Improving Asset Health • Trenchless Technology • Wastewater Monitoring & Analysis Wastewater Treatment & Technology • Sludge Management • Pressure Sensors for Water Pipelines
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Another challenging year, but innovation shines through ‘Must do better’, is the gist of Ofwat’s end-ofyear message to our water companies, with wastewater, pollution and environmental issues flagged up as particular areas of concern. Financial resilience is also highlighted as a red flag for some, paving the way for proposed discussions on better consumer protection in the near future.
Editor Karen Southern
But the watchdog’s annual service and delivery round-up isn’t not all doom and gloom. Severn Trent, Anglian Water and Portsmouth Water top the performance table in a number of key operational areas. And across the sector – after years of stagnation – considerable progress is being made in reducing leakage, with 13 companies achieving their 2020-21 targets and some already making inroads towards 2024-25 targets. Resilience has also been shown in continuity of services despite the ongoing Covid challenges. Download the full report at ofwat.gov.uk/publication/service-anddelivery-2020-21 (published using PowerBI to make data accessible to a wider audience).
In this issue, we look at some of the interesting innovations and projects that continue to transform the sector. The draining of the QEII reservoir for essential maintenance has been a huge logistical challenge for Thames Water over the past year, involving the transfer of almost 20,000 million litres of water. We report on progress to date. Plus there’s news on a £300m upgrade for London’s Victorian water network. We also take a look at Qualitech’s screening and classification system for sludge management, and follow Wessex Water’s unique experience in using trenchless technology to renovate sewers. Detectronic explains why it’s a smart move to ramp up your sewer network monitoring now, while a collaboration between HPNow, Evonik and Xylem demonstrates how advanced oxidation processes can help recycle municipal wastewater and relieve pressure on fragile water resources.
37 WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
22-26 Improving Asset Health 36-39 Trenchless Technology 40-43 Wastewater Monitoring & Analysis 48-51 Wastewater Treatment & Technology 56-59 Sludge Management 60-61 Pressure Sensors for Water Pipelines
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Initiatives boost opportunities for women in water British Water’s unique Women on Water campaign continues to build momentum, with the renewal of a successful mentoring programme and the announcement of an inperson networking reception. The trade association has, for the second year, signed up as a member of the pioneering 30% Club, a cross-company mentoring programme which aims to support the career progression of women in business. This follows the success of the first round of mentoring sessions in 2020, an experience which one mentee described as “transformative”. Ten more mentors and 10 mentees selected by British Water are in the process of being matched by programme delivery partners Moving Ahead. The 2021 scheme is taking place under the Mission INCLUDE programme, launched by the 30% Club to broaden its focus beyond gender, with targets centred on bringing greater ethnic diversity to top management positions. British Water led the industry by launching Women on Water in 2018, to support women with their careers and personal development. Mentoring has been a key element of the campaign. Thompson said: “We joined forces with the 30% Club in 2020, with support from Xylem, and have had fantastic feedback from our first cohort of mentors and mentees. “Inspiring, transformative, invaluable and empowering - these were just some of the terms used by our mentees to describe what
the experience meant to them. One mentee even told us she had been promoted thanks in part to the interview training her mentor had given her. “This kind of outcome is exactly why we joined the programme and is why we are proud to have signed up for another year - and by opting to be part of Mission INCLUDE, we have opened up the opportunity to all underrepresented groups across all levels.” The 30% Club is a global campaign led by chairs and CEOs taking action to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels.
Women from both the first and second cohorts of mentors and mentees will be guests at British Water’s Women on Water Christmas reception, which takes place in London on 9 December, hosted by new sponsor, global solutions provider Jacobs.
committed to enabling diversity and equality globally. Through our strategic relationship with British Water, we are delighted to support Women on Water and its vision of ‘empowering empowered women’.
The event will provide opportunities to network and increase connections, with a keynote to be delivered by leadership coach Sheila Campbell-Lloyd, managing director of Inner Works coaching consultancy, who will present on “finding your voice”. Jacobs global water director Susan Moisio will also be among speakers. She said: “Jacobs is
“This important industry initiative aimed at increasing opportunities for women and those from under-represented groups directly aligns with Jacobs’ business imperatives and is something I am very passionate about. The Christmas reception will provide a valuable platform for the Women on Water community to reconnect in person, hear inspiring stories, meet career allies and celebrate achievements.”
If you would like to participate in the March edition of Water Industry Journal we shall be featuring:
Leak Detection & Repair
Drinking Water Treatment
Improving Customer Experience
Managing Asset Health & Building Resilience
Wastewater Treatment & Technology
Pipeline Rehabilitation • Data & Analytics in the Water Utility Sector Pump Technology and • Clean Water Innovation • Wastewa ter Treatment and Technolo Networks gy
r Treatment & Technology Measurement • Wastewate Sewer Networks Chemical Dosing • Flow & Level Drinking Water Quality • Managing Phosphorus Removal • Improving
Contact David Lancaster on 0191 580 5476 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
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Maintaining compliance without compromise With the current environmental pressures that are rightly placing the protection and enhancement of our waterways at the forefront, it is important that we demonstrate the agile ability of the industry to provide more responsive environmental resilience. Here, Rich Matthews, MD at Siltbuster, explains that to achieve improved confidence in the public, political and regulatory landscapes, now is the time to adopt a more flexible approach to maintaining and upgrading our ageing asset base. Too often the industry has sought to engage the wider supply chain for site investment planning, but is frequently reverting to type of adopting traditional and conservative build methodologies, procurement strategies and design standards. This has often precluded the opportunities that may well have been presented of adopting more flexible based solutions around package plants. This is something that is widely practiced in the wider industrial sectors. With the diverse range of conditions in 2020 - from the floods in February, COVID in March through to the heatwaves in the summer it has demonstrated the need for reliable infrastructure systems that can flex and adapt. As a result, it is essential that we continue to seek more efficient means of capital investment and operational support programmes, relying on effective and responsive environmental resilience. This is where adopting more package plant solutions will offer this flexibility; being able to respond and maintain compliance in support of ageing infrastructure.
Reality of Ageing Infrastructure
Whilst the ageing infrastructure is being firmly put under the spotlight for spill regimes and water quality performance; we cannot continue to blame previous under investment when we are now over 30 years post privatisation that promised unrivalled levels of previous investment. However, value for money of this investment must be questioned when water quality standards are so publicly being questioned. There is no doubt that drinking water quality remains at the forefront of excellence and un-comparable to bottled in both quality achieved and price per litre. However, the public now seeks similar levels of focus on effluent treatment. The performance of Britain’s sewer network is a focus of attention for drainage studies right now, however the importance placed on capacity rather than quality should be questioned. It is true that CSO’s are there to ensure relief to the system to protect upstream catchments from flooding. Nevertheless, the reality is that we are continuing to place existing and ageing assets under un-due stress. This is exacerbated with centralisation strategies and a lack of engagement with tightening Mogden consents. To reinforce the simplicity, treat at source, treat locally applies to all aspects of
our effluent network and not just a concept to deflect to the agriculture contributions. There is therefore no greater need for showing an alternative rationale for the industry to maintain compliance without compromise. We cannot simply build traditional methodologies or defined end of pipe solutions. There is a need to build more catchment-based solutions. The result is that a more modular based package plant will enable a more phased and targeted investment plan, that is undoubtably going to be needed to ramp up with immediate effect to regain public support in an industry under pressure.
