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WIPAC MONTHLY
The Monthly Update from Water Industry Process Automation & Control
www.wipac.org.uk												Issue 2/2023- February 2023
Page 2
In this Issue
WIPAC Monthly is a publication of the Water Industry Process Automation & Control Group. It is produced by the group
manager and WIPAC Monthly Editor, Oliver Grievson. This is a free publication for the benefit of the Water Industry and please feel
free to distribute to any who you may feel benefit. However due to the ongoing costs of WIPAC Monthly a donation website has
been set up to allow readers to contribute to the running of WIPAC & WIPAC Monthly, For those wishing to donate then please visit
https://www.patreon.com/Wipac 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 olivergrievson@hotmail.com
From the editor............................................................................................................. 3
Industry news..............................................................................................................
Highlights of the news of the month from the global water industry centred around the successes of a few
of the companies in the global market.
4 - 11
Monitoring rivers and the wastewater system...............................................................
This month we have seen calls for yet more monitoring of overflows, this time the volume. In our feature article
this month we have an opinion piece from Group Manager, Oliver Grievson, looking at some of the recent history
of monitoring in the wastewater industry and some of the feasibility of what we can and should monitor of the
impact of the wastewater system on the river environment.
12 - 15
Leak detection, operational efficiency and long term asset planning...............................
In this case study by TaKaDU we look at the case study of what they have done in the city of Medelin in Colombia
to help reduce water leakage, increase operational efficiency and enable long-term asset planning by installing
their CEM system with the local utility EPM.
16 - 18
Measuring blower airflow in the field...........................................................................
In this month's technical article by John Conover and Tom Jenkins we look at the opportunity of implementing
energy conservation measures by measuring the efficiency of blowers which are especially used in wastewater
treatment and use large amounts of energy. By measuring blow airflow there is a huge opportunity to limit energy
consumption and reduce the operational carbon.
19-22
Workshops, conferences & seminars............................................................................
The highlights of the conferences and workshops in the coming months.
23 - 24
Page 3
From the Editor
		
It was interesting to see this month some of the national press launch clean river campaigns and also for the outgoing
chairman of the Environment Agency, Sir James Bevan, launch into a speech about the various rhetoric that has been
whizzing around the national press around the whole pollution situation. It reminds me very much of the second world
war acronym of SNAFU. Where I agree there is alot of misinformation and misinterpreted information that is flying around
about the water industry there is also alot of things that can be done better with the right people doing the right things in
the right way. The only way that we are going to get out of the situation is a little bit of harsh truths and quite a few doses
of reality.
As an industry the water industry has been putting in more and more complex monitoring programmes over the past 20
years ever since the first MCERTS flow meters were put in between 2005-2010 and with a bit of a gap we are putting more
and more in to play from Event Duration Monitors, more flow meters and more quality monitoring and that is just the stuff
that is required by law. Let alone all the monitoring that is helping water companies towards the net zero goals and all of
the real-time control systems that should be going in to control nutrients and other aspects of water & wastewater treat-
ment.
The warning bells are starting to ring though where the skills gap in the water industry is starting to get real and there aren't enough people to do all the in-
stallation and all of the maintenance properly. The result is what we first read about in WIPAC over ten years ago now and we are starting the downward spiral
into a situation where, as an industry, we will spend billions of pounds on instrumentation that will provide us with no true value and hence the spiral starts
into the "resistance to the effective use of instrumentation."
All of this is ultimately predictable and I've openly said that we have a data quality problem across the industry. The data that has just been reported to the
Environment Agency and which will be openly published soon telling the public about another 300,000 or so spills is ultimately flawed as the base sensors in
the field aren't necessarily recording correctly or potentially not commissioned and so the data is ultimately wrong. That's not to say all of it is wrong, it isn't
and some of the companies have done the job of getting the data assurance done and getting it assessed and where things aren't quite right rectified things.
However, undoubtedly problems still remain and solutions to the monitoring errors have to be rectified. That is the problem when there aren't enough people
and those who are there aren't given enough time to get the job done right the first time. Let's hope the situation won't repeat itself in the years to come with
the monitoring to come or the results won't be pretty.
Have a good month,
Oliver
LIFT Intelligent Water Systems Challenge open
Today’s water industry operates complex treatment, collection, and distribution systems to protect public and ecological health. These systems are increasingly
instrumented to monitor key process indicators and other parameters to facilitate operations.
LIFT logo.PNGThe Water Research Foundation (WRF) and Water Environment Federation (WEF) LIFT program is holding the LIFT Intelligent Water Systems Challenge
to demonstrate the value to utilities of these “intelligent water systems”. The Challenge seeks to foster the adoption of smart water technologies by showcasing
the ability of intelligent water systems to effectively leverage data for better decisions.
Recognizing big data can be used to address complex issues such as stormwater management, flooding, aging infrastructure, distribution system water quality,
CSOs, SSOs, process optimization, and asset management, the IWS Challenge is looking to demonstrate the value of intelligent water systems to utilities.
The Challenge gives students, professionals, and technology aficionados the opportunity to showcase their talents and innovation, with a focus on leveraging data
using the best available tools to help utilities better understand the dynamics of complex systems and make better decisions.
Get Started
The LIFT IWS Challenge 2023 Guidance for Solution Submission Document contains vital information about eligibility, judging criteria, timelines, and requirements.
The 2023 Intelligent Water Systems Challenge FAQs answer questions about the challenge, teams, and solutions.
Registration for the 2023 Challenge is open until April 14.
Utilities Now Have A Way To Manage Wastewater Overflows
Wastewater treatment operators need help with the current system of collecting and reporting sewer overflow data. Ayyeka announces a powerful tool to solve
this challenge. Once operators use it, they’ll wonder how they ever worked without it.
Ayyeka's latest product, Storm Scope, addresses the endless issues connected to combined sewer overflow data management. The Storm Scope software platform
collects and organizes data from remote locations, transforming distant landscapes into manageable assets.
It brings a fresh take to the industry by streamlining regulatory compliance. Operators will save hundreds of hours a year with Storm Scope's convenient data
collection, organization, and dashboard visualization.
Storm Scope revolutionizes sewer overflow management, using real-time level, flow, and rain data analysis that speeds up the reporting process. The best part—
it’s scalable to the needs of small towns and big cities.
Communities & operators will proactively identify and respond to potential problems. Data analytics have the capability to minimize the impact of sewer overflows
on the environment. Safe sewage processing protects public health.
Ayyeka CEO Ariel Stern said, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure, and Storm Scope gives utilities real-time data to take actionable insights. Effective
wastewater management becomes a viable goal.”
Page 4
Industry News
Digital wastewater maps future for sewage management
A wastewater intelligence solution is helping improve community health in a partnership first between Scottish Water and Kando. Water Industry Journal
spoke to Dr Andrew Engeli, CSO at Kando, about the shared vision for a smart networked wastewater system. Raw sewage from storm overflows and harmful
wastewater emissions are an escalating problem, with water utilities often under-equipped to respond to the resulting public health challenges. Effective
wastewater analysis can have a game-changing impact on community health, using technology to monitor the spread of viral diseases or measure the impact
of specific community health initiatives.
Kando is implementing its cutting-edge wastewater management technology for Scottish Water, using a real-time alert system capable of unlocking a range
of actionable insights. As Steven Boon, Wastewater Treatment Area Manager for Scottish Water, says, “We were impressed by the offering, experience, and
professionalism from Kando which should enable us to bring this wastewater treatment works back into compliance.”
Kando is an Israeli-based company with a proven track record in the field of wastewater intelligence, having spearheaded Israel’s efforts to track COVID-19 and
its variants in collaboration with Israel’s Ministry of Health.
So just how novel is its approach?
Andrew explains, “We’re at the forefront of AI and IoT innovation in the field of wastewater analysis providing software that, through automation, can generate
instant insights into what’s really going on inside urban sewage systems, helping municipal authorities pinpoint how and where they need to intervene to
manage water networks most effectively, to improve public health and protect the environment. He adds, “With wastewater quality a growing health and
environmental concern, we help government authorities accurately detect and pinpoint the sources of reduced wastewater quality thanks to a first-of-its-kind
hyper-localised comparative wastewater quality analysis, helping them track down entities and organisations violating hygiene regulations.
“We are working with partners, investors, and clients to improve public and environmental health all over the world. We also support water utilities, which bear
the ultimate responsibility for the quality of the wastewater that their networks emit, in bringing their technology up to date and fitting it for purpose through
AI-powered big data analytics and predictions, reducing risk and mitigating legal and compliance concerns.”
Kando’s solution will provide Scottish Water – for the first time – with the ability to know when and where contamination is accumulating in their assets,
helping them ensure that all assets are working properly. Andrew says, “This will have a multifaceted effect increasing levels of regulation compliance, policy
observance, and cost reduction.
“In the UK today, there is no other technology that provides such a holistic solution to water utilities, implementing state-of-the-art AI technology in wastewater
and subsequently providing unique value and visibility into what is happening in a water network. Once a water utility has access to this invaluable information
and insights, they can manage their assets and networks more efficiently and save costs.”
In December 2021, Kando and Israel’s Ministry of Health (MoH) combined in a unique project using wastewater analysis to track COVID-19 throughout Israel’s
sewage system, the first time a single technology provider has provided such instant insights uniformly across an entire country. The partnership used data
drawn from within the collection network to support accurate COVID-19 outbreak mapping across service areas. Andrew explains, “Kando’s solution uses real-
time, in-network condition monitoring and cloud-based data analysis to ensure findings represent viral loads accurately. Live data inputs from in-sewer IoT units
are used to determine when effluent contamination might compromise results, preventing automated sampling when conditions are not ideal. Working with
lab and deployment partners, Kando provided the MoH with geographically defined outbreak data, pinpointing infection hotspots via a live online dashboard.
“The partnership enabled officials to aggregate data from every population centre with more than 20,000 residents (85% of Israel’s population), gaining a full
picture of COVID-19 rates without requiring individual tests. This method indicated outbreaks and their locations up to 6 days ahead of conventional testing,
providing an early warning system to anticipate outbreak waves and detect variants.”
In short, using wastewater intelligence helped authorities monitor spread of the disease without relying on the population to come forward and get tested.
Scottish Water’s system will ‘hit the ground running’, collecting raw data from strategic locations on the network. Together with historical data, it will create
a unique base line of predicted behaviour and identify abnormalities, correlating them to types of industrial effluent and “pinpointing the source of the exact
location of each behaviour that impacts the asset”.
Andrew adds, “Our system can provide insights into the source of the events in the network, the severity of the event, its timespan, and eventually, after
characterising it, the type. Most of all, it will allow the water utility to identify the source and take the relevant actions to stop it from occurring or re-occurring.”
Turnaround time on testing depends on the nature of the event being analysed and its findings. Some insights can be shown instantly through a real-time online
dashboard, while lab-analysed results are typically turned around within several days, and within 36 hours at a minimum.
Andrew points out that further down the line, Scottish Water can leverage Kando’s technology and its expertise to tackle a range of questions whose answers
might be found in water systems: detecting future pandemics, overcoming high levels of drug use, reflecting the quality of the population’s diets, monitoring
wastewater being reused for agricultural needs, and more.
He says, “Using the Kando system will allow Scottish Water to manage their assets differently, as by harnessing the data, they will know 24/7 what, when, and
where every abnormality is accruing, and prevent it from happening. This will allow the asset to perform in compliance with regulation and also optimise its
efficiency and reduce the overall costs of operation.”
Looking forward, it’s hoped that Kando’s network intelligence can mitigate problems like pollution, water waste and climate change and boost real-time
decision-making. Andrew concludes, “These capabilities are only scratching the surface. As investment into the industry increases, more capabilities will be
discovered to further support healthy communities and environments.”
Page 5
Telefónica optimizes the Aigües de Barcelona plant thanks to 5G
Aigües de Barcelona, Telefónica and Mobile World Capital Barcelona have carried out a pilot project consisting of the migration of the security video cameras
of the drinking water treatment plant (ETAP) of Sant Joan Despí. This is a cloud integration model provided by Telefónica’s edge computing node, available for
the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona.
Until now, the cameras installed in the DWTP of Aigües de Barcelona were connected to each other by conventional fixed networks, so that the captured images
were sent to a local server located within the facility. Thanks to this project, the images collected by the security cameras are sent with 5G to edge computing
and processed in the cloud using Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms. The detection of intrusions or the access of people to restricted areas always in real time
is the main benefit of the project.
For the collection process and subsequent video analytics to be migrated to the edge computing node, two inherent characteristics of the 5G mobile network
are required. On the one hand, ensuring high upload bandwidth, as the images must be of very high quality for the AI to obtain the expected results. On the
other hand, connectivity must be provided with minimum latency conditions, since events must be detected in real time.
According to Aigües de Barcelona’s innovation director, Catalina Balseiro, “having close cloud environments such as Telefónica’s edge computing together with
the use of 5G technology allows us to optimize security tasks in critical facilities and contribute to circularity, thus reducing physical hardware and travel”.
Leonor Ostos, Innovation Manager at Telefónica, says: “These pilots, in which we work hand in hand with our customers, highlight the opportunities and
advantages of having high-performance wireless networks such as the 5G mobile network. This, in conjunction with edge computing centers, enables a wide
range of low-latency processes and applications, and provides tangible benefits for our customers. This pilot is a sample of the real applications of 5G and edge
computing, technologies that will be part of several of the demonstrations that Telefónica will bring to its stand at Mobile World Congress 2023”.
Eduard Martín, CIO and Director of Intelligent Connectivity at Mobile World Capital Barcelona, says: “This pilot exemplifies the type of project that we at Mobile
World Capital Barcelona are looking to promote: beyond the technical and concept tests that the use cases allow, it is necessary to start implementing the
combination of 5G with edge computing to take advantage of its real storage potential. With this pilot test we further empower that data can be managed by
an AI locally, minimizing response time.” Martín adds that the project “tests the network characteristics needed to manage this type of critical infrastructure,
which can be extrapolated to multiple industries”.
Page 6
Anglian Water looks to supply chain in pre - market engagement for
its £multi-million smart meter installation programme
Anglian Water is taking the initial steps to explore an ‘end to end’ smart metering delivery solution to continue the rollout of its installation programme which is
the largest in the water industry with a potential estimated value of up to £300 million. The water company is seeking potential partners to manage the whole
smart metering process from beginning to end, encompassing supply, installation and network provision across the East of England - Anglian Water said it would
be the first utility in the UK to undertake such a large-scale, truly collaborative delivery approach for this type of work.
