normal part of the microbial reaction that produces biogas. However, research has shown that the problems caused by excess foam can actually reduce overall gas production by up to 40% . This level of productivity loss can be seriously detrimental to the profitability of an AD plant – and that doesn’t even consider the additional risks that can arise from foam in the process. As biodigesters are sealed units, it is hard for operators to monitor what is happening inside. If foam in an anaerobic digester gets out of control it can cause serious, even catastrophic problems: • Damage to gas compressors, pumps and other sensitive process equipment • Congestion and blockage of safety valves and pressure relief valves • Rupture and destruction of digester tanks and domes, leading to: • High repair or replacement costs • Months of downtime with associated loss of earnings • Severe pollution hazards and clean-up costs • Environmental fines • Damage to company and site reputation • Potential revoking of operating permits These are obviously worst-case scenarios, but horror stories of this kind are unsettlingly common. This is certainly not a problem unique to the UK, with reports of sites worldwide having lifted the roofs off of concrete digesters. Costs arising from this type of incident can run to tens of thousands, reportedly exceeding £1million at some sites when factoring in downtime, loss of production and repair costs. Obviously this level of financial exposure can be very dangerous for operators and their insurers, and as a result there are a number of insurance companies who are now putting exclusion clauses for foam damage into their policies. What causes AD foam build-up? In industrial/large-scale biogas production richer feedstocks are used to accelerate the microbial feeding process, referred to as the organic loading rate (OLR). Because these feedstocks are more potent, they can have unpredictable outcomes. Exciting the anaerobic micro-organisms in this way does achieve the desired outcome of increasing biogas output, but with a corresponding – indeed sometimes excessive – build-up of foam. The reason for this is an increase in the carbon dioxide/methane ratio. Put simply, carbon dioxide is not as easily released from the surface foam, increasing the emulsification of the foam bubbles. The richer feedstocks being used also tend to add a higher quantity of surfactants to the mix which, coupled with other factors within the digester, leads to greater metastability in the foam column. This means that, rather than the gas escaping from the surface foam, it remains trapped as its volume increases, leading to more and more foam build-up. If the foam level gets too high it will enter the gas compressor line, it will collect around and solidify on the pressure relief valve, and from there the risk of pressure build-up blowing the whole reactor grows ever greater. Considering all of the above factors, the concerns of insurers are understandable. AD plants, particularly ones operating on a high OLR in order to increase throughput and profitability, are in many ways a perilous proposition. The more operators push them to increase turnover, the greater the risk of something bad – and costly – happening. What is the solution? Insurers and operators both want the same thing – AD plants maximising their OLR to achieve a high level of production but with foam levels kept under control, suppressing the chance of it causing damage or reducing output. The challenge, therefore, is to introduce a monitoring and control system that maintains foam at the optimum production level with correctly-applied chemicals, liquids, or by other control methods –optimising the digestion process whilst reducing any risk. Previous attempts at utilising conventional level monitoring equipment such as ultrasonic or radar to achieve this have resulted in failure. These technologies generally prove unreliable as they were designed for use with liquids and not foam – which is, after all, mostly comprised of gas Page 14
  15. 15. within a thin liquid layer. What is needed is a purpose-designed system. The application of Hycontrol’s new SureSense⁺ specialised foam control system has proven highly successful in bringing AD foam under control. It offers a practical solution to all the previously-outlined AD and biogas issues, reducing both risk and costs. Unlike competing products, this is not simply a liquid level sensor that has been adapted or modified. Hycontrol foam sensors have been designed specifically for this purpose with the high sensitivity impedance measurement required to measure all types of foam, and have a proven track record in critical applications. By passing a small alternating electric current at very low voltage through the foam and measuring the flow, the probe can determine if foam is present and measure its density. This patented technology has been in use for many years in other industries, but the scale of its applicability to AD is only now becoming apparent. Measuring foam is one thing, but it is also vital to avoid false readings caused by the build-up of foam and other substances on the probe. Hycontrol has developed a technology called IMA Sensing (Intelligent Multi-Action) which allows