Raising the bar or adopting proven technology
As the regulator is now seeking for the industry to reduce pollution incidents by 30% by 2025, the reality of demonstrating improvements is critical as far as is reasonably practical. Clearly there is a reach for new technology innovation; however there remains many examples of using proven technology in more novel applications. This is where the deployment of package plant systems have the ability to fulfil this requirement. The barrier to acceptance has often been concerns with design life, applying imperial standards and lack of willingness – none of these will apply in the reasonably practical debate that will now shortly being. Consequently, there is a need to adapt to a more responsive approach; modular build is a principle well suited to the industry needs. Modular solutions don’t have be new
technologies and processes; it can involve simply thinking about things differently and thus using familiar technologies in smarter, more strategic ways. It is essential that any investment in water treatment is best placed to support current needs, as well as those in the future. This might mean building asset bases in an incremental manner or bolting on assets to optimise asset bases. The important thing is that it all adds up to achieving a more sustainable outcome for the industry and environment
To drive a successful response to the pressure the industry faces, there is a need to approach it with flexibility in mind. The political conditions will insist that this step change occurs, it is therefore time to change our approach to traditional build and procurement and it is important that the supply chain is engaged effectively to ensure that the experience, skills and knowledge in responsive treatment systems can be best utilised for the benefit of enhancing the water environment. For more information about Siltbuster, visit www.siltbuster.co.uk
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
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Buffy Williams, Member of the Senedd for the Rhondda, visits the site
Lluest Wen Reservoir receives £9 million investment boost £9 million investment to refurbish the spillway at Lluest Wen Reservoir. Buffy Williams visited the site and thanks Dwr Cymru for the investment at the reservoir in Maerdy. Will ensure around 15,000 customers across the Rhondda Fach and in surrounding areas continue to receive a top-quality drinking water supply. Work is on track to be completed during Spring 2022. Dwr Cymru Welsh Water are investing £9 million to upgrade the assets at Lluest Wen Reservoir. This investment will help ensure around 15,000 customers across the Rhondda Fach and in surrounding areas continue to receive a top-quality drinking water supply. The work being carried out by the notfor-profit company involves refurbishing the spillway, which is the overflow for the reservoir. This feature allows excess water from the river which is not used for drinking water supplies to pass safely around the dam. Keeping this asset in good condition is essential as it helps protect the dam against flood damage and ensuring a reliable source of water for the whole community.
Work began in October 2020 and is making great progress. The concrete bases that form the spillway are on track to be completed this month and work is underway to construct the walls and drainage system. The work is currently on track to complete during Spring 2022. While work is being carried out, there will be no impact on water supply to local customers. Welsh Water invited Buffy Williams, Member of the Senedd for the Rhondda, to site to show her first hand the investment work being carried out to keep the company’s assets in good condition and customers in supply of fresh drinking water.
Following the visit, Buffy said: ““Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to visit Lluest Wen Reservoir to view the progress made by Dwr Cymru on the new spillway. We’ve received stark reminders in recent times that the defences put in place before climate change are not going to be good enough for the future. “I can’t thank Dwr Cymru enough for the £9 million of investment at the reservoir in Maerdy which won’t only bolster our defence against more severe weather, but provide a safe supply of water for our communities too.”
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
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Smart Septicity Monitoring for sewer networks
Wastewater process control is increasingly complex as regulations become more stringent. The monitoring of wastewater quality plays a crucial part in identifying existing or emerging problems within sewer networks. ATi’s Director of Technical Services, Chris McTear, discusses the new technological advances transforming the future of wastewater management, offering the ultimate smart septicity solution for sewer networks. Managing and controlling septicity in sewer networks has long been one of the greatest challenges for wastewater utilities, with high levels proving to be costly due to toxicity, corrosion and odour nuisance. Septic sewage delivered into an activated sludge plant creates considerable process complications. Wastewater quality monitoring data is incredibly useful in helping to monitor septicity levels, although historically this has not been easy to gather. Until now, water specialists traditionally used a range of techniques, including weekly samples, analysing sediments, controlling flow and developing aerobic environments. Controlling septicity also relied on maintaining the supply of oxygen to oxidise previously formed sulphide; minimising the emission of hydrogen sulphide gas into the atmosphere, deodorising vented air, and the use of protective coatings on pipes. However, in today’s modern world, new technology has now been developed. By bringing together this technology, ATi offers a unique, unified solution for septicity monitoring and prevention in sewer networks, utilising both liquid and gas phase sensors. ATi’s SeptiNet is an innovative breakthrough in smart, continuous and accurate wastewater septicity monitoring for sewer networks. Forming part of a pioneering range of smart sewer network solutions, including the integrated ATi and s::can revolutionary SewerNet water quality monitoring solution, SeptiNet monitors both hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas and Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP), offering the ultimate smart septicity monitoring solution. Due to ATi’s unique manufacturing base of both water and gas analytical sensors, SeptiNet allows wastewater utilities to monitor both liquid and gas in one combined solution anywhere within the sewer network. Data generated from SeptiNet is linked directly to the customer’s preferred RTU and transferred to an intermediate cloud for analytics, integrated into the customers own Scada reporting protocol.
Septicity in Sewer Networks
Wastewater becomes septic when organic matter decomposes and forms a foul smell, due to the absence of free oxygen. This common problem occurs within sewers when low flows and long retention times combine, resulting in bacteria multiplying in the anaerobic conditions that creates septicity.
Consequent formation of H2S gas can cause a nuisance with its characteristic foul smell, leading to customer complaints. This lethal gas also causes a hazard during entry into chambers and its reaction with moisture results in the formation of sulphuric acid, which has a corrosive and costly effect on infrastructures.
SeptiNet: Smart Septicity Prevention for Sewer Networks To predict, prevent and control septicity of an entire sewer network is complex, however ATi’s SeptiNet removes any guess work, enabling the complete management of septicity. By combining both liquid and gas smart sensor technology, and as part of a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) monitoring solution, SeptiNet improves the control of assets and processes, enabling access to data for both online and offline analysis and modelling.
Designed specifically for applications in both wastewater treatment and sewer networks, SeptiNet generates continuous and accurate data for septicity prevention, allowing the management of odour and corrosion, whilst reducing the formation of hazardous atmospheres and negative environmental impacts. SeptiNet helps to protect the wastewater treatment process, the extra sewer storage,
reduces overflow and pollution to rivers and is suitable for installing anywhere within a sewer network, including: Inlets to wastewater treatment works. Inlets to CSOs Outlets / overflows of CSOs Pumping station Manholes within the network SeptiNet uses smart sensor technology, combined with data intelligence, for large scale mass deployment across sewer networks. This innovative solution has been developed using telemetry to drive sustainable use of the world’s natural resources, offering customers an end-to-end approach to manage wastewater assets in hazardous environments, whilst also reducing pollution for a better, greener world. For further information on SeptiNet, or the broader SewerNet solution, please contact ATi on firstname.lastname@example.org.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
Reliable and accurate data, requires reliable and accurate sensors. Trust the experts. Trust ATi. ATi’s water quality and gas detection solutions deliver real-time and continuous monitoring across potable, process and wastewater applications, plus environments that require flammable and toxic gas detection. Our range of flexible solutions extract deeper insights, optimise operational efficiencies and put the customer in complete control. Our expertise in sensor design and manufacture allows us to deliver the highest level of protection for people and processes under the most extreme conditions. Trusted globally by leading companies within the utilities, food & drink, industrial, petrochemical and healthcare sectors, ATi pioneers the development and deployment of innovative, engineered and bespoke analytical monitoring solutions, whilst delivering first-class customer support.
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Solutions for a Smarter Future
London sewer team embraces new app to boost safety and knowledge
A mobile-first app that provides a detailed overview of London’s vast trunk sewer network has been adopted by Thames Water as part of its industry-leading digital transformation. SymTerra allows the Strategic Pumping & Trunk Sewer team at more than 1,000 locations across the capital to record and access all aspects of a job, whether remotely or on-site. With ‘what3words’ embedded across all features of the app, communication and safety is improved by enabling engineers to record the location and condition of assets and generate real-time updates of progress and issues. A fully searchable cloud-based photo and knowledge library can also be created that integrates with Thames Water’s existing
mapping and modelling systems, making it quicker, easier and cheaper to plan for future work.
sewers, said: “Some of our work can be complex, with unclear information, conflicting priorities and blurred accountability lines.
In one example, the app was used to help maintenance teams work out the best entry point into a sewer near St James Square.
“There are also many stakeholders involved, which can lead to confusion and frustrations, but with SymTerra we have raised the bar and, with the use of what3words, have gone back to basics to identify confined space entries, assets and locations.”