Anglian Water is now looking for interested parties to get in touch to gauge capability, interest and to support the development stage of the project through a
market engagement process. A webinar will be held on 23 March 2023 with further information.
The new collaboration would continue into the next business planning cycle from 2025 to form the cornerstone in delivering Anglian’s next wave of smart meter
installation. The period between 2025-2030, will see a further 1.2 million smart meters installed, to better manage the region’s demand for water, and help
customers understand their water usage, as well as detecting customer- side leaks, which still accounts for around a third of all water lost in the network.
Anglian Water’s region is the driest in the UK receiving a third less rainfall than anywhere else in the country, meaning future water scarcity is the most significant
challenge the company faces. Helping customers use less water by using smart meters forms a substantial part of Anglian’s Water Resources Management Plan
(WRMP).
The plan sets out how the company intends to manage available resources in the future by balancing the demands from its customers with the needs of the wider
environment and includes a range of supply enhancement and demand management measures which collectively, will keep taps running in the future.
CEO for Anglian Water, Peter Simpson said:
“We are constantly challenging ourselves to be the best company we can be, and to make a real and meaningful impact for our customers, communities, and the
planet. The new arrangement would be key to driving forward our smart meter roll out programme and ensure we harness future technological advancements in
water metering, networks, and data for the benefit of our customers.
“This is a great opportunity to change our way of working to deliver a programme of work which is so clearly aligned with our purpose. By introducing this
pioneering delivery model, we’ll continue pushing the boundaries of smart technology in order to achieve the right outcomes for all, and crucially, we’re looking
for like-minded, innovative companies to join us on this journey. “
The purpose of the webinar is to introduce the market to the concept of the business model and encourage potential partners to think differently in how they
might be able to work with Anglian Water to deliver this exciting project.
Anglian Water is now inviting suppliers to interested in finding out more to attend the webinar on 23
rd
March
Yorkshire Water uses sewer alarm technology to identify 100 sewer
blockages in Sheffield
Yorkshire Water’s partnership with Technolog and Utilitec Services in Sheffield and surrounding areas has helped identify 100 sewer blockages and enable them
to be resolved before causing wider problems for customers and the environment. The utility has installed 3,000 sewer alarms in Sheffield postcodes, as part of a
wider project to install 40,000 alarms across Yorkshire.
The technology monitors water levels within combined sewer gullies using a pressure sensor which sends an alert remotely when an increase in level is identified.
The devices use a wireless network to enable Yorkshire Water teams to identifying trends in how the sewers are performing.
One hundred blockages have been successfully identified by the Technolog sewer alarms in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley in six months. Early identification
enabled the blockages to be resolved quickly and reduce the potential impact sewer blockages have on Yorkshire Water customers and the wider environment.
Jeremy Head, project manager at Yorkshire Water, said:
“This project is a significant investment in increasing the technology in operation across our network and it is great to see it producing positive results.
“The ability to remotely identify possible blockages and dispatch our teams to investigate means issues are dealt with quicker than they would be normally.
Ultimately, this reduces the likelihood of a complete blockage in our sewers and the impact that can have, which includes restricted toilet use form customers and
the potential for sewage to back-up and escape from the network into the local environment or watercourses.
“The project is still in full flow and installations are continuing in Sheffield and across the rest of Yorkshire, which it is hoped will continue to deliver the benefits
we’ve seen so far.”
Work is continuing to install further monitors in Sheffield postcodes, with approximately 10,000 monitors due to be in place when the project completes.
Page 7
ACCIONAandtheUniversityofGironacreateadigitaltwintooptimize
the operation of WWTPs
In line with its commitment to sustainability and innovation, ACCIONA has launched the HADES project, "Decision Support Tool for the optimization of WWTPs
operation", in collaboration with the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Laboratory (LEQUIA) research group of the University of Girona.
The HADES project pursues the development of a virtual replica or digital twin of a wastewater treatment Plant (WWTP). This digital twin will be based on
biokinetic and hydrodynamic modeling in different platforms and languages, and will interact with artificial intelligence tools and advanced control strategies.
The final objective is to optimize the operation of the WWTPs with modern multivariable control techniques. In this way, the reactive operation paradigm,
common in most WWTPs, will be replaced by a proactive approach that will provide efficiency and long-term stability to the treatment facilities.
To do this, HADES will integrate internal and external plant data, expert knowledge and calibrated models in real time in a solution that will function as a digital
twin, that is, a virtual duplicate of the treatment process of a WWTP.
As a result, HADES will help to optimize the wastewater treatment processes to prevent future unwanted events such as deflocculation, formation of biofoams,
filamentous bulking, etc., guaranteeing a significant reduction in the energy used, an improvement in the quality of the effluents and a decrease in greenhouse
gas emissions.
In addition, thanks to this project it will be possible to carry out detailed monitoring of the treatment processes, including a virtual sensor functionality, that will
allow to know operating parameters that are difficult to monitor online in a conventional WWTP.
HADES will be part of an Edge computing solution, which will be validated at the La Almunia de Doña Godina WWTP in Zaragoza. However, the solution will be
widely replicable, and can be implemented in both new and existing plants, thus generating a competitive advantage for ACCIONA within the sector.
The expected direct impact, if implemented in all the WWTPs operated by ACCIONA, could prevent the annual emission of 1,125 tons of CO2, and minimize the
use of chemical products in the different stages of the wastewater treatment process.
The HADES project, with a budget close to one million euros and coordinated by ACCIONA, has the strategic participation of the LEQUIA Research Group of the
University of Girona, with wide experience in the development of modeling tools and decision support systems within the water sector.
ACCIONA, with extensive experience in the design and operation of sewage treatment plants, is immersed in a global digitalization process. The development
of this project contributes to reinforce its commitment to innovation and the application of the latest technologies, under the principles of the circular and low
carbon economy.
Page 8
Severn Trent launches phase 2 of Smart Water ambitions for Coventry
and Warwickshire
Severn Trent Water is continuing with its ambitions to transform Coventry and Warwickshire into a smart water region with the phase two launch of its smart
water network roll-out.
With support from IoT specialist Connexin, the collaboration is part of Severn Trent Water’s £20 million Green Recovery Programme, which will enable the new
smart water network to remotely collect and analyse data on water usage to track flow, identify loss of water and fix leaks faster than ever before.
With the first roll-out of 30,000 Itron smart water meters complete in the install trial in May 2022, the second phase is now near completion with Connexin
launching its LoRaWAN® communication network throughout the city.
Anthony Hickinbottom, Severn Trent’s Green Recovery Project Lead, commented:
“We’re really impressed with the pace this project is moving at, and we’re well on the way to creating a smart water region for Coventry and Warwickshire.
“The new communications network by Connexin allows us to gather more data than ever before across our water network, helping to find and fix leaks and
allowing us to share information on water usage with our customers. Which could in turn help them save water – at a time when saving money on bills is crucial.
“Earlier this year we commenced our first installation phase of ‘smart ready’ meters which saw us installing over 30,000 meters in under three months – quicker
than expected.
“Now the network is established, our meters have connected online, meaning we’re able to get a greater understanding and insight into the water network.
With the help of these clever smart meters, we can ensure we’re saving water where possible by doing what we can to look after it.”
With the first roll-out of 30,000 Itron smart water meters complete in the install trial in May 2022, the second phase is now near completion with Connexin
launching its LoRaWAN® communication network throughout the city.
With support from Coventry City Council, data points have been installed onto lamp posts across the city to create gateways for the network that the smart
water meters can report into. This provides Severn Trent with valuable water usage data in near real-time to gain a better understanding of water consumption
on its network, to act immediately.
By 2025, a further 70,000 smart water meters will be installed in Coventry. 57,000 will also be deployed in the wider Warwickshire region, which will run on
Connexin’s LoRaWAN® network to collect nearly 9,000 data entry points per meter per year. In addition, customers will have access to a portal to monitor water
consumption to gain insight into usage to encourage efficiency and cost savings.
Councillor Patricia Hetherton, Cabinet Member for City Services at Coventry City Council, said:
“We were very pleased that we were able to work with Severn Trent on this project which aims to enable them to be more responsive to water usage in our city.
“Having access to real-time data should help them to fix leaks more quickly and respond to customer needs. It’s good to see a local company leading the way
on a project like this.”
Severn Trent Water - creating an intelligent infrastructure for Warwickshire region
Dan Preece, Vice President of IoT at Connexin, commented:
“We are incredibly pleased with the progression of the smart water network roll-out in Coventry.
“IoT and smart technologies are providing us with a real opportunity to create a more efficient, greener, and sustainable water network of the future. One that
will be realised by the citizens of Warwickshire in the coming months and years to come.
“The fact that customers will be able to access a portal to monitor their water consumption empowers their control to decrease usage, protecting one of our
most valuable resources and ultimately reducing bills, which is needed now more than ever in the current economic climate.”
Justin Patrick, Senior Vice President of Device Solutions at Itron, added:
“Severn Trent Water is creating an intelligent infrastructure for the Warwickshire region.
“Through the use of smart water solutions, Severn Trent Water will digitalise and optimise their operations for managing resources more efficiently and to better
understand their water usage, passing on the benefits to the customer.”
Page 9
Olea Edge Analytics launches pilot program for data-driven analysis
of water loss
Olea Edge Analytics™, a provider of intelligent solutions and services for the water utility industry, today announced the launch of a pilot program to deploy
smart technology to 25 large commercial meters in California’s Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) service area.
Olea’s Meter Health Analytics (MHA) solution uses AI technology to provide previously unattainable insights into the performance of commercial and industrial
water meters, which can have an outsized impact on both water loss and utility revenue.
A 2018 study found that non-revenue water — water that has been produced but is "lost" before it reaches the customer — comprised 30% of water system
input volumes worldwide. The total cost of such losses for utilities can be up to $39 billion per year.
“EVMWD is one of the country’s most technologically savvy utility companies, and they were interested in trying an innovative solution to reduce water loss and
maximize water efficiency,” Olea Edge Analytics CFO Jennifer Crow said. “When large commercial meters perform optimally, it benefits the entire system. The
largest water consumers are billed accurately, and utilities can address significant apparent water loss quickly.”
Municipalities across California have asked their customers to reduce their water use as the state contends with its third straight year of drought. Despite some
respite from heavy rains in December and January, the need for efficiency remains to ensure supplies for the future. While customers are doing their own part
individually, the District also implements tactics to ensure water reliability in its own systems.
“When confronting the challenges of drought, EVMWD takes a multifaceted approach to ensure water is available 24/7 for our community,” said Greg Thomas,
General Manager for Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District. “Using tools, like Olea’s solution for larger meters, will allow our Operations team to more
accurately detect and address water loss.”
Yorkshire Water partners with BT for smart water project
Yorkshire Water has improved connectivity for its remote smart sensor technology and enabled up to 1,000 Nidderdale residents, businesses and visitors to benefit
from new mobile phone coverage, thanks to a partnership with BT which saw a new EE 4G mast installed.
State of the art monitors have been installed on water courses feeding Scar House reservoir, to help monitor and improve water quality.
The data from the monitors will be transmitted to Yorkshire Water by the newly installed EE 4G mast, to allow scientists and engineers to pro-actively select the best
available water sources for transfer to its water treatment works. Weather, temperature, and the condition of the moorland can impact the quality of water sources,
as they can influence things like the amount of peat found in the water. The better the water quality is at source, the less energy it takes to process at the treatment
works, reducing Yorkshire Water’s carbon footprint and supporting its net zero carbon ambition.
Yorkshire Water’s product and process manager, Ted Rycroft, said: “Water coming out of customers taps will continue to be the high quality that it always has been
– the key change here is that the water coming into the treatment works will be of higher quality, and therefore require less treatment. That helps us to keep costs
down for our customers and our operational emissions to a minimum, while maintaining our high standards of water quality.”
BT’s Managing Director for Corporate and Public Sector, Ashish Gupta, said: “This project is the perfect example of using tech to work smarter – benefiting both local
people and the environment. The benefits of this are huge: from improving the water quality to cutting emissions. Another major benefit is the EE mast we’re using
to send sensor data securely over the network is also providing 4G mobile coverage for residents.”
Managing water at its source is a more cost effective and environmentally friendly approach than traditional energy intensive and expensive “end of pipe” treatment
solutions. The real-time monitoring of moorland water has allowed the water company to save millions of pounds on a previously planned new treatment process
its treatment works.
Page 10
Severn Trent transforming wastewater management in industry first
trial using AI
Severn Trent is creating artificial intelligence (AI) as part of an industry first trial, that will use technology to predict weather conditions, forecast maintenance,
and control waste flow to better manage its network.
The project - part of the Ofwat Innovation Fund - will see the intelligent technology deployed on its network, such as pumping stations, that will then operate
independently, by using forecasting and real time monitors.
The company say the benefits of trialling the innovative AI technology will allow its network to operate more efficiently and will predict issues and prevent them
before they occur. Meaning less overflow activations, and better management of its network in storm conditions.
Severn Trent is leading with the project in collaboration with others and say that the project is set to not only bring big benefits to customers and the environment
but will help create the blueprint of how waste networks can operate effectively using AI in the future.
Rich Walwyn, Head of Head of Asset Intelligence & Innovation at Severn Trent said:
“This project has the potential to transform our waste networks, and it’s truly exciting that innovation and technology are at the heart of it.
“By turning to innovation and developing the artificial intelligence, this technology is able to forecast and get the network in prime condition. So, when we know
heavy rain is predicted, the network will automatically optimise the network’s storage ready for the extra flow and divert flow away from overflows and hot spots
reducing the risk of flooding and pollution.
“This means our customers and environment are more protected, and we can better control the flow of the extra rainfall to the treatment works. The AI
technology will help the network be forward thinking and prepare itself in the event of storm conditions,”
Not only does the project itself bring a whole host of great benefits, but the learnings we find from this trial can revolutionise how we manage our waste
networks in the future. Which ultimately would be a fantastic result for our customers.”
The company is working with a number of partners to deliver it, including four other water companies and six industry partners specialising in areas to collaborate
on the project, such as BT, Rockwell Automation, 8 Power, Blackburn Starling, University of Exeter, Thames Water and South West Water.
Danny Longbottom, Director of England and Wales for BT, said:
“This is a vitally important project for the water industry and a great example of how we can use technology for good. We are providing the predictive maintenance
technologies required to help address challenges around waste flow. We will also demonstrate how smart technology can be the bedrock to build an intelligent
sewer network.”