the reliable measurement of foam even when a sensor is covered with a thick sticky layer of fouling. The ATEX-rated system can be easily programmed to administer the preferred control method, either by directly controlling pumps or valves or by connecting to an external controller. SureSense⁺ comes with a pre-programmed digester setting which keeps digesters operating at the optimum level, preventing damage to both equipment and vessels and eliminating the risk of pollution. Additionally, it can improve efficiency (and cost-effectiveness) if using anti-foam chemicals. Crucially for the industry as a whole, the adoption of proven foam systems demonstrates to insurers that operators are taking the risks posed by the AD process seriously and putting in place effective controls. A strong case can then be made that insurance ratings should be improved for plants utilising this technology. Indeed, it is not hard to imagine arriving at a not-too-distant future point where an effective foam control system is a mandatory requirement for obtaining reasonably-priced insurance for an AD installation. Conclusion AD and biogas is now a burgeoning industry with considerable opportunity for continued growth, promoting energy sustainability whilst responsibly dealing with organic waste. However, as we have seen, foaming that occurs as part of the process can be problematic; it has the potential to cause serious equipment damage and loss of production – with potentially oppressive results financially, as well. There have been a number of attempts to control foam with traditional technologies, but industry operators need to be aware that foam is a uniquely complex product which requires a purpose-designed tool to control it. By utilising effective foam control technology, AD producers have the opportunity to considerably increase their turnover whilst at the same time ensuring that their site and staff are safe, that their local environment is safe, and their insurance premiums are safe. Put simply, effective foam control benefits all stakeholders in the AD and biogas field. Page 15 WEX GLOBAL 2019 Applying Intelligence to the Circular Economy in Water and Energy 4th – 6th March 2019 | Porto, Portugal Register your interest now! About the Author Sam Gould is a foam technology specialist at level specialists, Hycontrol, a company who have been at the forefront of level control and silo protection technology for over thirty-five years, providing effective solutions for diverse applications across a wide range of industries ranging from quarrying to food; from nuclear power to chemical; and from animal feed to waste recycling. From our manufacturing base in Redditch, Worcestershire, we have been trusted to oversee thousands of applications across the UK and around the world.
  16. 16. A survey of water utilities conducted by Black & Veatch reveals to what degree and how rapidly (or not) data analytics are being implemented in the real world. We live in a world of smart phones, smart thermostats, and smart watches, so why not smart water? According to Black & Veatch’s “2018 Strategic Directions: Water Report,” roughly 70 percent of utilities are “very or somewhat interested” in smart water technology, which combines the power of automation, remote sensing technology, and control systems with advanced metering and data analytics to return actionable system intelligence. Until now, cash-strapped water utilities have been stuck trying to balance priorities of time and resources. Riddled with assets that are reaching end-of-life — deteriorating pipes, failing pumps — utilities remain plagued by aging infrastructure. Now, in an effort to reduce operational costs and improve asset lifespans, water utilities are putting their data to work. But while smart water offers untold solutions, utilities are still working to understand how to gather, manage, and analyze this information in such a way that it can alleviate ongoing asset management challenges. Water utilities have always collected data, but historically that information was used to perform traditional tasks and rarely to assess asset health and predict failure. Embracing The Power Of Data Smart water systems are on the rise. The “2017 Strategic Directions: Water Report” survey shows that last year, only 10 percent of survey respondents were using cloud-based software across all parts of their business. This year, that number has increased nearly threefold, to 28 percent. Water utilities have always collected data, but historically that information was used to perform traditional tasks and rarely to assess asset health and predict failure. New analytics tools are allowing water utilities to gain systems intelligence in a way that can unlock operational efficiencies — from guiding long-range strategy to enabling proactive maintenance opportunities. Survey results suggest that, by embracing data analytics and automated monitoring, utilities would see the greatest impact on monitoring performance (as selected by 55 percent of respondents), asset maintenance (49 percent), and treatment operations (45 percent) — all areas where data can be leveraged to lower operating costs, optimize processes, and extend asset life (Figure 1). Currently, more than half of utilities (59 percent) rely on remote data collection systems at all their pumping stations, while 43 percent have data collection at all their storage facilities (Figure 2). While this growing adoption of data collection is encouraging, many utilities can still improve how they manage and analyze at both the tactical and strategic Article: How Big Is Big Data Among Water Utilities? Figure 1. What three operational areas do you feel that data analytics and automated monitoring will help improve most at your organization? (Select top three choices.) Figure 2. Where do you currently have remote data collection on your network? (Select all that apply.) Page 16