They used SymTerra to document if traffic management or parking restrictions were needed, the location of manholes and the condition of ladders, and to take photos of the pipe and the height of the water flowing through it. Richard Dennett, Thames Water’s operations manager for strategic pumping & trunk
“The trunk sewer team has been open to new technology and challenged the status quo, demonstrating how you can better capture and leverage real-time updates and insights from the teams on the ground.” Sarah Crawley, co-founder of SymTerra
Sarah Crawley, co-founder of SymTerra, said: “Thames Water’s collaborative approach to working together on SymTerra has been great. “The trunk sewer team has been open to new technology and challenged the status quo, demonstrating how you can better capture and leverage real-time updates and insights from the teams on the ground. “This has helped improve visibility and asset assurance as well as quickly detail key works information, including what3words locations to share with other teams.”
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
Smart Metering across urban, suburban and rural areas A case study with SUEZ and Severn Trent. The issue
Severn Trent’s strategic drinking water plan is to balance supply and demand, investing wisely to safeguard the water supply for future generations. One of the first steps in their AMI journey was to investigate whether there was a suitable smart metering solution for their topography. Furthermore, Severn Trent wanted to assess whether it would be possible to deploy a solution based only on their own properties.
The trial around Nottingham represented the challenges existing across the whole Severn Trent supply area. It was an end-to-end solution. SUEZ worked in partnership with the client team for meter installation and site access as well as Diehl for WIZE meters and transmitters and Temetra who supply Severn Trent’s Meter Data Management (MDM) platform. Four WIZE network gateway sites were implemented and each equipped with one or two antenna depending on the expected contribution and need to generate directional propagation. Diehl WIZE meters were fitted pre-assembled and preactivated, allowing for the simplest process installation and immediate connection to the SUEZ ON’Connect™ platform. The meters transmit encrypted readings via the WIZE network to the SUEZ ON’Connect™ system. The data is unencrypted, validated and deciphered by the platform before onward transmission to the Temetra platform twice a day.
WIZE was the only solution that proved viable for rural areas as well as urban and suburban
98.8% average performance with nominal variation due to the different terrains On average, 23.3 hourly readings available daily per meter 100% of the meters installed in narrow boundary boxes
All of the network based on Severn Trent properties The system was integrated into existing Temetra MDM The field engineers found the meter installation to be simple and quick
14% of properties included in the WIZE trial were found to have leaks
An unexpected benefit was the ability to understand changes in water usage behaviour during the first lock-down which helped with supply and demand planning.
How a WIZE solution works Network WIZE provides a low-power, long-range and bi-directional communication network that operates over a protected channel for smart metering in the VHF frequency band; 169 MHz. The network is an open protocol promoted and supervised by the WIZE Alliance and is fully compliant with the European standard EN13757. The SUEZ approach to deploy WIZE networks provides the most efficient rollout as it maximizes population coverage and network performance whilst providing value for money. Considerations for hosting the transmitters include:
Site Ownership: properties owned by the utility are significantly more cost efficient,
enable autonomy and allow for quicker installation Site topography and required antennae height influence the quality of network coverage Meter locations: The sites can impact transmission conditions and need to be considered when developing a resilient network Access to power. If power isn’t available onsite, SUEZ can provide solar or wind power solutions.
WIZE meters have a battery life of 15 to 20 years depending on the configuration and data granularity. WIZE meters are available for the main manufacturers. The WIZE meters and transmitters are supplied pre-configured and preactivated so they connect seamlessly as soon as within range and without the need of additional configuration. Meters are linked to the SUEZ ON’Connect™ platform and ready to install. Field teams are trained on the simple steps for fitting the equipment. A straightforward installation is key for cost and operational efficiencies.
“An excellent project testing the WIZE smart metering technology across Severn Trent terrain. We are delighted that using only Severn Trent properties, the SUEZ WIZE equipment was able to reach all the urban, suburban and rural districts and achieve an amazing performance of 98.8%. We know that using company assets along can represent a 30-40% implementation saving.”
WIZE meters can provide 15 minute, hourly and daily readings, as well as a range of alerts such as leakage, backflow and tampering. Additionally, they offer the option to produce specific data frame for network analytics and asset management. The data transmission is encrypted and can only be deciphered by the SUEZ ON’Connect platform before onward transmission to the customer platform of choice (e.g. Temetra).
Francesc Cabrespina, SUEZ
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
Shaping a sustainable environment, NOW Smart metering to safeguard our water supply for future generations
With over 10 years’ experience and more than 5 million smart meters, SUEZ is the European leader for smart metering solutions. SUEZ offers UK water utilities a tailored solution to cover their different topographies with the best performing and most efficient technologies.
SUEZ is a smart water meter infrastructure developer and aggregator, bringing together the best for each customer. Our team provides water utility customers with end-toend support: equipment supply, communication network deployment with WIZE technology, ON’Connect software to manage the network, operations supervision, data collection and transmission.
To find our how we can help you, please contact:
SUEZ Smart Solutions & Technology Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Yorkshire Water adopts Esri ArcGIS Hub for first DWMP Yorkshire Water has adopted the Esri ArcGIS Hub to share risk data for its first Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan (DWMP) with local stakeholders. Identifying future risks to wastewater treatment and drainage networks, and coming up with long-term action plans to manage them, is the aim of Water UK’s national DWMP strategy. This emerging regulatory requirement – set out in the Environment Bill – will be a mandatory long-term initiative, designed to promote transparent and comparable long-term actions for the sewerage system, and manage risks posed by issues such as climate change and population growth. Draft proposals based on the framework will be published next year to support business plans for the 2024 Price Review. Collaboration between water companies - and all organisations directly involved in local drainage, flooding and environmental management – is key to the framework’s success, with risk data shared in innovative formats. The aim is to establish more integrated ways of working, ensure efficient investment and provide stakeholders with better information about services. Yorkshire Water has used the Esri ArcGIS Hub to visualise data across a series of ArcGIS Online maps, dashboards and apps in a centralised system, while making sure the content is relevant to different stakeholder groups and organisations. User experience is customised and, as the DWMP data evolves, stakeholders will also be encouraged to share their own risk data through the Hub.
of spills recorded (per year) and duration of spills (hours).
The feedback has been so positive that the company has extended the capabilities of ArcGIS Online by providing an operations dashboard to customers through a web link on the corporate website. The dashboard contains information on the Storm Overflows within the Yorkshire Water region where Event Duration Monitoring (EDM) is recorded. Customers can learn how Storm Overflows operate and see EDM data in terms of number
“For example, we ran ‘storms’ over the sewer system to help predict floodwater flow and identify at-risk areas. With the help of the latest climate change predictions from the Met Office and partner organisations, we’ve run lots of scenarios, projecting rainfall predictions for 2030, 2050 … even up to 2080.
As Yorkshire Water strategic planner Luke Ferriday explained: “We’ve been using existing hydraulic models and produced new ones for our DWMP. They’re helping us look at all parts of the network, and how they interact with local drainage such as streams and rivers.
“Over 600 wastewater treatment catchments were screened against a number of
Yorkshire Water has used the Esri ArcGIS Hub to visualise data across a series of ArcGIS Online maps, dashboards and apps in a centralised system, while making sure the content is relevant to different stakeholder groups and organisations. User experience is customised and, as the DWMP data evolves, stakeholders will also be encouraged to share their own risk data through the Hub. 18
performance parameters and from this, 335 were taken forward on a risk basis for further analysis. This represents 99% of our customers, or over five million people. “The intention of the DWMP was not to require significant amounts of modelling activity; however, the reality is that modelling has to be done to provide the right data and evidence to determine the scale of interventions and potential investment scenarios.” Yorkshire Water has a designated inland bathing beach in its remit, the first in the UK, which throws up a unique challenge. “We’re doing a case study to share with the industry, as other inland beaches are bound to follow. We need to understand what is required in terms of current bathing beach regulations, and anticipate how the system may be retrofitted in the long term.” To find out how ArcGIS enables organisations to collaborate more effectively with stakeholders in the water industry, visit esriuk. com/water or contact Craig Hayes, Head of Critical National Infrastructure at Esri UK on 01296 745599 or email@example.com.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
SMART WATER MANAGEMENT BEGINS WITH LOCATION INTELLIGENCE. Where infrastructure, assets, customers and suppliers are, is fundamental to all aspects of managing water - from protecting a sustainable water supply to delivering safe drinking water. The Esri ArcGIS Platform delivers a location intelligence solution for true digital transformation, with advanced field data collection, mapping, analytics, dashboards, collaboration tools and secure sharing on any device. 80% of UK water companies use the Esri ArcGIS Platform – are you leveraging its full potential?