Dr Peter Melville-Shreeve, University of Exeter commented:
“From a research perspective we are helping share ideas and technologies from around the world with the team here at Severn Trent. Innovations around
intelligent wastewater management are developing apace, and the Centre for Water Systems researchers are looking forward to analysing data from the coming
deployments.”
Severn Trent is launching the trial in Derbyshire in Alfreton, and is trialling the AI until 2025.
Page 11
Article:
Monitoring rivers and
the wastewater system
In the past month in the UK there has been various calls for monitoring of the wastewater systems in England & Wales. Some of the history of what seems to
be done in the wastewater industry seems to have been lost to the annals of time (well the past ten years anyway – we seem to have a short-term memory
nowadays).
A little bit of history
Prior to around 2005, although it was present, the monitoring of how much flow was passing through wastewater treatment plants was somewhat hit and miss.
In some areas it was very good and in others not so much. The use of data was also relatively poor as the definition of flow and its environmental permit was
pretty poor too. The actual definition of how much flow a treatment works treated on a dry day was:
the average daily flow to the treatment works during seven consecutive days without rain (excluding a period which includes public holidays)
following seven days during which the rainfall did not exceed 0.25mm on any one day".
In 2005 there was a study sponsored by United Kingdom Water Industry Research (UKWIR) on a different method of assessing what the dry weather flow
performance of a treatment works was. This study was called “Alternative Methods of Sewage Treatment Works Dry Weather Flow (and is available by clicking
here - https://ukwir.org/eng/reports/05-WW-21-6/115263/Alternative-Measures-of-Sewage-Treatment-Works-Dry-Weather-Flow). It was proposed in the
paper to use the 20th percentile or the Q80 to assess dry weather flow performance of treatment works. From this paper it was realised that the dry weather flow
performance across the industry wasn’t very good mainly because the measurement and management of flows needed improving. Borne out of this realisation
was the Monitoring Certification Scheme (MCERTS) for the self-monitoring of effluent flow. The water companies spent the next few years improving flow
monitoring and bringing it up to the new standard. From this came the realisation that permits needed to be adjusted which took another asset management
cycle.
Once this was in action and working the Environment Agency moved on and in July 2013 there was a letter from the then Secretary of State for the Environment,
Richard Benyon, that the water companies must monitor the “vast majority of CSOs by 2020”. This kicked off what was arguably the largest monitoring programme
that the water industry had ever seen. This was the event duration monitoring programme which took place between 2015-2020 and the vast majority has
become all combined storm overflows by 2023.
Now this is where some of the most recent headlines have come in calling for flow monitoring at these points. These were indeed covered as the Environment
Agency proposed a risk-based approach with the potential for flow and quality monitoring if the risk justified it. In practice this wasn’t instigated at the time as
it was enough for the water companies just to install event duration monitors.
Since the EDM programme started to be instigated in 2015 and finished in 2020 the number of spills recorded has increased by huge amounts. The reason
why is absolutely obvious insofar as at the time we were only just starting to record the performance of CSOs and each and every year the number of monitors
were increasing. When seeing this reported as a % increase this is a complete mis-portrayal of the situation as the asset base were still not fully installed or
commissioned.
It was the EDM programme which also has led to the current issues that are widely reported in terms of the number of monitors installed. What we have to
also realise is that a lot of the instruments were installed far too quickly stretching the installation capacity of the industry. This results in the degradation of the
quality of the installation and the reliability of the data.
Next up was the monitoring of the peak flows in wastewater treatment works and this was first discussed in 2014 and started to come into force for the 2019
asset management plans for delivery within 2020 and 2025. This saw event duration monitoring put on storm weirs and showing when a site started to utilise
the storm management system (where not already installed) and the measurement of the pass forward flow of the wastewater treatment works. There are
further complications of this with additional flows within the treatment works having to be counted and deducted. Of course historically, when flow monitoring
was installed the importance of flow measurement concentrated on what was discharged from the treatment works. This was used as the basis of environmental
permits and modelling of the impact on the river environment. The volume of wastewater treated was seen as more important than the instantaneous flow
arriving at the treatment works. This of course has now changed but what this means from a physical point of view is a major overhaul of civil structures on
wastewater treatment plants just to install flow monitoring. Of course on smaller works (which are the majority of the physical number of treatment works) the
uncertainty of measurement principle can be used so that the final effluent monitor can be used. However, the state of the art and the state of monitoring has
meant that more flow monitoring that is necessary is being installed.
Lastly the next monitoring that is due to happen was first put into law under the Environment Act in 2021 under Section 82 which is the quality monitoring of
all storm overflows for a set suite of parameters. If the industry thought the EDM programme was big enough then this programme of works makes it seem
insignificant as tens of thousands of installations will be installed across the country and indeed Europe once the revised Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive
comes into force.
Page 12
Some practicalities
In the recent press we have seen calls to monitor the volume of flow going over each and every
storm overflow and what has to be realised here is (a) some of the history and (b) some of the
practicalities of doing this.
Historically the Environment Agency did consider this within their risk-based approach to event
duration monitoring including an option for volumetric monitoring. The risk-based approach
actually identified volumetric monitoring as an option where spills numbers are high for high
amenity areas.
This was a pragmatic approach to keep the costs reasonable to the customer. Where the risk-
based approach was somewhat misguided (easy to say in hindsight) was the need for telemetry
which was of course included everywhere and now we are of course seeing Event Duration
monitors installed everywhere too.
The addition of volumetric modelling can be done in some places but practically would be very
expensive to add in some areas. CSOs can be very shallow or very deep see flows of a few litres
per second to a few thousand litres per second. They are typically in remote locations and are
sometimes located in the middle of roads. The limitations of power and communication systems
means that in reality to install volumetric monitoring everywhere is (a) impractical and (b) would
be incredibly expensive which all would reflect in customers bills. In some areas then yes, there
is a benefit but in others areas where CSOs don’t spill and are in either low or non-amenity areas
the question as to why would we monitor has to be asked.
The same practicalities can be looked at when we look at inlet flow monitoring at wastewater treatment works. Although power and telemetry aren’t an issue
the physical limitations can be an issue. One of the discussions that happened very early on in the monitoring of pass forward flow (the flow passing forward for
treatment) was treatment works with very little space at the start of the treatment works.
Figure 2 shows an example of this. The concrete weirs in the structure are the storm overflow structures and the channel post this storm overflow point passes
directly to the next treatment stage. To install a flow meter means that the structure would have to be removed entirely, rebuilt and a flow meter installed within
the new process. The cost would be significantly in excess of £1 million just to fit flow measurement. As a result of this the use of final effluent flow meters for
the assessment of flow performance was looked at but in reality not very well applied across the water industry.
There are just some of the practicalities of monitoring across the anthropogenic water cycle and in reality we do need to look at where we practically need to
monitor, where we don’t have to monitor and what we are going to get out of the monitoring.
Figure 1 – Environment Agency risk-based approach to EDM monitoring
Figure 2: Installing a flow meter at this location is a problem
Page 13
The purpose of monitoring the wastewater & river environments
What is the end goal? What as an industry and a customer-base do we want. Over the past 15 -20 years we have had improvements in wastewater treatment
works monitoring not just once but twice (with the current programmes of works). We have had the monitoring of overflows to the environment, albeit in just
time of spill rather than a full volumetric assessment. This is giving everyone a very good picture of how the water industry is performing in its duties to treat
wastewater. The public reaction to just the EDM data that is published each year as well as the water companies online data is testament enough that the water
industry is being held to account for its performance in a way that it has never been before.
There is a lot more to come here with the current programmes of work that are ongoing and the need to publish the data from all of the new monitoring in 2026.
The quality of the data is also going to be held to account with everything coming under the Environment Agency Monitoring Certification Scheme (MCERTS).
This is already putting the industry under a lot of pressure and stress.
Next, we have got to look at Section 82 and ask what is the point? Monitoring of the water company storm overflows is certainly a part of it but not the entirety
of the problem. What happens, if instead of monitoring just the overflows we look at monitoring the river environment. We know when water company
overflows are operating via event duration monitors, what we don’t know is the diffuse pollution sources from other sources. If we monitor just the water
company overflows we are surely missing the trick of monitoring the river environment in its entirety which can point environmental investigations as to root
causes. Additionally, the whole overflow piece looks at the elimination of environmental harm. The arguments that are to come are obvious in terms of “the
harm” isn’t coming from this element its coming from another.
The obvious aim of all of this is that we get the aquatic environment up to a standard where it is excellent everywhere. We do need to monitor and we do need
to ensure that the quality of our environments are degraded by anthropogenic activities but this all comes at a very large cost which if we undertake to take on
this responsibility we have to ensure that both the customer and the environment get the best possible outcome.
Using Real Vs. Artificial Intelligence To Design And Operate Hydraulic
Systems
It’s difficult to pick up an engineering magazine or journal without seeing an article about how artificial intelligence (AI) is going to solve all of our problems.
While these tools are indeed powerful and useful, are they really the panacea that they are sold as?
For this blog, let’s contrast AI models with physics-based models. Physics-based models are those based on scientific principles like F = ma or mass in = mass out,
or empirical relationships such as Manning’s equation or the Rational Method. AI models are based on a different valid principle—the past is a good predictor
of the future.
Hydraulic calculations have traditionally been based on physics-based models because we understand those principles. Yet, I’m seeing a trend where investigators
are saying that they don’t need physics-based models for design and operation of hydraulic systems. And to be fair, it’s possible to find a hand-picked example,
where an AI model is accurate and fast.
AI models are trained using historical data. To the extent that the problems being posed are for the same system as the training data, it is reasonable to expect
that the AI model can yield good results. But hydraulic design and operational analysis usually involve answering “what if” questions and these almost always
involve situations that were not encountered in the training data set. For example:
• What if we replace this pump?
• How will we respond to the fire on Adams St.?
• How will the new tank affect pumping operation?
• How will the best management practice reduce runoff?
Chances are that the AI training data does not include the new pump, or have a fire at Adams St., or include the not yet constructed tank, or have data on the
new BMP. Extrapolating an AI model beyond its training data is risky at best. Addressing these issues in a well calibrated physics-based model provides confidence
that the results are very likely to be accurate.
In the hands of AI professionals, with adequate data, AI models can be very valuable for predicting behaviors that can’t be modelled using physics-based models,
for example, which pipe is most likely to break next?
AI professionals understand the limitations of their tools but marketing material circulating these days doesn’t always acknowledge them. As with any model,
users need to understand the underlying principles, especially given that models of either type have become so complicated, that no one understands every
nuance. However, understanding the basic principles behind the models, users can make the right choices in selecting their tools.
Page 14
Page 15
Case Study:
Leak Detection, operational efficiency
and long term planning
Background
Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), founded in 1956, provides drinking water, residual water, energy, gas and other services to residents of Medellin, Colombia
as well as surrounding areas in the Antioquia Department and beyond. Its water network has 213 DMAs in 94 zones serving more than 4 million people.
Goals
As its network, infrastructure and staff grew over the years, so did the amount of data it was collecting. Handling visual information manually became more
complex and time consuming. EPM’s field teams struggled to manage the many leak and asset failure events and mostly operated in reactive mode following
consumers’ reports of water bursts. The utility needed a more efficient workflow for identifying and assigning such events, including better prioritization and
planning.
“For example,” says Carlos Humberto Palacio Sierra, Head of the Water Losses and Wastewater Control Unit at EPM, “sudden changes in signals from the various
sensors were monitored by the SCADA system, but no analysis was done. Management of the nightline was based on SCADA, as were leak searches. Once the
nightline was graphed, the searches were planned. A separate application took the data from the SCADA and generated a graph of the minimum nightline.”
That process was slow and labor-intensive, resulting in high water losses. And, as EPM’s network grew, it became harder to scale up nightline management. EPM
realized it needed a better way to achieve more with its existing resources. This meant a better way to analyze information, and to make searching for leaks more
systematic and efficient rather than reactive. It wanted a system that would automatically indicate events with more information and understanding than what
SCADA can provide. The system also needed to be simple to use (and effective) to ensure that EPM’s personnel would adopt it.
Solution
EPM considered varied technologies and solutions and ultimately opted for analytics software. Following a successful pilot that produced good results, EPM
chose the TaKaDu Central Event Management (CEM) solution. It began using TaKaDu in August 2019. Initially, TaKaDu was introduced to a large group of key
people within the organization to raise awareness of it. Subsequently, specific users were identified and their roles and interactions with third parties were
established. An efficient workflow was developed from there. No changes were required to EPM’s infrastructure in order to implement the TaKaDu CEM.
Results
TaKaDu provides EPM with a more holistic picture of its network and water management. With 24/7 automatic detection of events, including early-stage leaks
when no other indicators are present, ongoing prioritization is now possible. Asset failures such as pressure, water quality, reservoir level, faulty meters and
communication failures are caught earlier. This enables EPM to deal with them more efficiently and with fewer resources. It can make many small repairs to fix
small leaks across its large network to reduce physical losses, rather than incurring the substantially higher costs of fixing major bursts.
As Carlos notes, “We have greater control of the nightline across the entire system. Thanks to TaKaDu, we can now prioritize failure events according to the
importance of the signals.” Ultimately, this all contributes to an overall reduction in water loss across EPM’s network. After working with TaKaDu for some time
and fixing leaks identified through the system, EPM’s minimum nightline stabilized. Carlos notes that a lower and more stable minimum nightline enables long-
term planning for fixes in the field to decrease losses even more.
Workflow efficiency and inter-departmental communications have also improved dramatically. EPM can now properly manage events throughout their lifecycle
and perform activities such as sharing events with colleagues, auto-logs of the changes, writing comments and attaching files. Today TaKaDu is part of EPM’s
daily routine,across departments. The system automatically creates alerts and emails messages to designated users. The Integrated Operations unit assigns the
alerts to the Loss Control team, where operators drill down into the events, identify issues and prioritize them based on the values and criticality, according to
the sector. Activities are then assigned to the Equipment Maintenance and Network Maintenance units according to the event type. Prior to closing the event,
automatic verification of the fixes in the field confirm thatthe problem has been solved.
With this daily use, “the objective of having greater visibility at the time of making operational decisions has been achieved,” says Carlos. With that, he notes,
“Every month or so, EPM management looks at KPIs to understand the performance of people, processes and technology (PPT). Based on that, operational plans
are adjusted to optimize them.”
And over time, benefits have only improved. “By cross-referencing changes in flow rates to changes in pressure, we’re able to identify the source of the problem
more easily. As we gain more and more experience, we are better able to identify problems and we know how to address them more effectively,” he continues.