  17. 17. levels. New analytics tools are allowing water utilities to gain systems intelligence in a way that can unlock operational efficiencies — from guiding long-range strategy to enabling proactive maintenance opportunities. Data analytics are also transforming raw data into actionable intelligence — reducing water loss, preventing sewer overflows, and proactively identifying failing infrastructure. Data analytics are allowing water utilities to unlock operational efficiencies, improve revenue collection, gain system insights, and boost customer services. But not all data is the same. When polled on what type of data they need most, 39 percent of utilities pointed to operations data (such as information on sewer maintenance and hydrant flushing), followed by supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems (36 percent) and customer maintenance and management systems (CMMS) (36 percent). To a lesser degree, they said laboratory information management systems (LIMS) and leakage data (Figure 3). City of Lawrence Sees Benefit, Cost Savings To allow for advanced asset evaluation, the City of Lawrence, KS, aggregates data from its water and wastewater plants and laboratory management department with water intelligence from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). To do this, the city relies on Black & Veatch’s ASSET360®analytics platform, which consolidates, streamlines, and presents raw data from multiple sources into a single dashboard. The city sees a huge benefit in having all this data in one location, as it allows it to apply plotting and analysis across multiple data sets, giving it the ability to generate advanced visualizations and spot patterns and trends to make proactive, informed decisions. For example, the city relies heavily on this capability during significant rain events that deposit high levels of inflow and infiltration into the sewer collection system. By streaming rainfall rates from NOAA, water levels from USGS, water quality from LIMS, and SCADA data that shows plant inlet flow rates through the dashboard, plant operators can get a 360-degree view of their systems. Viewing all this information simultaneously allows the city to accurately make predictions and operating decisions. The Future Is Data Analytics The benefits of smart water infrastructure are many. A new generation of innovative analytics tools is enabling water utilities to perform preventive maintenance on existing infrastructure, cutting maintenance costs, reducing water loss, and preventing sewer overflows. Data analytics are allowing water utilities to unlock operational efficiencies, improve revenue collection, gain system insights, and boost customer services. Lastly, data analytics can guide long- range planning and investment strategies. But when it comes to putting systems in place, the industry still has a long way to go. According to the report survey, only 12 percent of survey respondents see themselves as early adopters benefiting from smart technologies, while 33 percent are reviewing the benefits, and 23 percent have these technologies as part of their long-term capital improvement plans (Figure 4). To make the most of these investments, utility leaders should have a clear vision of their organizational goals and strategic objectives. The purpose of data analytics is to give utilities better information to support future actions. As the industry dives deeper into Big Data, advances in technology will be able to improve predictive capabilities, helping utilities anticipate failures in infrastructure and prioritize operations, maintenance, and capital efforts. Figure 3. Which data is your utility MOST in need of? (Select top three choices.) Figure 4. Where would you say you are on the spectrum for adapting smart technologies to your water development plan? (Select one.) Page 17