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The digital innovator that delivers a fluid customer experience Most people in the UK take for granted a plentiful supply of clean water. However, with estimations that demand for water in England will exceed supply by between 1.1 billion and 3.1 billion litres per day by the 2050s1 and a sector wide commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 20302, water companies are under increasing pressure to reduce leakage and personal consumption of water. Smart metering is recognised as a fundamental way of managing current and future demand for water, supporting efforts to reduce leakage and reducing consumption and waste. Of course, a reduction in usage equals a reduction in the energy intensive activities required to process water, which makes smart water meters fundamental to the UK’s efforts to meet a net zero outcome. But with no mandate for customers to accept a smart water meter and an industry where the degree and frequency of interaction with customers is low, if water companies are going to increase the roll-out of smart meters, they’ve got their work cut out. Digital technology specialists Avanade believe the answer lies in improving customer engagement and experience. Avanade is the leading global Microsoft and Sitecore partner, and is focused on building customer experiences and managing data across the entire digital marketing customer lifecycle. Ben Morgan, Avanade’s European Digital Marketing Lead believes putting customers at the heart of service delivery, increasing levels of communication and engagement, and responding rapidly to customer concerns, are critical benchmarks if water companies are going to achieve their goals and targets. “Across industries, customer expectations around service and responsiveness have risen. Digital interactions are the new norm and customers expect more fluid interactions and better ways to accomplish tasks – such as paying bills, flagging issues and increasingly, understanding consumption. High quality interactions have never been more important.
be tailored to locality, buyer persona or even better, more granular customer profiles. A CPD will give the organisation a clear view of what customers are actually doing – so they can identify trends, segment customer groups and where necessary, redefine audience personas, and then use this information to inform and define outgoing marketing campaigns. “With accurate customer profiles and a better understanding of customer segments and demographics, water companies can start to understand what’s driving customers to adopt technology, such as smart meters. With a marketing strategy that targets groups that are more likely to accept a smart meter with the right content and across the appropriate channels, water companies can help customers along the user journey and achieve more successful conversion rates.”
“Ultimately, it’s all about creating a better, faster and smarter customer experience using the power of a unified Customer Data Platform (CPD). Delivering a better customer experience starts with understanding your customer. A CPD will remove data silos, which result in fragmented customer profiles and deliver a single unified view of each customer across touchpoints.”
He explains, “The ultimate goal is to empower and encourage customers to self-serve. Of course, this will become even more important with the impending discontinuation of thirdparty cookies. With cookie data, that previously provided an understanding of consumer behaviour across different platforms, no longer available, organisations will need to own their own data. This means encouraging customers to authenticate themselves by logging into a customer portal. And this can only be achieved by combining human-centric design with the right technology solutions.
He continues, “Today’s customers demand immersive, interactive experiences that are personalised to them. Experiences and interactions with water companies need to
The capability to collect and scrutinise customer data at a granular level will also help water companies achieve another key collective aim – increasing their support for
vulnerable customers. With the rise in energy costs coming at a time when many household incomes are being squeezed on the back of the pandemic, affordability is a key issue.” He explains, “Water companies have been tasked with reducing the cost of water bills and providing a range of support to vulnerable customers such as offering payment holidays, flexible payment plans, social tariffs and other affordability schemes. Connecting with customers regularly not only builds trust, but builds data streams and knowledge of a customer’s circumstances so they can be supported before they get into arrears. He concludes. “The first step for water companies to take is to review their technology stack to see whether they have the business agility and flexibility to structure their customer experience strategy accordingly, and to assess whether they have an appropriate CPD and customer modelling/ segmentation completed.” The Avanade team would love to speak to you about how you structure your customer experience. Visit www.avanade.com/en-gb/ industry/utilities for more details. Source Ref 1 https://www.nao.org.uk/report/water-supply-and-demandmanagement/ 2 https://www.water.org.uk/routemap2030/
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
It’s time to tap into data. Rethink to renew and grow through continual change. avanade.com/utilitiesUK
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Water engineers Vanderkamp take temporary pump solutions to the next level Vanderkamp Pumps are building a solid reputation in the UK – not only for their tailor-made pump and pipework supplies, but also for their quality cutting-edge engineering designs. The company was established 30 years ago in the Netherlands and let’s face it… the Dutch are world leaders in flood and water management. In fact, CEO Rick van der Kamp’s experience working with water goes all the way back to the age of 10 when he first went on dredging jobs with his father. Rick explains: “We fully understand the pressures faced by water companies and tier 1 contractors in the UK today. We pride ourselves on the engineered design and delivery of the jobs we undertake and are mindful of the fact that we carry the reputation of the companies we work for. “Vanderkamp works closely with clients to get a full understanding of the problems and obstacles upfront. In this way we can ensure the solution is right first time round. Preconditions are the most important part of any project, no matter what the size. “Our work isn’t just about providing pumps and pipework; we have a huge amount of engineering and mechanical know-how, and the latest smart technology, at our disposal. We are fully committed to building up longterm customer relationships and helping our customers achieve the best possible solution.” This commitment is reflected in Vanderkamp’s decision to expand its UK operations by adding a second depot in Essex to complement the Brentwood head office. Both are fully operational, and store and maintain a range of diesel and electric pumps, pipework and specialist equipment. To date, projects have spanned as far afield as Scotland. Rick added: “We set up our UK operation in 2019, after completing some large and complex projects in the years before. It became clear to us that there is a growing demand in the UK for a company like Vanderkamp that can handle large and complex over pumping installations. Now that things have opened up again, we’re seeking to forge even more new connections. “I would say that our engineering design capabilities are really quite unique, and set us apart from the rest of the market. Our solutions provide a level of confidence that is second to none. So if, say, we need to divert wastewater from A to B, our engineering insights will work out the best, most efficient way – everything from calculations to commissioning and installation. “Location isn’t a problem either as we can monitor installations and pump flow etc. remotely 24/7, and arrange emergency callouts if needed.”