Page 16
Specific event highlight
Carlos points to a specific example when the TaKaDu system detected an increased flow event running at 20 l/s in a sub-circuit known as 12 de Octubre. The
Operations team analyzed the event and, noticing that the night values were high, suspected a leak. A field team was sent out to track it down.
After the field team combed the sector without finding the leak, EPM turned to TaKaDu to help it interpret the graph. Analysis of the pressure data and the
behavior of the flow indicated that the situation was due to a boundary valve in a bordering sector. EPM’s Loss Control unit then searched for a corresponding
negative flow event of equal magnitude. An event was found in the Picacho sector bordering the southern part of the 12 de Octubre sector. The field team then
checked just the boundary valves between these two sectors and was able to confirm that there was indeed an open boundary valve, apparently left open after
maintenance activities. Once the boundary valve was closed, both sectors returned to normal, which was reflected and verified in TaKaDu.
The Operations team took away several important lessons from this event, enabling it to avoid overbroad searches in the future. This allows timelier responses,
effectively reducing water loss and improving service quality.
The view ahead
Going forward, EPM plans to increase the sectorization of its network and expand telemetry coverage to enable it to get even more value from TaKaDu. “The
benefits demonstrated by TaKaDu allow a justified investment in new telemetry and in sub-sectoring to reduce the route of leak detection teams,” says Carlos.
With water loss reduction and operational efficiency achieved, EPM is now evaluating integration of its work orders with TaKaDu to enable even greater
visibility into the activities of other departments, for more informed decisions based on the additional insight.
EPM is also considering a pressure management project and a network reorganization project to further facilitate the field interventions that allow overall
better operation of the network and consequently will extend the lifespan of assets.
Overall, Carlos concludes, “TaKaDu is a very versatile and easy to learn tool which we would definitely recommend. The system is reliable and identifies
problems with very few false positives. This does not always mean a simple and quick solution. But TaKaDu assures us of the existence of an anomaly that is
identifiable, delimited and measurable in the field, which we can work with.”
By working with TaKaDu, EPM has significantly advanced its operational excellence. With the ability to identify problems faster and more accurately, EPM is
incurring less collateral damage to assets and is investing fewer resources in repairs, while also reducing water loss.
Page 17
Page 18
Article:
Measuring Blower Airflow in the Field
Most electric utilities offer customer incentives for implementing energy conservation measures (ECMs) Incentive programs pay customers to use less energy.
In some cases they are mandated by legislation and in others the incentives are driven by the utility’s desire to avoid building new generating capacity. Some
incentives are based on reduced energy use (kWh) and some are based on lower peak demand (kW).
Electricity is a major budget item in municipal and industrial Water Resource Recovery Facilities (WRRFs). Blowers that supply air to treatment processes are
the largest single use of electricity in most WRRFs. That makes them a prime target for ECMs. Many blower projects involve replacing or supplementing existing
units with new energy-efficient blowers. (Although there is no universal definition, the term “blower” is generally applied to air moving equipment with a
discharge pressure between one and 30 psig.)
Measurement & Verification
Most utility incentive programs require measurement and verification (M&V). This allows the utility to verify that the projected energy savings are achieved
and the incentive payment is justified. There are two steps to the M&V process. Prior to implementing the ECM baseline energy measurements are taken to
establish the existing system’s energy use. When the ECM is implemented the new energy use is measured to confirm the improvement.
There are many metrics used for wastewater treatment energy comparisons. These include kWh per million gallons treated and kWh per pound of Biochemical
Oxygen Demand (BOD) removed. In most plants process loads vary seasonally, day to day, and hour to hour. These variations inherently make timely comparison
between old and new systems difficult. Blower efficiency is a problematic metric because efficiency is measured in several ways, may reflect the blower alone
or the complete blower system, and does not directly identify the energy or power used by the aeration process.
A useful metric for comparisons is specific power. This is usually expressed as kilowatts per hundred scfm (kW/100 scfm).
Where:
e = specific power, kW/scfm.
PE= electric motor power draw, kW.
qstd = airflow rate, scfm (standard ft3/minute at 68°F, 14.7 psia 36% relative humidity).
The specific power is calculated using a single set of inlet conditions and discharge pressure. If the inlet temperature, inlet pressure, or discharge pressure change
then the specific power will also change. For accurate comparisons of the performance before and after the ECM, or comparisons of different technologies,
inlet and discharge conditions should be consistent. Calculation methods are provided in test codes such as ASME PTC 13 to convert performance at one set of
conditions to performance at another set.
The Opportunities
Many existing blower technologies have been in use for decades. These include lobe-type positive displacement blowers, multi-stage centrifugal blowers, and
geared single stage blowers. Other types of blowers, such as the screw blower and the high-speed gearless turbo blower, are more recent introductions to the
wastewater treatment field. New control technologies, such as Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs), have provided additional opportunities for ECMs with any
blower technology.
These opportunities for energy savings are supported by the utility incentive programs. Many pay up to 50% of the cost of new equipment and installation.
Some programs will also help pay for engineering evaluation and design of upgrades.
Measurement of existing blower performance and baseline specific power establishes the potential incentive for a blower replacement. That typically requires
field measurement of the critical blower performance parameters: flow, pressure, inlet temperature, and power.
The Challenge
Field measurement of airflow is usually challenging. Accurate flow measurement requires a uniform velocity profile across the diameter of the pipe. The
presence of valves and fittings creates distortion in the velocity profile. The compact arrangement of the piping system in most blower rooms decreases
accuracy. Flow straighteners may help but are often inadequate in compensating for existing piping arrangements. Few existing blower installations have
accurate flow measurement available.
On the other hand, accurate temperature and pressure measurements are straightforward and can be accomplished with simple and inexpensive instruments.
A simple pipe tap and fittings are all that is required to insert the instruments into the pipe, and instrument location is not critical. Measuring electric power
is also straightforward. If permanent sub-metering equipment is not available power measurement can be accomplished by qualified personnel with portable
instruments and clamp on connections.
Page 19
Note that regardless of flow measurement method, determination of blower system power is necessary for ECM measurement and verification procedures.
Alternate Methods
There are several alternate methods for determining airflow that can replace direct measurement. These methods may be applicable to only specific blower
types or control methods.
Positive Displacement (PD) blowers with known displacement and slip characteristics can use blower speed to estimate inlet volumetric flow. There are some
inaccuracies with this method: slip rpm changes with discharge pressure and wear, and the relationship between inlet cubic feet per minute (icfm) and ambient
or discharge airflow is affected by pressure drop through filters and silencers. Still, this method provides adequate accuracy for many applications.
Throttled centrifugal blowers often include a “calibrated” ammeter. This uses the correlation between flow and motor amperage to approximate inlet airflow
rate. This method is subject to inaccuracy when motor voltage or inlet air temperature changes. This method is not suitable for blowers using variable speed or
guide vane control.
Another Solution
A method based on simple measurements and thermodynamics has been used for many years to accurately determine airflow. Power draw, inlet and discharge
temperature, and inlet and discharge pressure are used in conjunction with fundamental thermodynamic equations to determine flow. (See Figure 1.)
Figure 1: Example measurement system.
The calculation is performed in two parts. First, the efficiency of the bare blower is determined:
Where:
XAD = Adiabatic factor, dimensionless.
pd = Absolute discharge pressure, psia.
pi = Absolute inlet pressure, psia.
k = ratio of specific heats, Cp/Cv, dimensionless, ≈1.395.
ηB = efficiency of bare blower, decimal.
Td = Absolute discharge temperature, °R = °F + 460.
Ti = Absolute inlet temperature, °R = °F + 460.
The ratio of specific heats, k, is equal to 1.395 for perfect diatomic gases. For air, k varies slightly with temperature and relative humidity. Exact relationships are
available in many sources, including ASME PTC 13, but in all but the most extreme cases only minor errors are introduced by using k = 1.395.
Inlet and discharge pressure may be measured directly using absolute pressure transmitters. It is more common to measure gauge pressure on the discharge
of the blower. On the inlet side suction measurement identifies the pressure drop through inlet filters and piping. Barometric pressure is used to determine the
absolute pressures.
Page 20
Where:
pbar = site barometric pressure, psia.
pgauge = discharge pressure, psig.
Δpfilter = inlet filter and pressure drop, psig.
Barometric pressure is not a constant. It varies slightly with weather conditions and dramatically with site elevation. The average site barometric pressure can
be calculated if the elevation is known.
p_bar=14.7-Elev/2000
Where:
Elev = site elevation, ft above sea level.
Weather conditions will cause some deviations in barometric pressure. The range is less than plus or minus 0.5 psi, even for extreme weather conditions. The
variation is commonly less than plus or minus 0.25 psi.
It is possible to obtain the current barometric pressure reading from a weather station or barometer. However, most barometric readings include an adjustment
so that the reading is equivalent to sea level readings. This permits direct comparison between different locations. Before using a barometer reading it should
be determined if a correction has been used. If so, the appropriate value for site elevation should be applied.
Blower power draw is necessary to calculate the flow rate. Actual shaft power is difficult to measure, so generally the motor power draw is measured and the
shaft power calculated from it.
Where:
PB = blower shaft power, bhp.
ηm = motor efficiency, decimal.
PL = blower mechanical losses, hp
Blower mechanical losses from bearings, gears, lube systems, etc. are typically between one and three percent of motor power.
Three phase power measurement is not always available. In that case the electric power draw may be calculated from measured voltage and current.
Where:
I = measured motor current draw, Amp, average of three phases.
V = measured motor voltage, Volts, average of three phases.
PF = motor power factor, decimal.
Motor nameplates generally include the full load motor efficiency and power factor. These values vary across the motor’s power range but are nearly constant
above 50% power. Values at various power draws are available from motor data tables and should be used if available.
The final step is calculating the blower volumetric airflow.
Page 21
Where:
qv,i = volumetric airflow rate, cfm (ft3/minute).
The measured data can be used to calculate the equivalent scfm airflow at standard conditions by ignoring relative humidity.
This method is similar to the widely accepted thermodynamic pump testing method identified in ISO 5198. Because the temperature rise from compressing air
is much larger than the typical temperature rise in pumps the method is actually easier to implement with blowers. Accuracy of the flow value depends on the
accuracy of the input data, of course, but the accuracy of this method exceeds flow meter accuracy when installation conditions are marginal.
Some precautions should be taken when the system is used for real time airflow measurement and blower control. During the time immediately following
starting of a blower the temperature of the impellers and case have not stabilized. This affects the discharge air temperature and efficiency calculations. The
calculated efficiency should be clamped (limited) to reasonable maximum and minimum values. This will prevent gross inaccuracy in the flow calculation.
Similarly all measured values should be range checked and the blower should be stopped if signals are lost or outside reasonable ranges.
Accurate Airflow Rates
Utility incentives are based on energy savings. The energy consumption of a blower system is never constant, since flowrate and pressure and temperature are
all continuously varying. In order to compare before and after energy consumption, or to compare the consumption of alternate blowers, it is common to use
specific power.
Flow meter technology can be very advanced, and if proper installation techniques are used accuracy can be excellent. However, space restrictions often
necessitate compromises that negate the inherent meter accuracy. It is often required to obtain measurements on existing installations that do not have flow
meters installed. In these situations the thermodynamic testing method can provide accurate airflow rates using simple, inexpensive instruments. The method
is suitable to portable devices and temporary instrument installations for ECM measurement and verification as well as real time control applications.
About the Authors
For 25 years, John Conover has worked in the field of compressors and blowers domestically and internationally. He’s an expert in sales, sales management,
product and business development, and marketing. John is the Business Development Manager for Air Clean USA.
Tom Jenkins has over forty years’ experience in blowers and blower applications. As an inventor and entrepreneur he has pioneered many innovations in
aeration and blower control. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. For more information, visit www.jentechinc.com.
Page 22
Water, Wastewater & Environmental Monitoring Conference & Exhibition
Birmingham, UK
9th - 10th October 2024
WWEM is moving to the Birmingham NEC in 2024. Planning is still underway but the firm favourites like the Flow Forum,
Instrumentation Apprentice Competition and the Learning Zone will be returning as well as some surprises. Watch this space for
updates but what is sure that in its new home in Birmingham the WWEM Conference and Exhibition will be bigger than ever.
Sensor for Water Interest Group Workshops
The Sensors for Water Interest Group has moved their workshops for the foreseeable future to an online webinar format. The next
workshops are
22
nd
March 2023 - Manchester - Cyber Threat & Instrumentation
19
th
April 2023 - Milton Keynes - Operation & Maintenance of Sensors in the Water Industry
24
th
May 2023 - London - Optimising water & waste systems using AI,ML and IOT
IWA Digital Water Summit
Bilbao, Spain
14th -16th November 2023
The highly successful IWA Digital Water Summit returns to Bilbao in November 2023 for its 2nd edition. These dates are provisional
at the moment. The 1st summit highlighted the potential and the 2nd summit will build on the first in November 2023
Sensing in Water 2023
Nottingham, UK
27th -28th September 2023
After its break due to the Covid Pandemic the Sensors in Water Group 2-day conference returns to the Nottingham Belfry to talk
about all things sensing. What this space for more updates
SWAN Forum Conference
Glasgow, Scotland
9th -11th May 2023
This year the SWAN Conference returns to the UK and specifically Glasgow with the aim this year to ask attendees to answer the
question of how to make Smart Water mainstream.
WEX Global 2023
Seville, Spain
27th -29th March 2023
Water & Energy Exchange Global is one of my favourite conferences in the calendar. This year moving from Valencia to Seville in
Southern Spain the B2B conference is bound to concentrate on what we can do to use Smart Circular Solutions to build a better
world,
Global Smart Water Metering & Intelligent Data Utilisation Conference
London, UK
26th -27th April 2023
At this conference, case studies and practical solutions from the United Kingdom, Europe and the rest of the world will be presented,
illustrating how water utilities in particular scenarios and markets evaluate the business case for investing in smart metering
technologies to achieve their core objectives.
Global Leakage Summit
London, UK
5th -6th September 2023
The Global Leakage Summit returns to London in September, 4-6 at the Thistle Hotel (formerly Amba), Marble Arch, London, for its
13th year, bringing to delegates the usual mix of top quality UK and international water utility speakers it has become renowned for.
Page 23
Conferences, Events,
Seminars & Studies
Conferences, Seminars & Events
2022 Conference Calendar
Water, Energy &
Climate Change
Smart Circular Solutions to
build a better world
Join us at WEX Global 2023
27th – 29th March, Seville Spain
Co-Host: Global Business Development Partner:
Welcoming Utility:
FIND OUT MORE & TO BOOK YOUR PLACE VISIT www.wex-global.com
Meet-4-Business at WEX Global
The relaxed but business focused atmosphere
at WEX Global offers the perfect environment
to grow your international network. A busy
timetable of both formal and informal
networking events will present you with an
array of opportunities to meet everyone that
is important to you.