  18. 18. With data comes decision-making power, but how each utility wields that power will be different. The Smart Utility approach tailors digital capabilities to arrive at specific and optimal outcomes. Digital and sensor technologies are advancing at a rapid pace, empowering utilities with the tools needed to optimize operations, enhance levels of service, and manage operating costs as never before. From providing maintenance staff with real-time information to alerting operations of a problem well before it becomes a customer complaint, the possibilities from next-generation technology are far-reaching. While digital solutions are maturing in other industries, they are just beginning to disrupt the water sector and change the way utilities are managed. It’s increasingly affordable for water utilities to use smart sensors to better gather intelligence and predict sewer overflows, asset failures, and other critical issues with enough time to correct problems and avoid disruptions in service and quality, which ultimately preserve reputation and customer satisfaction. But for utilities to leverage these types of solutions, they must have a solid digital foundation. Utilities really tap into the potential of digital technology when they devise a customized development roadmap to prepare for these advancements and manage the pace of change. Data, Data Everywhere Today, much of the water industry is dealing with a combination of data overload and constrained resources, which leads to utilities collecting data they aren’t equipped to analyze , much less take action on. Some estimates report that utilities are reviewing or using less than 10 percent of their data, often overlooking key insights and opportunities to be more efficient. With Internet of Things (IoT) sensors expected to double in the next few years, this challenge will only become more significant. Fortunately, with the advancement and maturity of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, it’s now possible to effectively review larger data sets and train experienced utility staff to isolate real-world problems from false alerts, enabling them to notify operators and technicians with sufficient lead time to take proactive corrective actions. However, these transformational technologies have a major requirement: All data has to be aligned with the right architecture. AI systems generally require utilities to have a solid data strategy and sufficient data quality for the AI to monitor and recognize critical patterns that can alert staff of future problems, such as an impending water main break. This can be challenging, as utilities often don’t have a single, unified repository of accurate data that the AI can crunch through. Many utilities currently keep their data siloed across hardcopy formats and digital applications, which prohibits their data from being cross-checked and integrated. Some estimates report that utilities are reviewing or using less than 10 percent of their data, often overlooking key insights and opportunities to be more efficient. Furthermore, utilities are realizing they can no longer rely only on the experience and expertise of veteran employees and increasingly rely on the integrity of their raw data and analytical capabilities to inform decisions. With baby boomers reaching retirement age and the paper trail of data and institutional knowledge starting to disappear, the next generation of utility staff and water operators needs to fill the knowledge gap quickly. This new generation is digitally savvy and demands user-friendly interfaces that provide realtime information. As utilities train new staff, manage large volumes of data, and address pressing issues like aging infrastructure and increasingly severe drought conditions, it is becoming critically important to leverage new strategies and decision-making tools to properly prepare staff, guide investment priorities, and maintain (or improve) their baseline levels of service. The good news is that planning and preparing for this future can be quite cost-effective; in fact, the earlier a strategy is set, the better the savings are. Early adopters are able to take advantage of reduced data migration periods and avoid the need to re-architect each digital application to work together with a central data repository. Becoming A Smart Utility Smart Utility — a dynamic and digital approach to utility management — is helping utilities overcome roadblocks like poor data quality or digital silos by connecting information systems and departments to deliver realtime analytics. This approach brings operations, engineering, water quality, and management staff together and integrates systems like supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), asset management, customer service, and geographic information systems (GIS) to create dynamic business intelligence dashboards that inform decisions and enable proactive management. Laying the foundation for AI and future digital strategies based upon a secure foundation, Smart Utility provides the flexibility utilities need to adopt higher levels of automation in the future. The path to Smart Utility starts by defining a vision that aligns a utility’s digital technology with its business objectives. Even if utilities stop there, they will see payback in just a few years by extending the lives of their technology investments. Smart Utility planning informs technology selection, improves data quality, and helps utilities navigate challenges like a changing workforce. Smart SCADA Integration SUEZ, one of the nation’s largest investor-owned utility organizations, is building one of the most extensive Smart Utility networks in the country, which is already beginning to receive plaudits from industry peers. In late 2017, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners recognized SUEZ’s deployment of a state-of-the-art, 1,000-square-mile Smart Utility network with a Utility Industry Innovation in Water and Sewer Award. The company is upgrading its digital applications with a completely new approach to GIS management and recently launched a new stage in its Smart Utility journey. SUEZ is partnering with Brown and Caldwell, a leading environmental engineering and construction firm, to launch a new strategy for its Smart SCADA approach with a focus on building a solid operational platform that fully aligns with its stated mission: “SUEZ will build a Smart Utility by establishing an integrated framework for business applications Article: Smart Utility: Building A Foundation for Artificial Intelligence Page 18