The company recently took on the world’s largest temporary pump installation at Ijmuiden Locks (pumping an incredible 72 m3/s), which Rick regards as a great honour. Vanderkamp also have two large standby pumps at the Queen Mary reservoir in London, while its sister QEII reservoir undergoes a major programme of inspection and maintenance. Vanderkamp’s services include: Engineered design solutions and construction of temporary works, including: • Construction design • Hydraulic design • Electrical design • Full 3D design • CAD and working installation drawings Rental of complete temporary pump installations or single components, and mobile fine screen installations Sales, including pump assembly and installation Consultation Servicing The company’s equipment is all fully compliant and designed to tackle increasingly
Rick van der Kamp
complex wastewater and disaster operations. For example, Vanderkamp can take over the total functioning of a pumping station, including operation and surveillance. The company’s industrial water applications typically deal with process water, which usually involves great capacities and high pressures. Diesel pumps are dry self-suction pumps or make use of vacuum systems, and are available in the range of 100 to 8000 m3/hour per pump. Electric pumps are either wet or dry primed, ranging from 50 to 15,000 m3/hour per pump. They use Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) to reduce power consumption, and can be connected to the mains or generator, which is controlled by Vanderkamp’s Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). Vanderkamp also owns a range of fire-fighting container sets with varying capacities and pressures. Rick concludes: “We utilise a variety of suppliers and also develop our own range of pumps, ensuring we can always provide the most effective pump for any situation.” Full details about services and equipment is available at vdkamp.eu/en/
The company recently took on the world’s largest temporary pump installation at Ijmuiden Locks (pumping an incredible 72 m3/s), which Rick regards as a great honour. WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
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Engineered temporary pumping solutions
Improving Asset Health
QEII reservoir project on course for completion in 2022 Draining one of London’s largest reservoirs for refurbishment – while maintaining water supply and protecting the ecological balance – has been a huge logistical challenge, spanning nearly 12 months. Thanks to meticulous planning, the QEII reservoir project is set to finish ahead of schedule in early spring 2022. Karen Southern follows progress to date. Thames Water started draining the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir in Walton-on-Thames in April 2021. Over three months, nearly 20,000 million litres of water (equivalent to 8000 Olympic-sized swimming pools) were carefully drained and transferred to the supply network feeding London. This enabled statutory inspection and maintenance work to start on the 2km of inlet
and outlet tunnels which lie 40m beneath a sprawling network of roads, homes and other reservoirs. Intermediate shafts were sunk to provide four points of access in the middle and at both ends of the works. At nearly 60 years old, the tunnels – constructed from 2.5m diameter precast concrete un-bolted segmental rings – were then strengthened with a reinforced concrete
lining to prevent future leakage. But first, several tonnes of silt and tonnes of invasive zebra mussels had to be dug out. As programme director Rob Keen explained with some understatement: “It is a big deal taking this reservoir out of service for 12 months. QEII is the fourth largest reservoir in west London and supplies 10 per cent of the city’s raw water supply. It’s part of the
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
Improving Asset Health
Emptying the QEII reservoir
Essential maintenance work was carried out on the tunnels
The 2km of inlet and outlet tunnels lie 40m underground Hampton and Walton treatment work feeds which serves a third of London… at least two to three million people.
Thames were switched, taking less water from the point which normally feeds into QEII, and more from other points up and downstream.
“Having such a major strategic asset out of supply needed a lot of co-ordination, but the tunnel relining work was crucial to guarantee the resilience of our water infrastructure, and it means asset life is ensured for up to another 100 years.”
The Environment Agency, DWI, Defra, the GLA, Port of London Authority, Wildlife Trust and other stakeholders, including local residents, have all been regularly briefed throughout because, as Rob pointed out: “This project isn’t just serious about engineering, it’s about the local community and environment too.”
Rob added: “The reservoir had to be emptied for safety reasons, so its water level was the same as surrounding ground level. This was to ensure that no flooding could occur in the highly unlikely event of a dam breach. As the inlet and outlet tunnels were isolated, they couldn’t drain the reservoir in an emergency. “Ironically, the civil engineering / maintenance part has almost been the easier aspect. The hard parts were the planning and all the enabling work involved in taking the reservoir out of supply without any impact on customer supplies – that’s been my primary programme management role in this project.” The revised operating strategy for London focused on establishing different ways to abstract, store, treat and circulate water around the city during the works. Extra treatment works and pumps were brought online, and abstractions from the River
As an important SSSI site lies just across the road, water levels were lowered and held to a depth of six metres to protect birds, fish and other wildlife, while the solar panels that float on top of the reservoir stayed operational throughout. Rob added: “The mudflats were also protected from nesting birds, so there should not be any delays in refilling.” Work is now complete on the inlet tunnel, and reservoir refilling started mid-November; this could take 8-12 weeks. Parallel maintenance is being done on the outlet tunnel with the aim of returning to normal service by April 2022. Fortunately, there’ve been no sleepless nights for the team. Rob explained: “The highest risk point was during the summer which traditionally has higher customer demand and lower river abstraction to fill the reservoirs. But in fact, the wetter weather meant very healthy levels of rainfall and river flow. Plus, customer
water demand is still suppressed because of the pandemic, particularly in London. “It’s difficult to judge when and if water usage will rise to pre-pandemic levels. In the meantime, we’re are taking every opportunity to do more maintenance work while customer demand is low, so we are ready for when that return to ‘normal’ occurs.”
Having such a major strategic asset out of supply needed a lot of co-ordination, but the tunnel relining work was crucial to guarantee the resilience of our water infrastructure, and it means asset life is ensured for up to another 100 years. 25
Improving Asset Health
A new approach to modelling asset deterioration Asset deterioration modelling is an important part of the toolkit for assessing asset health and improving asset performance. Currently used methods are based on quantifying asset health as a failure probability calculated from a failure distribution, for example Weibull, or as a measure of asset condition, for example wear of a critical component, and displayed in a P-F (potential failure – failure) curve. This article describes how PAM Analytics uses survival analysis, a method commonly used in epidemiology, to develop descriptive asset deterioration curves and predictive asset deterioration models to gain insight and understanding into asset performance and so improve asset management. It is useful to note that survival analysis is used to analyse and model Covid infection and mortality data. The analogy between human condition (survival/death) and treatment, and asset condition (working/failure) and maintenance is clear.
Descriptive Asset Deterioration – Kaplan Meier Analysis PAM Analytics uses Kaplan Meier (KM) analysis to produce descriptive asset deterioration curves. The output is the cumulative hazard and survival probability of each asset at time t. The cumulative hazard at time t is the cumulative risk of failure at time t and is related directly to survival probability (the probability of surviving to time t). Failure probability is given by 1-survival_probability. KM analysis has two significant advantages over traditional failure distributions: It is non-parametric, i.e. it does not make any assumptions about the data, for example that they follow a particular distribution. It can quantify the effects of individual factors, for example asset specification and different types and levels of maintenance, on asset performance. Figure 1 shows deterioration curves produced using KM analysis. The effects of different levels of proactive maintenance on asset survival probability are clear.
occurred by time t. Thus, the hazard rate at time t depends on the risk set at time t, i.e. the number of assets in use and therefore at risk of failure then. Hazard rate is arguably a better measure of reliability than failure probability because it considers the risk set at each time. As the number of failures decreases, the failure probability approaches the hazard rate. Figure 2 shows a hazard rate curve (the ‘bathtub’ curve) calculated from the cumulative hazard, and therefore as with the cumulative hazard no assumptions about the data were made. To help understand hazard rate and cumulative hazard, Table 1 shows the analogy between hazard rate and cumulative hazard with speed and distance. Table 1: Analogy of Hazard Rate and Cumulative Hazard with Speed and Distance
Instantaneous rate of distance covered
Distance covered in time t
Hazard rate (/time)
Instantaneous failure rate
speed x t
Cumulative hazard (-)
Risk of failure accumulated up to time t
hazard_rate x t
Predictive Asset Deterioration – Cox Regression
KM analysis can be viewed as the exploratory data analysis stage of developing predictive Cox regression models. The models are at individual asset level and have a dynamic component and a static component. The dynamic component shows how the risk of failure increases as assets are used. The static component contains the predictors. Table 2 shows the predictors and coefficients of a Cox regression deterioration model for wet well submersible pumps. Table 2: Example Cox Regression Predictive Asset Deterioration Model (static component)
Most recent intervention:
Figure 1: Kaplan Meier Deterioration Curves for Different Levels of Proactive Maintenance
Hazard rate, also known as the conditional (instantaneous) failure rate function or hazard function, is another metric for assessing asset performance. It is the risk of failure at time t given that failure had not
No. of proactive interventions
No. of corrective interventions
No. of previous failures
Mean failure rate (per year)
Total pump power at site (kW)
Population per site per pump in each postcode district
Monthly rainfall (mm)
Site postcode town (exception)
The main conclusions from Table 2 are that proactive maintenance has the greatest effect on reducing the risk of asset failure (Figure 1 has a similar conclusion about the extent of proactive maintenance) and that a history of repeated asset failure increases the risk of future failure. They confirm accepted practice but the model goes further by calculating the risk of failure of each asset as it is used, maintained, fails and then reinstated. Dr Atai Winkler, PAM Analytics firstname.lastname@example.org
Figure 2: Hazard Rate Curve (calculated empirically)
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
Improving Asset Health
Innovative flood prevention approach yields 20% cost savings
A new flood mitigation programme at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, will use an innovation-led approach to protect properties, delivering more than 20% cost savings on traditional approaches and minimising disruption. As a partner in the @one Alliance (the collaboration set up to deliver Anglian Water’s capital investment programme), civil engineering and infrastructure specialist Barhale has been appointed principal contractor to carry out the work at Burgh Road, Gorleston.
series of modifications to four manholes including the installation of a new high-level connection. Two new weir chambers and a new 130m 600mm micro-tunnel will be constructed to allow flood water to gravitate to an offline attenuation tank and pumping station
Rather than undertaking a large-scale works programme, Barhale will bring back into use several redundant assets and reconfigure the existing network with a small number of specific, smaller scale interventions. It will produce a faster-to-deliver, less expensive solution with a lower impact to the community.