WEX Global occupies a unique place in the water
conference calendar. Business discussions and
connections lie at the heart of WEX, along with
the principle of ‘exchange’; the exchange of
ideas, philosophies, business opportunities and
methodologies to build the strong networks that
will meet the challenges of the circular economy in
mitigating climate change, achieving net zero and
turbo-charging digital transformation.
“being part of the WEX Global
network is not an expense,
it’s an investment”
Mohsen Mortada,
President Cole Engineering
Page 24

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WIPAC Monthly - February 2023.pdf

  • 1. WIPAC MONTHLY The Monthly Update from Water Industry Process Automation & Control www.wipac.org.uk Issue 2/2023- February 2023
  • 2. Page 2 In this Issue WIPAC Monthly is a publication of the Water Industry Process Automation & Control Group. It is produced by the group manager and WIPAC Monthly Editor, Oliver Grievson. This is a free publication for the benefit of the Water Industry and please feel free to distribute to any who you may feel benefit. However due to the ongoing costs of WIPAC Monthly a donation website has been set up to allow readers to contribute to the running of WIPAC & WIPAC Monthly, For those wishing to donate then please visit https://www.patreon.com/Wipac 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 olivergrievson@hotmail.com From the editor............................................................................................................. 3 Industry news.............................................................................................................. Highlights of the news of the month from the global water industry centred around the successes of a few of the companies in the global market. 4 - 11 Monitoring rivers and the wastewater system............................................................... This month we have seen calls for yet more monitoring of overflows, this time the volume. In our feature article this month we have an opinion piece from Group Manager, Oliver Grievson, looking at some of the recent history of monitoring in the wastewater industry and some of the feasibility of what we can and should monitor of the impact of the wastewater system on the river environment. 12 - 15 Leak detection, operational efficiency and long term asset planning............................... In this case study by TaKaDU we look at the case study of what they have done in the city of Medelin in Colombia to help reduce water leakage, increase operational efficiency and enable long-term asset planning by installing their CEM system with the local utility EPM. 16 - 18 Measuring blower airflow in the field........................................................................... In this month's technical article by John Conover and Tom Jenkins we look at the opportunity of implementing energy conservation measures by measuring the efficiency of blowers which are especially used in wastewater treatment and use large amounts of energy. By measuring blow airflow there is a huge opportunity to limit energy consumption and reduce the operational carbon. 19-22 Workshops, conferences & seminars............................................................................ The highlights of the conferences and workshops in the coming months. 23 - 24
  • 3. Page 3 From the Editor It was interesting to see this month some of the national press launch clean river campaigns and also for the outgoing chairman of the Environment Agency, Sir James Bevan, launch into a speech about the various rhetoric that has been whizzing around the national press around the whole pollution situation. It reminds me very much of the second world war acronym of SNAFU. Where I agree there is alot of misinformation and misinterpreted information that is flying around about the water industry there is also alot of things that can be done better with the right people doing the right things in the right way. The only way that we are going to get out of the situation is a little bit of harsh truths and quite a few doses of reality. As an industry the water industry has been putting in more and more complex monitoring programmes over the past 20 years ever since the first MCERTS flow meters were put in between 2005-2010 and with a bit of a gap we are putting more and more in to play from Event Duration Monitors, more flow meters and more quality monitoring and that is just the stuff that is required by law. Let alone all the monitoring that is helping water companies towards the net zero goals and all of the real-time control systems that should be going in to control nutrients and other aspects of water & wastewater treat- ment. The warning bells are starting to ring though where the skills gap in the water industry is starting to get real and there aren't enough people to do all the in- stallation and all of the maintenance properly. The result is what we first read about in WIPAC over ten years ago now and we are starting the downward spiral into a situation where, as an industry, we will spend billions of pounds on instrumentation that will provide us with no true value and hence the spiral starts into the "resistance to the effective use of instrumentation." All of this is ultimately predictable and I've openly said that we have a data quality problem across the industry. The data that has just been reported to the Environment Agency and which will be openly published soon telling the public about another 300,000 or so spills is ultimately flawed as the base sensors in the field aren't necessarily recording correctly or potentially not commissioned and so the data is ultimately wrong. That's not to say all of it is wrong, it isn't and some of the companies have done the job of getting the data assurance done and getting it assessed and where things aren't quite right rectified things. However, undoubtedly problems still remain and solutions to the monitoring errors have to be rectified. That is the problem when there aren't enough people and those who are there aren't given enough time to get the job done right the first time. Let's hope the situation won't repeat itself in the years to come with the monitoring to come or the results won't be pretty. Have a good month, Oliver
  • 4. LIFT Intelligent Water Systems Challenge open Today’s water industry operates complex treatment, collection, and distribution systems to protect public and ecological health. These systems are increasingly instrumented to monitor key process indicators and other parameters to facilitate operations. LIFT logo.PNGThe Water Research Foundation (WRF) and Water Environment Federation (WEF) LIFT program is holding the LIFT Intelligent Water Systems Challenge to demonstrate the value to utilities of these “intelligent water systems”. The Challenge seeks to foster the adoption of smart water technologies by showcasing the ability of intelligent water systems to effectively leverage data for better decisions. Recognizing big data can be used to address complex issues such as stormwater management, flooding, aging infrastructure, distribution system water quality, CSOs, SSOs, process optimization, and asset management, the IWS Challenge is looking to demonstrate the value of intelligent water systems to utilities. The Challenge gives students, professionals, and technology aficionados the opportunity to showcase their talents and innovation, with a focus on leveraging data using the best available tools to help utilities better understand the dynamics of complex systems and make better decisions. Get Started The LIFT IWS Challenge 2023 Guidance for Solution Submission Document contains vital information about eligibility, judging criteria, timelines, and requirements. The 2023 Intelligent Water Systems Challenge FAQs answer questions about the challenge, teams, and solutions. Registration for the 2023 Challenge is open until April 14. Utilities Now Have A Way To Manage Wastewater Overflows Wastewater treatment operators need help with the current system of collecting and reporting sewer overflow data. Ayyeka announces a powerful tool to solve this challenge. Once operators use it, they’ll wonder how they ever worked without it. Ayyeka's latest product, Storm Scope, addresses the endless issues connected to combined sewer overflow data management. The Storm Scope software platform collects and organizes data from remote locations, transforming distant landscapes into manageable assets. It brings a fresh take to the industry by streamlining regulatory compliance. Operators will save hundreds of hours a year with Storm Scope's convenient data collection, organization, and dashboard visualization. Storm Scope revolutionizes sewer overflow management, using real-time level, flow, and rain data analysis that speeds up the reporting process. The best part— it’s scalable to the needs of small towns and big cities. Communities & operators will proactively identify and respond to potential problems. Data analytics have the capability to minimize the impact of sewer overflows on the environment. Safe sewage processing protects public health. Ayyeka CEO Ariel Stern said, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure, and Storm Scope gives utilities real-time data to take actionable insights. Effective wastewater management becomes a viable goal.” Page 4 Industry News
  • 5. Digital wastewater maps future for sewage management A wastewater intelligence solution is helping improve community health in a partnership first between Scottish Water and Kando. Water Industry Journal spoke to Dr Andrew Engeli, CSO at Kando, about the shared vision for a smart networked wastewater system. Raw sewage from storm overflows and harmful wastewater emissions are an escalating problem, with water utilities often under-equipped to respond to the resulting public health challenges. Effective wastewater analysis can have a game-changing impact on community health, using technology to monitor the spread of viral diseases or measure the impact of specific community health initiatives. Kando is implementing its cutting-edge wastewater management technology for Scottish Water, using a real-time alert system capable of unlocking a range of actionable insights. As Steven Boon, Wastewater Treatment Area Manager for Scottish Water, says, “We were impressed by the offering, experience, and professionalism from Kando which should enable us to bring this wastewater treatment works back into compliance.” Kando is an Israeli-based company with a proven track record in the field of wastewater intelligence, having spearheaded Israel’s efforts to track COVID-19 and its variants in collaboration with Israel’s Ministry of Health. So just how novel is its approach? Andrew explains, “We’re at the forefront of AI and IoT innovation in the field of wastewater analysis providing software that, through automation, can generate instant insights into what’s really going on inside urban sewage systems, helping municipal authorities pinpoint how and where they need to intervene to manage water networks most effectively, to improve public health and protect the environment. He adds, “With wastewater quality a growing health and environmental concern, we help government authorities accurately detect and pinpoint the sources of reduced wastewater quality thanks to a first-of-its-kind hyper-localised comparative wastewater quality analysis, helping them track down entities and organisations violating hygiene regulations. “We are working with partners, investors, and clients to improve public and environmental health all over the world. We also support water utilities, which bear the ultimate responsibility for the quality of the wastewater that their networks emit, in bringing their technology up to date and fitting it for purpose through AI-powered big data analytics and predictions, reducing risk and mitigating legal and compliance concerns.” Kando’s solution will provide Scottish Water – for the first time – with the ability to know when and where contamination is accumulating in their assets, helping them ensure that all assets are working properly. Andrew says, “This will have a multifaceted effect increasing levels of regulation compliance, policy observance, and cost reduction. “In the UK today, there is no other technology that provides such a holistic solution to water utilities, implementing state-of-the-art AI technology in wastewater and subsequently providing unique value and visibility into what is happening in a water network. Once a water utility has access to this invaluable information and insights, they can manage their assets and networks more efficiently and save costs.” In December 2021, Kando and Israel’s Ministry of Health (MoH) combined in a unique project using wastewater analysis to track COVID-19 throughout Israel’s sewage system, the first time a single technology provider has provided such instant insights uniformly across an entire country. The partnership used data drawn from within the collection network to support accurate COVID-19 outbreak mapping across service areas. Andrew explains, “Kando’s solution uses real- time, in-network condition monitoring and cloud-based data analysis to ensure findings represent viral loads accurately. Live data inputs from in-sewer IoT units are used to determine when effluent contamination might compromise results, preventing automated sampling when conditions are not ideal. Working with lab and deployment partners, Kando provided the MoH with geographically defined outbreak data, pinpointing infection hotspots via a live online dashboard. “The partnership enabled officials to aggregate data from every population centre with more than 20,000 residents (85% of Israel’s population), gaining a full picture of COVID-19 rates without requiring individual tests. This method indicated outbreaks and their locations up to 6 days ahead of conventional testing, providing an early warning system to anticipate outbreak waves and detect variants.” In short, using wastewater intelligence helped authorities monitor spread of the disease without relying on the population to come forward and get tested. Scottish Water’s system will ‘hit the ground running’, collecting raw data from strategic locations on the network. Together with historical data, it will create a unique base line of predicted behaviour and identify abnormalities, correlating them to types of industrial effluent and “pinpointing the source of the exact location of each behaviour that impacts the asset”. Andrew adds, “Our system can provide insights into the source of the events in the network, the severity of the event, its timespan, and eventually, after characterising it, the type. Most of all, it will allow the water utility to identify the source and take the relevant actions to stop it from occurring or re-occurring.” Turnaround time on testing depends on the nature of the event being analysed and its findings. Some insights can be shown instantly through a real-time online dashboard, while lab-analysed results are typically turned around within several days, and within 36 hours at a minimum. Andrew points out that further down the line, Scottish Water can leverage Kando’s technology and its expertise to tackle a range of questions whose answers might be found in water systems: detecting future pandemics, overcoming high levels of drug use, reflecting the quality of the population’s diets, monitoring wastewater being reused for agricultural needs, and more. He says, “Using the Kando system will allow Scottish Water to manage their assets differently, as by harnessing the data, they will know 24/7 what, when, and where every abnormality is accruing, and prevent it from happening. This will allow the asset to perform in compliance with regulation and also optimise its efficiency and reduce the overall costs of operation.” Looking forward, it’s hoped that Kando’s network intelligence can mitigate problems like pollution, water waste and climate change and boost real-time decision-making. Andrew concludes, “These capabilities are only scratching the surface. As investment into the industry increases, more capabilities will be discovered to further support healthy communities and environments.” Page 5
  • 6. Telefónica optimizes the Aigües de Barcelona plant thanks to 5G Aigües de Barcelona, Telefónica and Mobile World Capital Barcelona have carried out a pilot project consisting of the migration of the security video cameras of the drinking water treatment plant (ETAP) of Sant Joan Despí. This is a cloud integration model provided by Telefónica’s edge computing node, available for the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. Until now, the cameras installed in the DWTP of Aigües de Barcelona were connected to each other by conventional fixed networks, so that the captured images were sent to a local server located within the facility. Thanks to this project, the images collected by the security cameras are sent with 5G to edge computing and processed in the cloud using Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms. The detection of intrusions or the access of people to restricted areas always in real time is the main benefit of the project. For the collection process and subsequent video analytics to be migrated to the edge computing node, two inherent characteristics of the 5G mobile network are required. On the one hand, ensuring high upload bandwidth, as the images must be of very high quality for the AI to obtain the expected results. On the other hand, connectivity must be provided with minimum latency conditions, since events must be detected in real time. According to Aigües de Barcelona’s innovation director, Catalina Balseiro, “having close cloud environments such as Telefónica’s edge computing together with the use of 5G technology allows us to optimize security tasks in critical facilities and contribute to circularity, thus reducing physical hardware and travel”. Leonor Ostos, Innovation Manager at Telefónica, says: “These pilots, in which we work hand in hand with our customers, highlight the opportunities and advantages of having high-performance wireless networks such as the 5G mobile network. This, in conjunction with edge computing centers, enables a wide range of low-latency processes and applications, and provides tangible benefits for our customers. This pilot is a sample of the real applications of 5G and edge computing, technologies that will be part of several of the demonstrations that Telefónica will bring to its stand at Mobile World Congress 2023”. Eduard Martín, CIO and Director of Intelligent Connectivity at Mobile World Capital Barcelona, says: “This pilot exemplifies the type of project that we at Mobile World Capital Barcelona are looking to promote: beyond the technical and concept tests that the use cases allow, it is necessary to start implementing the combination of 5G with edge computing to take advantage of its real storage potential. With this pilot test we further empower that data can be managed by an AI locally, minimizing response time.” Martín adds that the project “tests the network characteristics needed to manage this type of critical infrastructure, which can be extrapolated to multiple industries”. Page 6