  19. 19. and SCADA to transform operational information into wisdom.” SUEZ’s project to establish a Smart SCADA system and foundation for enhanced operational technology in alignment with Smart Utility began in May 2017. The project started with Smart Utility and Smart SCADA planning to identify objectives and pain points with current systems. A cross-functional team was formed and workshops were held where the group collaborated to review the systems currently in operation and the SUEZ technology roadmap to ensure that new investments were sustainable long into the future. With a solid understanding of the state of the industry and their current problems identified through a survey of SUEZ’s Smart Utility applications, the team worked to prioritize a new set of requirements and identify solutions or use cases that were critical to achieving the business and operational objectives. The primary goals are to establish an intuitive standardized SCADA system and to implement tools to increase utility performance and security while reducing operator training time to six months or less. The team worked together to leverage Brown and Caldwell’s Smart Utility standards and SUEZ’s world-class operational expertise to establish a state-of-the-art approach to maximize the capabilities and opportunities available to utilize data and analytics for SUEZ. Through more than 15 workshops, a set of Smart Utility standards and guidelines was finalized in August 2018. Powered with this approach, SUEZ will enable each of its 15 Utility Operations in North America to roll out SCADA upgrades and renewals as their need arises, enabling all-in alignment with the overarching vision and preventing digital misalignment. “We expect this standards and guidelines vision and approach to guide us for 10 or 15 years,” said Greg Wyatt, SUEZ Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Utility Operations. All told, SUEZ Utility Operations currently has more than two dozen SCADA systems, each “implemented proprietarily, business unit by business unit,” said Wyatt. Going forward, the SCADA systems will not be identical, but they will work together. “There are several levels and layers where we will absolutely insist on standardization, such as those where humans interface with the technology and cybersecurity,” said Wyatt. “Other things, like what programmable logic controller you buy for your pump, are not something we’re going to prescribe, but the standards will insist on certain parameters and functionality for the components we buy.” Establishing this flexibility between standards and guidelines will enable SUEZ to adopt a common digital solution that reduces cost and time in comparison to a traditional approach, while extending the life of the current controller infrastructure. This is the first time an investor-owned utility has attempted such a large-scale alignment of its SCADA systems. “A working group of SCADA experts and operations experts from across locations has been formed, and the intention is that the working group will continue to update and improve the standards after this first phase of specs and guidelines has been adopted, so that it may oversee the implementation of new SCADA systems,” Wyatt added. “We can make technology a better partner to inform decisions and increase operational efficiency by leveraging a solid foundation of software and hardware, thus providing our customers and employees with the best service through the proper use and application of operational technology.” Utilities like SUEZ are capitalizing on the value of Smart Utility planning and implementation to gracefully adapt to technology advancements, increase operational efficiency, and navigate pressing issues like increased demand, finite supply, and water quality. The company is leveraging BC Blue, Brown and Caldwell’s unique approach to Smart Utility implementation designed specifically for the water industry. BC Blue goes beyond basic data-driven decision-making to enable a new utility paradigm in which utilities are managed to reach optimal efficiency. Within BC Blue is a range of services and solutions that are designed to build upon one another at a pace sensitive to organizational readiness and resources, providing higher returns at each succeeding step. Ultimately, BC Blue equips employees with a powerful set of tools and associated processes, user-friendly interfaces, improved data quality, and AI-enhanced analytics to enable operators and managers to achieve unprecedented utility performance. BC Blue’s powerful set of tools supporting effective utility management Page 19