The works will also remobilise a nearby box culvert including the associated pipework, pipework modifications, chambers, actuated valve, level monitor and telemetry.
The innovative scheme will reopen an 1100mm gravity sewer and carry out a
Project manager Dan Ledger explained that the programme follows the Anglian Water strategy of seeking innovative, “Tech not Tank” approaches that make the most of the current infrastructure rather than simply defaulting to expensive build
Can you answer all the following questions? Do you know which factors, both asset and non-asset, determine asset performance and the contribution of each to asset performance?
programmes to increase overall physical capacity. “The typical approach in this situation would be to look to build new capacity into the system which usually entails significant works to install new tanks and sewers,” he said. “That can mean long build programmes and disruption for local communities. “We worked closely with Anglian to find a smarter solution which uses existing, unused headroom within the existing infrastructure to minimise intervention and to protect the vulnerable properties from flooding.” The programme of works is expected to be completed in mid-2022.
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Do you know the risk of failure of each asset and how it changes as the asset is used and maintained? How do you consider the criticality and consequence of failure of each asset when scheduling asset maintenance? Do you know the benefits, for example lower asset management costs and higher asset availability, of increasing the amount of proactive maintenance by specified amounts? Do you know why some assets require a disproportionate amount of maintenance? PAM, our Predictive Asset Management system, can answer these and similar questions for you. It uses advanced predictive analytics and simulation to model, simulate and optimise asset performance at individual asset level and at the operational, tactical and strategic levels. email@example.com pamanalytics.com 07817 263016
Improving Asset Health
Major upgrade for London’s Victorian water network London’s Victorian water network is set to receive a major overhaul to increase water resilience, with a £300 million contribution from Thames Water’s owners. The unprecedented investment matches the £300m already included in the company’s spending plans for the 2020-2025 investment period. It will improve service by accelerating work to reduce leaks and bursts - increasing the resilience of the capital’s pipe network to the impacts of climate change and helping secure water supplies for future generations.
ones using innovative technology to keep disruption to the capital’s busy roads to a minimum. The upgrades will begin in 2022.
expenditure in the company’s five- year business plan, over and above that allowed under the regulatory price control.”
London’s pipes are more prone to leaks and bursts than in most other places in the UK due to the fact the majority (89%) are made of cast iron, which is susceptible to corrosion.
Hundreds of kilometres of water mains will be upgraded with the additional funding. This will include huge trunk mains, which carry drinking water from treatment sites and reservoirs across London, and smaller distribution pipes which transfer water to millions of homes and businesses. There will also be investment in work to stop spikes in pressure within the pipes that can increase the risk of bursts.
There are also an average of 175 properties fed from each kilometre of pipework – two and half times the UK average – increasing the risk of weak points developing and leading to leaks and bursts.
The widespread investment has been approved by regulator Ofwat outside of the standard water industry five-year business planning cycle through a gated governance structure. Alongside other programmes, it will increase Thames Water’s total investment in improving service over the period 2020-25 to £10.7 billion. Having passed through the first gate, plans are now being draw up ahead of gate two later this year, which will map out which parts of London’s vast pipe network will benefit from the funding based on risk and previous issues with bursts or repeated leaks.
Cast iron pipes, many of which date back more than 100 years to the Victorian era, will be relined or replaced with more durable plastic
Sarah Bentley, Thames Water CEO, said: “We’re delighted to be unlocking this significant extra investment direct from our owners, which are mainly pension funds who all take a longterm view of the company’s infrastructure, customers, and the natural environment. They recognise the need for additional investment in London and have approved significant
Thames Water is jointly owned by 10 institutional investors, mainly comprising pension funds. Its two largest investors represent pension funds in the UK and Canada.
They recognise the need for additional investment in London and have approved significant expenditure in the company’s five- year business plan, over and above that allowed under the regulatory price control. Sarah Bentley, Thames Water CEO
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
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Buried or submerged closed pipe flow metering Buried flow meters for lowest installed cost Many seasoned water professionals may throw their hands skyward at the mere suggestion of burying flow meters underground. They will more than likely remember the manufacturer promises made a decade or more ago, when meters were buried in their dozens. However, after frequent reliability issues and the challenges of retrieving buried inline meters, many of these industry C&I experts said, “enough is enough; no more buried meters”! Which is a shame. Because burying clampon flowmeters can undoubtedly achieve significantly lower installed costs than building substantial chambers with all the associated rapidly escalating costs
for bypasses, isolation valves, supply interruptions, etc…as long as they can be proven reliable. And clamp-on is substantially easier to maintain from outside the pipe than removal of an inline meter. In the UK, FLEXIM has been proving reliable use of its MCERTS clamp-on F721WD flowmeters for nearly 6 years, and for significantly longer in Europe where water municipalities have been burying FLEXIM meters in countries such as Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, etc as a matter of course for decades. The F721WD flow meter has a Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of 36.9 years and when equipped with IP68 transducers and solid transducer coupling pads (no gels or greases to dissipate over time), can be relied upon for long-term buried installation at absolute minimum cost.
For added peace of mind, it is advisable to bury dual-channel meter transducers; in the unlikely event of a transducer failure, the second channel will remain working and negate the need to unearth and repair the meter. FLEXIM has installed countless wastewater meters, most commonly for Sewage Pumping Stations, where the meter is simply back-filled with pea-shingle. One major forward-thinking UK water company, having experienced buried FLEXIM meters on wastewater, decided to adopt an innovative low-cost “Coffin” chamber design for network clean water installations. This involves the meter being installed in an excavated pit and a highly cost-effective “Coffin”chamber being built around the installation before earth is back-filled to the compact chamber walls and capped off with a
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
cast iron cover. This reduced-cost installation, enables more meter installs within the fixed available budget.
IP68 flow meters for installation in flooded chambers
In both prior examples, transducers are supplied IP68 rated, allowing installation where ground water could eventually saturate the soil or shingle around the buried meters. These same IP68 design transducers can equally be used with solid fluoroelastomer coupling foils (no coupling grease or gels) for high-longevity, zero-maintenance use in flooded chambers or pits. For further information on how FLEXIM can deliver highly accurate metering at optimum cost and without any supply interruption contact: email@example.com | 01606 781 420 | www.flexim.co.uk
Typical European buried installations 4 Typical UK SPS wastewater installation during pea-shingle back-fill operations
5 Installation of “Coffin” chamber around cleanwater network flow meter 6 Typical UK flooded wet chamber 7 MCERTS F721WD transmitter
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Tel: 01606 781 420 firstname.lastname@example.org www.flexim.co.uk
HVO solution keeps pollution and disruption to a minimum during hospital works Selwood, renowned as the UK’s leading pump rental solutions provider, constantly innovates to find the most efficient and sustainable solutions for customers. The company was an early adopter of more environmentally HVO fuel, which is now an option for use across its range of UK-manufactured pumps. The background
Keeping disturbance and environmental impact to a minimum was a priority for the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital as it undertook a project to construct a new building at its site at Wonford. The new building was to be built over the top of existing underground foul sewage and storm water lines, which needed to be moved to enable the development to take place. Following a site survey the contractor, Morgan Sindall, instructed Selwood’s pump rental solutions team to carry out the overpumping operation so that the pipework could be relocated. Selwood’s team turned their attention to finding a sensitive solution that met the requirements of the Trust.