  • 7. Anglian Water looks to supply chain in pre - market engagement for its £multi-million smart meter installation programme Anglian Water is taking the initial steps to explore an ‘end to end’ smart metering delivery solution to continue the rollout of its installation programme which is the largest in the water industry with a potential estimated value of up to £300 million. The water company is seeking potential partners to manage the whole smart metering process from beginning to end, encompassing supply, installation and network provision across the East of England - Anglian Water said it would be the first utility in the UK to undertake such a large-scale, truly collaborative delivery approach for this type of work. Anglian Water is now looking for interested parties to get in touch to gauge capability, interest and to support the development stage of the project through a market engagement process. A webinar will be held on 23 March 2023 with further information. The new collaboration would continue into the next business planning cycle from 2025 to form the cornerstone in delivering Anglian’s next wave of smart meter installation. The period between 2025-2030, will see a further 1.2 million smart meters installed, to better manage the region’s demand for water, and help customers understand their water usage, as well as detecting customer- side leaks, which still accounts for around a third of all water lost in the network. Anglian Water’s region is the driest in the UK receiving a third less rainfall than anywhere else in the country, meaning future water scarcity is the most significant challenge the company faces. Helping customers use less water by using smart meters forms a substantial part of Anglian’s Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP). The plan sets out how the company intends to manage available resources in the future by balancing the demands from its customers with the needs of the wider environment and includes a range of supply enhancement and demand management measures which collectively, will keep taps running in the future. CEO for Anglian Water, Peter Simpson said: “We are constantly challenging ourselves to be the best company we can be, and to make a real and meaningful impact for our customers, communities, and the planet. The new arrangement would be key to driving forward our smart meter roll out programme and ensure we harness future technological advancements in water metering, networks, and data for the benefit of our customers. “This is a great opportunity to change our way of working to deliver a programme of work which is so clearly aligned with our purpose. By introducing this pioneering delivery model, we’ll continue pushing the boundaries of smart technology in order to achieve the right outcomes for all, and crucially, we’re looking for like-minded, innovative companies to join us on this journey. “ The purpose of the webinar is to introduce the market to the concept of the business model and encourage potential partners to think differently in how they might be able to work with Anglian Water to deliver this exciting project. Anglian Water is now inviting suppliers to interested in finding out more to attend the webinar on 23 rd March Yorkshire Water uses sewer alarm technology to identify 100 sewer blockages in Sheffield Yorkshire Water’s partnership with Technolog and Utilitec Services in Sheffield and surrounding areas has helped identify 100 sewer blockages and enable them to be resolved before causing wider problems for customers and the environment. The utility has installed 3,000 sewer alarms in Sheffield postcodes, as part of a wider project to install 40,000 alarms across Yorkshire. The technology monitors water levels within combined sewer gullies using a pressure sensor which sends an alert remotely when an increase in level is identified. The devices use a wireless network to enable Yorkshire Water teams to identifying trends in how the sewers are performing. One hundred blockages have been successfully identified by the Technolog sewer alarms in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley in six months. Early identification enabled the blockages to be resolved quickly and reduce the potential impact sewer blockages have on Yorkshire Water customers and the wider environment. Jeremy Head, project manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “This project is a significant investment in increasing the technology in operation across our network and it is great to see it producing positive results. “The ability to remotely identify possible blockages and dispatch our teams to investigate means issues are dealt with quicker than they would be normally. Ultimately, this reduces the likelihood of a complete blockage in our sewers and the impact that can have, which includes restricted toilet use form customers and the potential for sewage to back-up and escape from the network into the local environment or watercourses. “The project is still in full flow and installations are continuing in Sheffield and across the rest of Yorkshire, which it is hoped will continue to deliver the benefits we’ve seen so far.” Work is continuing to install further monitors in Sheffield postcodes, with approximately 10,000 monitors due to be in place when the project completes. Page 7
  • 8. ACCIONAandtheUniversityofGironacreateadigitaltwintooptimize the operation of WWTPs In line with its commitment to sustainability and innovation, ACCIONA has launched the HADES project, "Decision Support Tool for the optimization of WWTPs operation", in collaboration with the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Laboratory (LEQUIA) research group of the University of Girona. The HADES project pursues the development of a virtual replica or digital twin of a wastewater treatment Plant (WWTP). This digital twin will be based on biokinetic and hydrodynamic modeling in different platforms and languages, and will interact with artificial intelligence tools and advanced control strategies. The final objective is to optimize the operation of the WWTPs with modern multivariable control techniques. In this way, the reactive operation paradigm, common in most WWTPs, will be replaced by a proactive approach that will provide efficiency and long-term stability to the treatment facilities. To do this, HADES will integrate internal and external plant data, expert knowledge and calibrated models in real time in a solution that will function as a digital twin, that is, a virtual duplicate of the treatment process of a WWTP. As a result, HADES will help to optimize the wastewater treatment processes to prevent future unwanted events such as deflocculation, formation of biofoams, filamentous bulking, etc., guaranteeing a significant reduction in the energy used, an improvement in the quality of the effluents and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, thanks to this project it will be possible to carry out detailed monitoring of the treatment processes, including a virtual sensor functionality, that will allow to know operating parameters that are difficult to monitor online in a conventional WWTP. HADES will be part of an Edge computing solution, which will be validated at the La Almunia de Doña Godina WWTP in Zaragoza. However, the solution will be widely replicable, and can be implemented in both new and existing plants, thus generating a competitive advantage for ACCIONA within the sector. The expected direct impact, if implemented in all the WWTPs operated by ACCIONA, could prevent the annual emission of 1,125 tons of CO2, and minimize the use of chemical products in the different stages of the wastewater treatment process. The HADES project, with a budget close to one million euros and coordinated by ACCIONA, has the strategic participation of the LEQUIA Research Group of the University of Girona, with wide experience in the development of modeling tools and decision support systems within the water sector. ACCIONA, with extensive experience in the design and operation of sewage treatment plants, is immersed in a global digitalization process. The development of this project contributes to reinforce its commitment to innovation and the application of the latest technologies, under the principles of the circular and low carbon economy. Page 8
  • 9. Severn Trent launches phase 2 of Smart Water ambitions for Coventry and Warwickshire Severn Trent Water is continuing with its ambitions to transform Coventry and Warwickshire into a smart water region with the phase two launch of its smart water network roll-out. With support from IoT specialist Connexin, the collaboration is part of Severn Trent Water’s £20 million Green Recovery Programme, which will enable the new smart water network to remotely collect and analyse data on water usage to track flow, identify loss of water and fix leaks faster than ever before. With the first roll-out of 30,000 Itron smart water meters complete in the install trial in May 2022, the second phase is now near completion with Connexin launching its LoRaWAN® communication network throughout the city. Anthony Hickinbottom, Severn Trent’s Green Recovery Project Lead, commented: “We’re really impressed with the pace this project is moving at, and we’re well on the way to creating a smart water region for Coventry and Warwickshire. “The new communications network by Connexin allows us to gather more data than ever before across our water network, helping to find and fix leaks and allowing us to share information on water usage with our customers. Which could in turn help them save water – at a time when saving money on bills is crucial. “Earlier this year we commenced our first installation phase of ‘smart ready’ meters which saw us installing over 30,000 meters in under three months – quicker than expected. “Now the network is established, our meters have connected online, meaning we’re able to get a greater understanding and insight into the water network. With the help of these clever smart meters, we can ensure we’re saving water where possible by doing what we can to look after it.” With the first roll-out of 30,000 Itron smart water meters complete in the install trial in May 2022, the second phase is now near completion with Connexin launching its LoRaWAN® communication network throughout the city. With support from Coventry City Council, data points have been installed onto lamp posts across the city to create gateways for the network that the smart water meters can report into. This provides Severn Trent with valuable water usage data in near real-time to gain a better understanding of water consumption on its network, to act immediately. By 2025, a further 70,000 smart water meters will be installed in Coventry. 57,000 will also be deployed in the wider Warwickshire region, which will run on Connexin’s LoRaWAN® network to collect nearly 9,000 data entry points per meter per year. In addition, customers will have access to a portal to monitor water consumption to gain insight into usage to encourage efficiency and cost savings. Councillor Patricia Hetherton, Cabinet Member for City Services at Coventry City Council, said: “We were very pleased that we were able to work with Severn Trent on this project which aims to enable them to be more responsive to water usage in our city. “Having access to real-time data should help them to fix leaks more quickly and respond to customer needs. It’s good to see a local company leading the way on a project like this.” Severn Trent Water - creating an intelligent infrastructure for Warwickshire region Dan Preece, Vice President of IoT at Connexin, commented: “We are incredibly pleased with the progression of the smart water network roll-out in Coventry. “IoT and smart technologies are providing us with a real opportunity to create a more efficient, greener, and sustainable water network of the future. One that will be realised by the citizens of Warwickshire in the coming months and years to come. “The fact that customers will be able to access a portal to monitor their water consumption empowers their control to decrease usage, protecting one of our most valuable resources and ultimately reducing bills, which is needed now more than ever in the current economic climate.” Justin Patrick, Senior Vice President of Device Solutions at Itron, added: “Severn Trent Water is creating an intelligent infrastructure for the Warwickshire region. “Through the use of smart water solutions, Severn Trent Water will digitalise and optimise their operations for managing resources more efficiently and to better understand their water usage, passing on the benefits to the customer.” Page 9
  • 10. Olea Edge Analytics launches pilot program for data-driven analysis of water loss Olea Edge Analytics™, a provider of intelligent solutions and services for the water utility industry, today announced the launch of a pilot program to deploy smart technology to 25 large commercial meters in California’s Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) service area. Olea’s Meter Health Analytics (MHA) solution uses AI technology to provide previously unattainable insights into the performance of commercial and industrial water meters, which can have an outsized impact on both water loss and utility revenue. A 2018 study found that non-revenue water — water that has been produced but is "lost" before it reaches the customer — comprised 30% of water system input volumes worldwide. The total cost of such losses for utilities can be up to $39 billion per year. “EVMWD is one of the country’s most technologically savvy utility companies, and they were interested in trying an innovative solution to reduce water loss and maximize water efficiency,” Olea Edge Analytics CFO Jennifer Crow said. “When large commercial meters perform optimally, it benefits the entire system. The largest water consumers are billed accurately, and utilities can address significant apparent water loss quickly.” Municipalities across California have asked their customers to reduce their water use as the state contends with its third straight year of drought. Despite some respite from heavy rains in December and January, the need for efficiency remains to ensure supplies for the future. While customers are doing their own part individually, the District also implements tactics to ensure water reliability in its own systems. “When confronting the challenges of drought, EVMWD takes a multifaceted approach to ensure water is available 24/7 for our community,” said Greg Thomas, General Manager for Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District. “Using tools, like Olea’s solution for larger meters, will allow our Operations team to more accurately detect and address water loss.” Yorkshire Water partners with BT for smart water project Yorkshire Water has improved connectivity for its remote smart sensor technology and enabled up to 1,000 Nidderdale residents, businesses and visitors to benefit from new mobile phone coverage, thanks to a partnership with BT which saw a new EE 4G mast installed. State of the art monitors have been installed on water courses feeding Scar House reservoir, to help monitor and improve water quality. The data from the monitors will be transmitted to Yorkshire Water by the newly installed EE 4G mast, to allow scientists and engineers to pro-actively select the best available water sources for transfer to its water treatment works. Weather, temperature, and the condition of the moorland can impact the quality of water sources, as they can influence things like the amount of peat found in the water. The better the water quality is at source, the less energy it takes to process at the treatment works, reducing Yorkshire Water’s carbon footprint and supporting its net zero carbon ambition. Yorkshire Water’s product and process manager, Ted Rycroft, said: “Water coming out of customers taps will continue to be the high quality that it always has been – the key change here is that the water coming into the treatment works will be of higher quality, and therefore require less treatment. That helps us to keep costs down for our customers and our operational emissions to a minimum, while maintaining our high standards of water quality.” BT’s Managing Director for Corporate and Public Sector, Ashish Gupta, said: “This project is the perfect example of using tech to work smarter – benefiting both local people and the environment. The benefits of this are huge: from improving the water quality to cutting emissions. Another major benefit is the EE mast we’re using to send sensor data securely over the network is also providing 4G mobile coverage for residents.” Managing water at its source is a more cost effective and environmentally friendly approach than traditional energy intensive and expensive “end of pipe” treatment solutions. The real-time monitoring of moorland water has allowed the water company to save millions of pounds on a previously planned new treatment process its treatment works. Page 10
  • 11. Severn Trent transforming wastewater management in industry first trial using AI Severn Trent is creating artificial intelligence (AI) as part of an industry first trial, that will use technology to predict weather conditions, forecast maintenance, and control waste flow to better manage its network. The project - part of the Ofwat Innovation Fund - will see the intelligent technology deployed on its network, such as pumping stations, that will then operate independently, by using forecasting and real time monitors. The company say the benefits of trialling the innovative AI technology will allow its network to operate more efficiently and will predict issues and prevent them before they occur. Meaning less overflow activations, and better management of its network in storm conditions. Severn Trent is leading with the project in collaboration with others and say that the project is set to not only bring big benefits to customers and the environment but will help create the blueprint of how waste networks can operate effectively using AI in the future. Rich Walwyn, Head of Head of Asset Intelligence & Innovation at Severn Trent said: “This project has the potential to transform our waste networks, and it’s truly exciting that innovation and technology are at the heart of it. “By turning to innovation and developing the artificial intelligence, this technology is able to forecast and get the network in prime condition. So, when we know heavy rain is predicted, the network will automatically optimise the network’s storage ready for the extra flow and divert flow away from overflows and hot spots reducing the risk of flooding and pollution. “This means our customers and environment are more protected, and we can better control the flow of the extra rainfall to the treatment works. The AI technology will help the network be forward thinking and prepare itself in the event of storm conditions,” Not only does the project itself bring a whole host of great benefits, but the learnings we find from this trial can revolutionise how we manage our waste networks in the future. Which ultimately would be a fantastic result for our customers.” The company is working with a number of partners to deliver it, including four other water companies and six industry partners specialising in areas to collaborate on the project, such as BT, Rockwell Automation, 8 Power, Blackburn Starling, University of Exeter, Thames Water and South West Water. Danny Longbottom, Director of England and Wales for BT, said: “This is a vitally important project for the water industry and a great example of how we can use technology for good. We are providing the predictive maintenance technologies required to help address challenges around waste flow. We will also demonstrate how smart technology can be the bedrock to build an intelligent sewer network.” Dr Peter Melville-Shreeve, University of Exeter commented: “From a research perspective we are helping share ideas and technologies from around the world with the team here at Severn Trent. Innovations around intelligent wastewater management are developing apace, and the Centre for Water Systems researchers are looking forward to analysing data from the coming deployments.” Severn Trent is launching the trial in Derbyshire in Alfreton, and is trialling the AI until 2025. Page 11