  20. 20. Article: Reliable Design Of Water Treatment Plant Hydraulics Treatment plant design comes in many shapes and sizes — and even dimensions. Determining the best option comes from understanding, and perhaps combining, the available options. Designing new and modifying existing water treatment plants (WTPs) involves selecting, sizing, and integrating a sequence of hydraulic processes to achieve a target water quality. Preliminary design data often consists of the target average characteristics of the influent stream (flow rate/head and concentrations of the main constituents) as well as the target quality requirements for the effluent. The characteristics of the influent stream are either directly measured or, more often than not, estimated based on engineering judgment and experience. Sometimes the desired treatment processes are specified; sometimes the selection of the treatment alternatives is included in the design scope. Either way, treatment process performance is generally evaluated based on hydraulic modelling. Selection and implementation of the most appropriate modelling tool are critical for successful execution of the design process and for minimizing the risks associated with prototype system performance. Modelling the hydraulic performance of any water treatment system or the performance of individual system components can be accomplished using numeric modelling, scale physical modelling, or a combination of the two techniques. Numeric modelling tools include one-, two-, and three- dimensional approaches that can predict transient as well as steady-state hydraulics, thermodynamics , and reaction chemistry. As with any numeric approach, there are approximations and assumptions, which must be chosen wisely to avoid erroneous misleading results. Further, there are certain classes of flow problems and treatment processes where the mathematical foundations of the current numeric models cannot adequately capture the required flow physics, and scaled laboratory-based physical modelling must be used to arrive at reliable solutions. Scaled physical models are not encumbered by mathematical approximations and computer resource limitations; however, scaling of all process variables simultaneously in a physical model is not possible, and scale effects must be properly accounted for in order to have confidence in resulting test data. In evaluating the performance of system components, it is not uncommon to use a combination of numeric and physical modelling approaches to predict prototype performance and advance the system design. Numeric Modelling Numeric modelling techniques are continually evolving and the computational resources required to tackle complex flow processes are keeping pace. Simulations that were intractable five years ago are commonplace today. Complex flow phenomena as well as chemical processes and biological processes can be modelled in detail, giving the designer a powerful tool to advance the overall system design. A multitude of commercial one-, two-, and three-dimensional modelling tools are available for water treatment plant hydraulic design. Each class of tools has advantages and limitations, but can play an important role in assessing overall system performance, predicting individual treatment process performance, and informing the effects of process changes on the overall system performance. One-Dimensional Models One-dimensional (1D) numeric models for water treatment system and system process design generally couple a link-node model (calculating pressures at each node and velocities, flows, and head loss in each link) with empirical models simulating the treatment process component physics and chemistry at each node. Modelling of the process components is accomplished by building the theoretical performance of the treatment process into the model and imposing its effects on the overal l system. Process variables are dependent on the gross flow variables and vice versa, such that the dynamics of the system as a whole can be estimated. Recently, these models have incorporated fully dynamic predictive capabilities, and the impacts of changes to individual processes or boundary conditions on the overall system performance can be simulated. Simulation execution times are on the order of hours, and multiple changes can be evaluated rapidly. With proper calibration, these models can be useful in estimating gross system performance, particularly when the system is up and operating and actual data can be fed back into the model to improve its accuracy. The current trend is to integrate this type of modelling directly into building information modelling (BIM) applications. The 1D models are limited, however, to gross system performance and are limited in their ability to predict the effects of flow distribution, particulate distribution, and localized hydrodynamics on system performance. 1D models are also limited in their ability to predict the effects of localized hydrodynamics on individual process component performance. Two-Dimensional Models Two-dimensional (2D) models begin to integrate the physics of the flow into the prediction Figure 1. Scale physical modelling of pumping processes Figure 2. 2D numeric simulation of flow through a bifurcating channel Page 20