The site of the development was next to active hospital wards, near the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and on a blue-light ambulance route where 24/7 access was required. In addition, the job needed to be carried out at a busy time for the hospital during the Covid pandemic.
The pump diverting water from the storm lines was only activated when required, but the foul pump for sewage needed to run around the clock. Patient comfort and safety were the highest priority for Selwood’s teams in developing a solution which needed to overcome the challenge of providing an effective overpumping solution while keeping noise, vibration and diesel emissions to the absolute minimum.
Selwood recently became the first UK rental company to offer pumps that can be fuelled by Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO). This followed extensive testing of HVO in Selwood’s fleet of pumps, which proved that HVO is completely interchangeable with diesel with no negative effect on performance. HVO is made from renewable raw materials and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% while also reducing nitrogen oxide and particulate matter from emissions.
Pumps using HVO fuel were housed in Selwood’s Super Silent canopies – the combined effect of which was a greatly reduced noise and emissions output in line with the requirements of the client and Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust. Deliveries and installation to site were carefully planned for times when vehicles could be safely parked out of the way, ensuring there was no obstruction of the vital blue light route into the hospital. Selwood’s solution was delivered on schedule and in a way that was 100% compliant with Covid safety measures including the wearing of masks and strict social distancing. Morgan Sindall, and the Trust both expressed satisfaction with the solution and the professionalism of Selwood’s teams in making sure this important work could be carried out with minimal pollution and disruption. www.selwood.co.uk
The changing climate of water conservation In the UK water conservation has been on the agenda and largely dismissed by the public for years. Our growing population combined with increased demand through lifestyle choices, is going to result in critical water situations more regularly, particularly in the driest parts of the country. The ineffectiveness of consumer education means the industry must look for alternatives to reducing water usage. To coincide with COP26, there is a wide range of projects, public education events and even TV series telling us how to improve our ‘lifestyle’ to minimise our impact on the environment. Although droughts, and floods have been highlighted, the general day to day use of water is rarely mentioned. In the UK water services are cheap and we never have true rationing of supply (the occasional hose pipe ban just doesn’t count). For just a few pounds, domestic customers can have a tonne of high-quality drinking water delivered to their taps, then taken away and cleaned up. Although the financial cost of supplying and cleaning water is relatively low, the environmental impact isn’t - 40gm of carbon for each 1m3, whether that’s making it ready for consumption or to return it to the environment. To reduce the environmental impact of water usage Defra set a target of reducing the average personal daily consumption from 143l to 110l by 2050. ‘Smart metering’ has been shown to have some impact on domestic consumption. However, aging infrastructure with multi household supplies are amongst the many factors that ensure that mandated metering – let alone ‘smart metering’ is not likely to be rolled out nationally in the short term.
If we can’t change mindset, change the supply
Our water companies are regulated to provide a minimum level of water, but in many areas due to network structure and gravity fed systems supply is much greater. So, run a hose for five minutes at the bottom of the hill, and your lawn will be greener that the gardener
that does the same at the top. These ‘time controlled’ uses, e.g. teeth cleaning, taking a shower, running a tap to rise dishes could be standardised down if all households received the same acceptable, ‘standardised’ supply. Defra’s target is a 33l reduction. Groundbreaker’s NRv2 LoFlo® is a surprisingly simple method of working towards that target. Independent research carried out by WRc, showed a theoretical reduction of 2-4% of typical water usage. However, recent field trials by a major UK water company are showing reductions in excess of 37l per day (for one or two person households) – a saving in per capita consumption in excess of 10% NRv LoFlo® modulates the level of flow entering customer premises – regardless of network pressure, meaning a reduction in the level of water used by customers when ‘variable use’ appliances (i.e. showers, taps, hosepipes) are used. As the flow of water into the premises is limited, then the amount used by the customer is also limited – but without providing a degradation of service, and more importantly not requiring any intervention or behavioural change on the part of the customer, leading to ‘natural’ reduction in per capital consumption. 2
A number of flow modulation ranges are available which enable the perfect balance between usage reduction and service provision. As an added benefit, the NRv2 LoFlo® can also provide whole site protection against contamination by back flow. The NRv2 LoFlo® can be easily and simply retrofitted to any meter installation, or meter exchange when upgrading or remediating underground meter chambers. Thus, allowing Water Companies to manage demand with little or no impact on consumers and at minimal cost to the water undertakers effectively a 3 in 1 solution. A simple solution at approximately £20 per household, fitted on the normal meter exchange/upgrade cycle could achieve 20% of our consumption target in 10 years. Groundbreaker products are compliant with all Regulations and defined criteria and are used extensively across the whole of the UK water supply network – whether that be North of Scotland or the Channel Islands. Steve Leigh FIWater, Managing Director Groundbreaker Systems won the HBF’s ‘Utility of the Year’ in 2018. www.groundbreaker.co.uk
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
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Trenchless innovation: A client’s perspective
Wessex Water’s Rehabilitation Manager Julian Britton discusses how the company has used innovative trenchless technology to renovate sewers. Wessex Water was an early adopter of renovating sewers using trenchless technology and assisted the Water Research Centre (WRc) in their compilation of the Sewerage Rehabilitation Manual (first edition) in 1980, later published in 1983. Our participation saw the lining of ovoid sewers across the railway station car park in Weston-super-Mare, with Type 1 GRP liners, which were purposely crushed to destruction to understand the failure and buckling
moments, and hence the calculations to design future linings. In 2004, a dedicated Sewer Rehabilitation team was formed, with the company’s aim of driving forward innovation by: reducing open-cut repair interventions and mitigating the impact of our work on customers and commuters, which is achieved by using methods that prevent the need for over 30,000 muckaway lorries on our streets per year
reducing unit rate costs of renovation, which now stand at 75% less than open cut equivalents, when we utilise ‘Cured in Place Pipelining’ (CIPP) calculating and reducing our carbon footprint through trenchless works when using CIPP, now equating to 95% less CO2 production over traditional open cut. Numerous awards have been won by the team, including the International Society of Trenchless Technology’s (ISTT) ‘Innovation
Headlight AI in action
Re Rounder Pre laser freeboard
Re Rounder Post installation
Award’ in Rome (2007) for our work on polyacrylate joint sealing to prevent groundwater infiltration. We also won the same ISTT ‘Innovation Award’ in Toronto (2009) for our collaborative development of the world’s first ‘Melt in Place Pipelining system’.
Surveying sewers and tunnels
Information gathering commences any scheme with CCTV surveys, and the most difficult surveys are those in our large diameter tunnels up to 5m in diameter, with high velocities of flow, where access can be up to 90m deep and shafts 1000m apart. We wanted to develop a robust LiDAR-based survey platform, which could mathematically discount for the semi turbulence of flow, without the need for a gimbal, providing a steady-state 3D model with high levels of accuracy. A survey platform with over 4000m of reach in one insertion. We commissioned a new start-up company in this field of expertise, Headlight AI Ltd and associates, Bright Innovations Group, who develop technologies for the sensing and assessment of such harsh environments. The data collected was processed to account for the motion of the system and utilised Artificial Intelligence (AI) to obtain insights into the sewer’s condition and identify defect locations faster and more accurately. The benefit of the system is that all required scanners and attached still 360-degree photographic rendering of the model are housed on the vehicle, without the need for an umbilical electrical power supply back to the surface, and more importantly, without the need to introduce operatives into such dangerous environments. The system was named ‘Telesto’. Unlike other Dense Point Cloud tunnel surveys using LiDAR, Telesto does not require ‘targets’ placed along the line of the sewer (which would require man entry) for model control. Thus, the Telesto method provides a greater level of information at a lower cost (greater than 50% lower on average) than person entry solutions. Wessex Water’s objective is to undertake an iterative series of surveys over their tunnel portfolio in the coming years to compare any deterioration of the tunnel intrados due to corrosion, diminution of wall thickness, or change in profile due to structural movement.