  • 12. Article: Monitoring rivers and the wastewater system In the past month in the UK there has been various calls for monitoring of the wastewater systems in England & Wales. Some of the history of what seems to be done in the wastewater industry seems to have been lost to the annals of time (well the past ten years anyway – we seem to have a short-term memory nowadays). A little bit of history Prior to around 2005, although it was present, the monitoring of how much flow was passing through wastewater treatment plants was somewhat hit and miss. In some areas it was very good and in others not so much. The use of data was also relatively poor as the definition of flow and its environmental permit was pretty poor too. The actual definition of how much flow a treatment works treated on a dry day was: the average daily flow to the treatment works during seven consecutive days without rain (excluding a period which includes public holidays) following seven days during which the rainfall did not exceed 0.25mm on any one day". In 2005 there was a study sponsored by United Kingdom Water Industry Research (UKWIR) on a different method of assessing what the dry weather flow performance of a treatment works was. This study was called “Alternative Methods of Sewage Treatment Works Dry Weather Flow (and is available by clicking here - https://ukwir.org/eng/reports/05-WW-21-6/115263/Alternative-Measures-of-Sewage-Treatment-Works-Dry-Weather-Flow). It was proposed in the paper to use the 20th percentile or the Q80 to assess dry weather flow performance of treatment works. From this paper it was realised that the dry weather flow performance across the industry wasn’t very good mainly because the measurement and management of flows needed improving. Borne out of this realisation was the Monitoring Certification Scheme (MCERTS) for the self-monitoring of effluent flow. The water companies spent the next few years improving flow monitoring and bringing it up to the new standard. From this came the realisation that permits needed to be adjusted which took another asset management cycle. Once this was in action and working the Environment Agency moved on and in July 2013 there was a letter from the then Secretary of State for the Environment, Richard Benyon, that the water companies must monitor the “vast majority of CSOs by 2020”. This kicked off what was arguably the largest monitoring programme that the water industry had ever seen. This was the event duration monitoring programme which took place between 2015-2020 and the vast majority has become all combined storm overflows by 2023. Now this is where some of the most recent headlines have come in calling for flow monitoring at these points. These were indeed covered as the Environment Agency proposed a risk-based approach with the potential for flow and quality monitoring if the risk justified it. In practice this wasn’t instigated at the time as it was enough for the water companies just to install event duration monitors. Since the EDM programme started to be instigated in 2015 and finished in 2020 the number of spills recorded has increased by huge amounts. The reason why is absolutely obvious insofar as at the time we were only just starting to record the performance of CSOs and each and every year the number of monitors were increasing. When seeing this reported as a % increase this is a complete mis-portrayal of the situation as the asset base were still not fully installed or commissioned. It was the EDM programme which also has led to the current issues that are widely reported in terms of the number of monitors installed. What we have to also realise is that a lot of the instruments were installed far too quickly stretching the installation capacity of the industry. This results in the degradation of the quality of the installation and the reliability of the data. Next up was the monitoring of the peak flows in wastewater treatment works and this was first discussed in 2014 and started to come into force for the 2019 asset management plans for delivery within 2020 and 2025. This saw event duration monitoring put on storm weirs and showing when a site started to utilise the storm management system (where not already installed) and the measurement of the pass forward flow of the wastewater treatment works. There are further complications of this with additional flows within the treatment works having to be counted and deducted. Of course historically, when flow monitoring was installed the importance of flow measurement concentrated on what was discharged from the treatment works. This was used as the basis of environmental permits and modelling of the impact on the river environment. The volume of wastewater treated was seen as more important than the instantaneous flow arriving at the treatment works. This of course has now changed but what this means from a physical point of view is a major overhaul of civil structures on wastewater treatment plants just to install flow monitoring. Of course on smaller works (which are the majority of the physical number of treatment works) the uncertainty of measurement principle can be used so that the final effluent monitor can be used. However, the state of the art and the state of monitoring has meant that more flow monitoring that is necessary is being installed. Lastly the next monitoring that is due to happen was first put into law under the Environment Act in 2021 under Section 82 which is the quality monitoring of all storm overflows for a set suite of parameters. If the industry thought the EDM programme was big enough then this programme of works makes it seem insignificant as tens of thousands of installations will be installed across the country and indeed Europe once the revised Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive comes into force. Page 12
  • 13. Some practicalities In the recent press we have seen calls to monitor the volume of flow going over each and every storm overflow and what has to be realised here is (a) some of the history and (b) some of the practicalities of doing this. Historically the Environment Agency did consider this within their risk-based approach to event duration monitoring including an option for volumetric monitoring. The risk-based approach actually identified volumetric monitoring as an option where spills numbers are high for high amenity areas. This was a pragmatic approach to keep the costs reasonable to the customer. Where the risk- based approach was somewhat misguided (easy to say in hindsight) was the need for telemetry which was of course included everywhere and now we are of course seeing Event Duration monitors installed everywhere too. The addition of volumetric modelling can be done in some places but practically would be very expensive to add in some areas. CSOs can be very shallow or very deep see flows of a few litres per second to a few thousand litres per second. They are typically in remote locations and are sometimes located in the middle of roads. The limitations of power and communication systems means that in reality to install volumetric monitoring everywhere is (a) impractical and (b) would be incredibly expensive which all would reflect in customers bills. In some areas then yes, there is a benefit but in others areas where CSOs don’t spill and are in either low or non-amenity areas the question as to why would we monitor has to be asked. The same practicalities can be looked at when we look at inlet flow monitoring at wastewater treatment works. Although power and telemetry aren’t an issue the physical limitations can be an issue. One of the discussions that happened very early on in the monitoring of pass forward flow (the flow passing forward for treatment) was treatment works with very little space at the start of the treatment works. Figure 2 shows an example of this. The concrete weirs in the structure are the storm overflow structures and the channel post this storm overflow point passes directly to the next treatment stage. To install a flow meter means that the structure would have to be removed entirely, rebuilt and a flow meter installed within the new process. The cost would be significantly in excess of £1 million just to fit flow measurement. As a result of this the use of final effluent flow meters for the assessment of flow performance was looked at but in reality not very well applied across the water industry. There are just some of the practicalities of monitoring across the anthropogenic water cycle and in reality we do need to look at where we practically need to monitor, where we don’t have to monitor and what we are going to get out of the monitoring. Figure 1 – Environment Agency risk-based approach to EDM monitoring Figure 2: Installing a flow meter at this location is a problem Page 13
  • 14. The purpose of monitoring the wastewater & river environments What is the end goal? What as an industry and a customer-base do we want. Over the past 15 -20 years we have had improvements in wastewater treatment works monitoring not just once but twice (with the current programmes of works). We have had the monitoring of overflows to the environment, albeit in just time of spill rather than a full volumetric assessment. This is giving everyone a very good picture of how the water industry is performing in its duties to treat wastewater. The public reaction to just the EDM data that is published each year as well as the water companies online data is testament enough that the water industry is being held to account for its performance in a way that it has never been before. There is a lot more to come here with the current programmes of work that are ongoing and the need to publish the data from all of the new monitoring in 2026. The quality of the data is also going to be held to account with everything coming under the Environment Agency Monitoring Certification Scheme (MCERTS). This is already putting the industry under a lot of pressure and stress. Next, we have got to look at Section 82 and ask what is the point? Monitoring of the water company storm overflows is certainly a part of it but not the entirety of the problem. What happens, if instead of monitoring just the overflows we look at monitoring the river environment. We know when water company overflows are operating via event duration monitors, what we don’t know is the diffuse pollution sources from other sources. If we monitor just the water company overflows we are surely missing the trick of monitoring the river environment in its entirety which can point environmental investigations as to root causes. Additionally, the whole overflow piece looks at the elimination of environmental harm. The arguments that are to come are obvious in terms of “the harm” isn’t coming from this element its coming from another. The obvious aim of all of this is that we get the aquatic environment up to a standard where it is excellent everywhere. We do need to monitor and we do need to ensure that the quality of our environments are degraded by anthropogenic activities but this all comes at a very large cost which if we undertake to take on this responsibility we have to ensure that both the customer and the environment get the best possible outcome. Using Real Vs. Artificial Intelligence To Design And Operate Hydraulic Systems It’s difficult to pick up an engineering magazine or journal without seeing an article about how artificial intelligence (AI) is going to solve all of our problems. While these tools are indeed powerful and useful, are they really the panacea that they are sold as? For this blog, let’s contrast AI models with physics-based models. Physics-based models are those based on scientific principles like F = ma or mass in = mass out, or empirical relationships such as Manning’s equation or the Rational Method. AI models are based on a different valid principle—the past is a good predictor of the future. Hydraulic calculations have traditionally been based on physics-based models because we understand those principles. Yet, I’m seeing a trend where investigators are saying that they don’t need physics-based models for design and operation of hydraulic systems. And to be fair, it’s possible to find a hand-picked example, where an AI model is accurate and fast. AI models are trained using historical data. To the extent that the problems being posed are for the same system as the training data, it is reasonable to expect that the AI model can yield good results. But hydraulic design and operational analysis usually involve answering “what if” questions and these almost always involve situations that were not encountered in the training data set. For example: • What if we replace this pump? • How will we respond to the fire on Adams St.? • How will the new tank affect pumping operation? • How will the best management practice reduce runoff? Chances are that the AI training data does not include the new pump, or have a fire at Adams St., or include the not yet constructed tank, or have data on the new BMP. Extrapolating an AI model beyond its training data is risky at best. Addressing these issues in a well calibrated physics-based model provides confidence that the results are very likely to be accurate. In the hands of AI professionals, with adequate data, AI models can be very valuable for predicting behaviors that can’t be modelled using physics-based models, for example, which pipe is most likely to break next? AI professionals understand the limitations of their tools but marketing material circulating these days doesn’t always acknowledge them. As with any model, users need to understand the underlying principles, especially given that models of either type have become so complicated, that no one understands every nuance. However, understanding the basic principles behind the models, users can make the right choices in selecting their tools. Page 14
  • 16. Case Study: Leak Detection, operational efficiency and long term planning Background Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), founded in 1956, provides drinking water, residual water, energy, gas and other services to residents of Medellin, Colombia as well as surrounding areas in the Antioquia Department and beyond. Its water network has 213 DMAs in 94 zones serving more than 4 million people. Goals As its network, infrastructure and staff grew over the years, so did the amount of data it was collecting. Handling visual information manually became more complex and time consuming. EPM’s field teams struggled to manage the many leak and asset failure events and mostly operated in reactive mode following consumers’ reports of water bursts. The utility needed a more efficient workflow for identifying and assigning such events, including better prioritization and planning. “For example,” says Carlos Humberto Palacio Sierra, Head of the Water Losses and Wastewater Control Unit at EPM, “sudden changes in signals from the various sensors were monitored by the SCADA system, but no analysis was done. Management of the nightline was based on SCADA, as were leak searches. Once the nightline was graphed, the searches were planned. A separate application took the data from the SCADA and generated a graph of the minimum nightline.” That process was slow and labor-intensive, resulting in high water losses. And, as EPM’s network grew, it became harder to scale up nightline management. EPM realized it needed a better way to achieve more with its existing resources. This meant a better way to analyze information, and to make searching for leaks more systematic and efficient rather than reactive. It wanted a system that would automatically indicate events with more information and understanding than what SCADA can provide. The system also needed to be simple to use (and effective) to ensure that EPM’s personnel would adopt it. Solution EPM considered varied technologies and solutions and ultimately opted for analytics software. Following a successful pilot that produced good results, EPM chose the TaKaDu Central Event Management (CEM) solution. It began using TaKaDu in August 2019. Initially, TaKaDu was introduced to a large group of key people within the organization to raise awareness of it. Subsequently, specific users were identified and their roles and interactions with third parties were established. An efficient workflow was developed from there. No changes were required to EPM’s infrastructure in order to implement the TaKaDu CEM. Results TaKaDu provides EPM with a more holistic picture of its network and water management. With 24/7 automatic detection of events, including early-stage leaks when no other indicators are present, ongoing prioritization is now possible. Asset failures such as pressure, water quality, reservoir level, faulty meters and communication failures are caught earlier. This enables EPM to deal with them more efficiently and with fewer resources. It can make many small repairs to fix small leaks across its large network to reduce physical losses, rather than incurring the substantially higher costs of fixing major bursts. As Carlos notes, “We have greater control of the nightline across the entire system. Thanks to TaKaDu, we can now prioritize failure events according to the importance of the signals.” Ultimately, this all contributes to an overall reduction in water loss across EPM’s network. After working with TaKaDu for some time and fixing leaks identified through the system, EPM’s minimum nightline stabilized. Carlos notes that a lower and more stable minimum nightline enables long- term planning for fixes in the field to decrease losses even more. Workflow efficiency and inter-departmental communications have also improved dramatically. EPM can now properly manage events throughout their lifecycle and perform activities such as sharing events with colleagues, auto-logs of the changes, writing comments and attaching files. Today TaKaDu is part of EPM’s daily routine,across departments. The system automatically creates alerts and emails messages to designated users. The Integrated Operations unit assigns the alerts to the Loss Control team, where operators drill down into the events, identify issues and prioritize them based on the values and criticality, according to the sector. Activities are then assigned to the Equipment Maintenance and Network Maintenance units according to the event type. Prior to closing the event, automatic verification of the fixes in the field confirm thatthe problem has been solved. With this daily use, “the objective of having greater visibility at the time of making operational decisions has been achieved,” says Carlos. With that, he notes, “Every month or so, EPM management looks at KPIs to understand the performance of people, processes and technology (PPT). Based on that, operational plans are adjusted to optimize them.” And over time, benefits have only improved. “By cross-referencing changes in flow rates to changes in pressure, we’re able to identify the source of the problem more easily. As we gain more and more experience, we are better able to identify problems and we know how to address them more effectively,” he continues. Page 16
  • 17. Specific event highlight Carlos points to a specific example when the TaKaDu system detected an increased flow event running at 20 l/s in a sub-circuit known as 12 de Octubre. The Operations team analyzed the event and, noticing that the night values were high, suspected a leak. A field team was sent out to track it down. After the field team combed the sector without finding the leak, EPM turned to TaKaDu to help it interpret the graph. Analysis of the pressure data and the behavior of the flow indicated that the situation was due to a boundary valve in a bordering sector. EPM’s Loss Control unit then searched for a corresponding negative flow event of equal magnitude. An event was found in the Picacho sector bordering the southern part of the 12 de Octubre sector. The field team then checked just the boundary valves between these two sectors and was able to confirm that there was indeed an open boundary valve, apparently left open after maintenance activities. Once the boundary valve was closed, both sectors returned to normal, which was reflected and verified in TaKaDu. The Operations team took away several important lessons from this event, enabling it to avoid overbroad searches in the future. This allows timelier responses, effectively reducing water loss and improving service quality. The view ahead Going forward, EPM plans to increase the sectorization of its network and expand telemetry coverage to enable it to get even more value from TaKaDu. “The benefits demonstrated by TaKaDu allow a justified investment in new telemetry and in sub-sectoring to reduce the route of leak detection teams,” says Carlos. With water loss reduction and operational efficiency achieved, EPM is now evaluating integration of its work orders with TaKaDu to enable even greater visibility into the activities of other departments, for more informed decisions based on the additional insight. EPM is also considering a pressure management project and a network reorganization project to further facilitate the field interventions that allow overall better operation of the network and consequently will extend the lifespan of assets. Overall, Carlos concludes, “TaKaDu is a very versatile and easy to learn tool which we would definitely recommend. The system is reliable and identifies problems with very few false positives. This does not always mean a simple and quick solution. But TaKaDu assures us of the existence of an anomaly that is identifiable, delimited and measurable in the field, which we can work with.” By working with TaKaDu, EPM has significantly advanced its operational excellence. With the ability to identify problems faster and more accurately, EPM is incurring less collateral damage to assets and is investing fewer resources in repairs, while also reducing water loss. Page 17
  • 19. Article: Measuring Blower Airflow in the Field Most electric utilities offer customer incentives for implementing energy conservation measures (ECMs) Incentive programs pay customers to use less energy. In some cases they are mandated by legislation and in others the incentives are driven by the utility’s desire to avoid building new generating capacity. Some incentives are based on reduced energy use (kWh) and some are based on lower peak demand (kW). Electricity is a major budget item in municipal and industrial Water Resource Recovery Facilities (WRRFs). Blowers that supply air to treatment processes are the largest single use of electricity in most WRRFs. That makes them a prime target for ECMs. Many blower projects involve replacing or supplementing existing units with new energy-efficient blowers. (Although there is no universal definition, the term “blower” is generally applied to air moving equipment with a discharge pressure between one and 30 psig.) Measurement & Verification Most utility incentive programs require measurement and verification (M&V). This allows the utility to verify that the projected energy savings are achieved and the incentive payment is justified. There are two steps to the M&V process. Prior to implementing the ECM baseline energy measurements are taken to establish the existing system’s energy use. When the ECM is implemented the new energy use is measured to confirm the improvement. There are many metrics used for wastewater treatment energy comparisons. These include kWh per million gallons treated and kWh per pound of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) removed. In most plants process loads vary seasonally, day to day, and hour to hour. These variations inherently make timely comparison between old and new systems difficult. Blower efficiency is a problematic metric because efficiency is measured in several ways, may reflect the blower alone or the complete blower system, and does not directly identify the energy or power used by the aeration process. A useful metric for comparisons is specific power. This is usually expressed as kilowatts per hundred scfm (kW/100 scfm). Where: e = specific power, kW/scfm. PE= electric motor power draw, kW. qstd = airflow rate, scfm (standard ft3/minute at 68°F, 14.7 psia 36% relative humidity). The specific power is calculated using a single set of inlet conditions and discharge pressure. If the inlet temperature, inlet pressure, or discharge pressure change then the specific power will also change. For accurate comparisons of the performance before and after the ECM, or comparisons of different technologies, inlet and discharge conditions should be consistent. Calculation methods are provided in test codes such as ASME PTC 13 to convert performance at one set of conditions to performance at another set. The Opportunities Many existing blower technologies have been in use for decades. These include lobe-type positive displacement blowers, multi-stage centrifugal blowers, and geared single stage blowers. Other types of blowers, such as the screw blower and the high-speed gearless turbo blower, are more recent introductions to the wastewater treatment field. New control technologies, such as Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs), have provided additional opportunities for ECMs with any blower technology. These opportunities for energy savings are supported by the utility incentive programs. Many pay up to 50% of the cost of new equipment and installation. Some programs will also help pay for engineering evaluation and design of upgrades. Measurement of existing blower performance and baseline specific power establishes the potential incentive for a blower replacement. That typically requires field measurement of the critical blower performance parameters: flow, pressure, inlet temperature, and power. The Challenge Field measurement of airflow is usually challenging. Accurate flow measurement requires a uniform velocity profile across the diameter of the pipe. The presence of valves and fittings creates distortion in the velocity profile. The compact arrangement of the piping system in most blower rooms decreases accuracy. Flow straighteners may help but are often inadequate in compensating for existing piping arrangements. Few existing blower installations have accurate flow measurement available. On the other hand, accurate temperature and pressure measurements are straightforward and can be accomplished with simple and inexpensive instruments. A simple pipe tap and fittings are all that is required to insert the instruments into the pipe, and instrument location is not critical. Measuring electric power is also straightforward. If permanent sub-metering equipment is not available power measurement can be accomplished by qualified personnel with portable instruments and clamp on connections. Page 19
  • 20. Note that regardless of flow measurement method, determination of blower system power is necessary for ECM measurement and verification procedures. Alternate Methods There are several alternate methods for determining airflow that can replace direct measurement. These methods may be applicable to only specific blower types or control methods. Positive Displacement (PD) blowers with known displacement and slip characteristics can use blower speed to estimate inlet volumetric flow. There are some inaccuracies with this method: slip rpm changes with discharge pressure and wear, and the relationship between inlet cubic feet per minute (icfm) and ambient or discharge airflow is affected by pressure drop through filters and silencers. Still, this method provides adequate accuracy for many applications. Throttled centrifugal blowers often include a “calibrated” ammeter. This uses the correlation between flow and motor amperage to approximate inlet airflow rate. This method is subject to inaccuracy when motor voltage or inlet air temperature changes. This method is not suitable for blowers using variable speed or guide vane control. Another Solution A method based on simple measurements and thermodynamics has been used for many years to accurately determine airflow. Power draw, inlet and discharge temperature, and inlet and discharge pressure are used in conjunction with fundamental thermodynamic equations to determine flow. (See Figure 1.) Figure 1: Example measurement system. The calculation is performed in two parts. First, the efficiency of the bare blower is determined: Where: XAD = Adiabatic factor, dimensionless. pd = Absolute discharge pressure, psia. pi = Absolute inlet pressure, psia. k = ratio of specific heats, Cp/Cv, dimensionless, ≈1.395. ηB = efficiency of bare blower, decimal. Td = Absolute discharge temperature, °R = °F + 460. Ti = Absolute inlet temperature, °R = °F + 460. The ratio of specific heats, k, is equal to 1.395 for perfect diatomic gases. For air, k varies slightly with temperature and relative humidity. Exact relationships are available in many sources, including ASME PTC 13, but in all but the most extreme cases only minor errors are introduced by using k = 1.395. Inlet and discharge pressure may be measured directly using absolute pressure transmitters. It is more common to measure gauge pressure on the discharge of the blower. On the inlet side suction measurement identifies the pressure drop through inlet filters and piping. Barometric pressure is used to determine the absolute pressures. Page 20
  • 21. Where: pbar = site barometric pressure, psia. pgauge = discharge pressure, psig. Δpfilter = inlet filter and pressure drop, psig. Barometric pressure is not a constant. It varies slightly with weather conditions and dramatically with site elevation. The average site barometric pressure can be calculated if the elevation is known. p_bar=14.7-Elev/2000 Where: Elev = site elevation, ft above sea level. Weather conditions will cause some deviations in barometric pressure. The range is less than plus or minus 0.5 psi, even for extreme weather conditions. The variation is commonly less than plus or minus 0.25 psi. It is possible to obtain the current barometric pressure reading from a weather station or barometer. However, most barometric readings include an adjustment so that the reading is equivalent to sea level readings. This permits direct comparison between different locations. Before using a barometer reading it should be determined if a correction has been used. If so, the appropriate value for site elevation should be applied. Blower power draw is necessary to calculate the flow rate. Actual shaft power is difficult to measure, so generally the motor power draw is measured and the shaft power calculated from it. Where: PB = blower shaft power, bhp. ηm = motor efficiency, decimal. PL = blower mechanical losses, hp Blower mechanical losses from bearings, gears, lube systems, etc. are typically between one and three percent of motor power. Three phase power measurement is not always available. In that case the electric power draw may be calculated from measured voltage and current. Where: I = measured motor current draw, Amp, average of three phases. V = measured motor voltage, Volts, average of three phases. PF = motor power factor, decimal. Motor nameplates generally include the full load motor efficiency and power factor. These values vary across the motor’s power range but are nearly constant above 50% power. Values at various power draws are available from motor data tables and should be used if available. The final step is calculating the blower volumetric airflow. Page 21
  • 22. Where: qv,i = volumetric airflow rate, cfm (ft3/minute). The measured data can be used to calculate the equivalent scfm airflow at standard conditions by ignoring relative humidity. This method is similar to the widely accepted thermodynamic pump testing method identified in ISO 5198. Because the temperature rise from compressing air is much larger than the typical temperature rise in pumps the method is actually easier to implement with blowers. Accuracy of the flow value depends on the accuracy of the input data, of course, but the accuracy of this method exceeds flow meter accuracy when installation conditions are marginal. Some precautions should be taken when the system is used for real time airflow measurement and blower control. During the time immediately following starting of a blower the temperature of the impellers and case have not stabilized. This affects the discharge air temperature and efficiency calculations. The calculated efficiency should be clamped (limited) to reasonable maximum and minimum values. This will prevent gross inaccuracy in the flow calculation. Similarly all measured values should be range checked and the blower should be stopped if signals are lost or outside reasonable ranges. Accurate Airflow Rates Utility incentives are based on energy savings. The energy consumption of a blower system is never constant, since flowrate and pressure and temperature are all continuously varying. In order to compare before and after energy consumption, or to compare the consumption of alternate blowers, it is common to use specific power. Flow meter technology can be very advanced, and if proper installation techniques are used accuracy can be excellent. However, space restrictions often necessitate compromises that negate the inherent meter accuracy. It is often required to obtain measurements on existing installations that do not have flow meters installed. In these situations the thermodynamic testing method can provide accurate airflow rates using simple, inexpensive instruments. The method is suitable to portable devices and temporary instrument installations for ECM measurement and verification as well as real time control applications. About the Authors For 25 years, John Conover has worked in the field of compressors and blowers domestically and internationally. He’s an expert in sales, sales management, product and business development, and marketing. John is the Business Development Manager for Air Clean USA. Tom Jenkins has over forty years’ experience in blowers and blower applications. As an inventor and entrepreneur he has pioneered many innovations in aeration and blower control. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. For more information, visit www.jentechinc.com. Page 22
  • 23. Water, Wastewater & Environmental Monitoring Conference & Exhibition Birmingham, UK 9th - 10th October 2024 WWEM is moving to the Birmingham NEC in 2024. Planning is still underway but the firm favourites like the Flow Forum, Instrumentation Apprentice Competition and the Learning Zone will be returning as well as some surprises. Watch this space for updates but what is sure that in its new home in Birmingham the WWEM Conference and Exhibition will be bigger than ever. Sensor for Water Interest Group Workshops The Sensors for Water Interest Group has moved their workshops for the foreseeable future to an online webinar format. The next workshops are 22 nd March 2023 - Manchester - Cyber Threat & Instrumentation 19 th April 2023 - Milton Keynes - Operation & Maintenance of Sensors in the Water Industry 24 th May 2023 - London - Optimising water & waste systems using AI,ML and IOT IWA Digital Water Summit Bilbao, Spain 14th -16th November 2023 The highly successful IWA Digital Water Summit returns to Bilbao in November 2023 for its 2nd edition. These dates are provisional at the moment. The 1st summit highlighted the potential and the 2nd summit will build on the first in November 2023 Sensing in Water 2023 Nottingham, UK 27th -28th September 2023 After its break due to the Covid Pandemic the Sensors in Water Group 2-day conference returns to the Nottingham Belfry to talk about all things sensing. What this space for more updates SWAN Forum Conference Glasgow, Scotland 9th -11th May 2023 This year the SWAN Conference returns to the UK and specifically Glasgow with the aim this year to ask attendees to answer the question of how to make Smart Water mainstream. WEX Global 2023 Seville, Spain 27th -29th March 2023 Water & Energy Exchange Global is one of my favourite conferences in the calendar. This year moving from Valencia to Seville in Southern Spain the B2B conference is bound to concentrate on what we can do to use Smart Circular Solutions to build a better world, Global Smart Water Metering & Intelligent Data Utilisation Conference London, UK 26th -27th April 2023 At this conference, case studies and practical solutions from the United Kingdom, Europe and the rest of the world will be presented, illustrating how water utilities in particular scenarios and markets evaluate the business case for investing in smart metering technologies to achieve their core objectives. Global Leakage Summit London, UK 5th -6th September 2023 The Global Leakage Summit returns to London in September, 4-6 at the Thistle Hotel (formerly Amba), Marble Arch, London, for its 13th year, bringing to delegates the usual mix of top quality UK and international water utility speakers it has become renowned for. Page 23 Conferences, Events, Seminars & Studies Conferences, Seminars & Events 2022 Conference Calendar
  • 24. Water, Energy & Climate Change Smart Circular Solutions to build a better world Join us at WEX Global 2023 27th – 29th March, Seville Spain Co-Host: Global Business Development Partner: Welcoming Utility: FIND OUT MORE & TO BOOK YOUR PLACE VISIT www.wex-global.com Meet-4-Business at WEX Global The relaxed but business focused atmosphere at WEX Global offers the perfect environment to grow your international network. A busy timetable of both formal and informal networking events will present you with an array of opportunities to meet everyone that is important to you. WEX Global occupies a unique place in the water conference calendar. Business discussions and connections lie at the heart of WEX, along with the principle of ‘exchange’; the exchange of ideas, philosophies, business opportunities and methodologies to build the strong networks that will meet the challenges of the circular economy in mitigating climate change, achieving net zero and turbo-charging digital transformation. “being part of the WEX Global network is not an expense, it’s an investment” Mohsen Mortada, President Cole Engineering Page 24