The Telesto system Telesto will also benefit through the automated nature of the technology, which will save us significant time in data processing. This will avoid the need for engineers to study and grade surveys and other data for long periods of time. Eventually, the development of our separate initiative to refine integrated defect recognition algorithms, which Wessex Water is currently exploring through our ‘Marketplace’ initiative, will increase appraisal productivity, allowing computers to take on laborious coding, with only a cursory intervention via human auditing.
Rehabilitating collapsing sewers
The transfer of private drainage to Wessex Water in 2012 saw our sewerage system increase in length to 35,000km, most of which are 150mm diameter pipes. The main reason is CIPP, where we line sewers with resinimpregnated felt or glass fibre linings, which we cure in place with heat or light. Once cured, the lining becomes a ‘pipe within a pipe’, designed to last for anywhere between 50 and 100 years. Unfortunately, in terms of the structural stability of the cured lining, we have additional design and installation considerations for those 150mm sewers with a deformation greater than 10% of the host pipe diameter. Beyond or greater than this, the ‘bending moments’ become larger, the thickness of the lining increases, and we often cannot mobilise the liner into the sewer, or it is so thick that it
reduces the hydraulic conductivity of the pipe beyond reasonable limits. Wessex Water has designed and manufactured a robotic machine for re-rounding (patent pending) deformed 150mm diameter sewer pipes, which have suffered up to 25% deformation on diameter. The machine is versatile and can be used with rigid clay or concrete sewer pipes as well as pitch fibre pipes. Once the pipe has regained its original rounded shape, a metal stent is placed to secure the structural integrity of the pipe, until CIPR Patching or CIPP Lining can be achieved. Commenting upon our 17 years of technical evolution, Hollie Sharratt, Commercial Manager for the Construction Division, said: “Trenchless solutions have made a significant impact on how Wessex Water review and repair our assets. It provides a fast, effective, sustainable and affordable approach, which leads us to providing better value for our customers with less disruption. “Trenchless solutions will continue to be developed and invested in as we face further challenges including a changing climate and increasing population.” Fundamentally, as owner of the sewerage networks asset, Wessex Water recognises the ‘needs’ to be addressed, and is best suited to search for solutions worldwide and/or innovate trenchless techniques where necessary.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
Wastewater Monitoring and Analysis
Why it’s smart to increase your sewer network monitoring Effectively managing hundreds of thousands of miles of sewer network is an unenviable task. And with ever-changing industry regulation, stricter statutory targets, additional compliance and a growing abundance of technology, that task could easily be regarded as insurmountable. How can you ever know exactly what’s going on throughout your entire network? It’s impossible. Or is it? Dave Walker, co-founder of Detectronic, investigates. Expert supplier support and solutions are now widely available to enable every water company to achieve and exceed this challenging task and it all starts with the decision to increase existing sewer network monitoring. The aim is to always be one step ahead and, ultimately, be in a position where you actually understand the entire DNA of your sewer network.
Prevention is better than cure
As defined by the Water Industry Act, 1991, the duties of a water and sewage company (WASC) in relation to wastewater services are: to provide, improve and extend a system of public sewers, and to cleanse and maintain them to ensure its area is effectively drained; and to make provision for emptying its sewers and the treatment of sewage. Having had three decades to get to grips with these duties, several WASCs have forged ahead after realising they can effectively meet their duties AND comply with stringent regulatory measures and targets by implementing smart network monitoring. Having strategic monitoring and predictive analytics in place is enabling them to identify any issues before they arise. The old adage – “prevention is better than cure” – is now broadly accepted by the UK water industry. But there is, as always, room for improvement! And, when we take into account the constantly evolving regulatory and compliance landscape, continual improvement is ‘de rigeur’. It is one of the reasons, alongside the constant need to achieve cost-savings, that we have been
encouraging water companies to increase their sewer network monitoring for many years.
Meeting regulatory and industry compliance
Established in 1989 following the privatisation of the water and sewage industry in the UK, Ofwat is the non-ministerial organisation tasked with regulating the water sector. One focus of Ofwat is the long-term stewardship of the environment, assets and relationships with customers. As such, along with Government statutes and mandates, Ofwat sets specific regulations, measures and targets that water companies must adhere to and meet in order to avoid financial penalties and, as a consequence, commercial and reputational damage. As you would expect, these are all under constant scrutiny and subject to regular review. For example, back in March, the Government introduced legal measures to reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows in a bid to reduce the harm to the environment. Storm overflows play a key role in preventing the sewer network from becoming overburdened with sewage and rainfall in the event of wet weather. They provide a release for diluted wastewater in rivers. Unfortunately, the reliance on storm overflows has increased in the last few years as a result of an increased number of annual rainfall events and a wastewater infrastructure that is being overwhelmed by an escalating population. Forming part of a wider agenda to build a greener environment following the pandemic,
these measures demand that water companies reduce their dependence on storm overflows. As such, the Government hopes this will translate in a dramatic reduction in the levels of sewage in UK waterways over the longterm. Part of the measures place a clear duty on WASCs to publish data on their annual storm overflow operations. They must also work closely with the Storm Overflows Taskforce which was established in September 2020 to bring key stakeholders together to ensure progress. As part of this Taskforce, they have had to commit to increasing the number of overflows they will improve on in the next five years. An additional 800 overflows will be investigated and almost 800 improved between 2020 and 2025. And it’s not just statutory bodies that are holding WASCs to account. Surfers Against Sewage are just one of a number of environmental organisations that are gaining increasing public support for their demands for stricter targets and increased transparency in relation to rivers and bathing water. Sympathy for this cause only increases when we read headlines like those back in July outlining that a UK water company had received a record fine of £90 million from the Environment Agency after pleading guilty to 6,971 unpermitted sewage discharges. The shortcomings of the UK water industry are still many and varied but there is at least one clear and proven way to prevent pollutions for good and improve performance at the same time and that is by increasing sewer network monitoring.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
Wastewater Monitoring and Analysis
Understanding the very DNA of your sewer network Helping water companies to prevent spills and pollutions, wherever they may occur, has been our day job since 1985. Almost all of the regulatory measures demanded can be satisfied by implementing smart network monitoring and ensuring it covers the entire network. Why? Because only then can you understand the entire DNA of your sewer network and manage it rather that it managing you. You can remain ahead, you can second guess, you will intuitively know what is happening, where and why.
Take external flooding in trunk sewers. This is a very common issue. The sewer network has to stand up to so many challenges from natural weather events to manmade problems. It’s inevitable that at certain times it will simply no longer be able to cope and flooding will occur. Being able to actually predict a problem well in advance of it occurring is the result of increased network monitoring. Consistent, robust and highly accurate data facilitated by a combination of AI, machine-learning (ML) and predictive analysis is the key to establishing a truly smart sewer network.
Take United Utilities. The company has embraced artificial intelligence (AI) and widely implemented it to proactively monitor and maintain its 78,000km wastewater network to great effect. UU are investing billions to upgrade services and the use of real-time data, AI and machine learning to process data and give advance warning of blockages or level increases.
Currently installing 19,000 sensors1 in manholes across its network in the northwest of England, UU wants to get ahead of any issue and tackle it before it causes problems for either the environment or a customer is imperative. The ultimate aim is the creation of a real time performance and condition monitoring platform that will enable efficient wastewater asset management across its wastewater catchments for decades to come. By interfacing with existing datasets from their current systems such as SCADA / Telemetry, network data sets (sensors & monitors), predictive analytics, forecasting (demand/load/weather), UU are harnessing the many benefits offered by AI and ML technologies to benefit the operating and maintenance of assets. The solution will enable them to: observe and understand in ‘real-time’ the network’s performance
DNA of its wastewater network. It will know how rainfall events affect the asset. It will measure water levels to millimetric accuracy. It will know how exactly how each drainage area impacts on another. As such it will be able to predict performance and identify any problems before they even occur. Now that’s smart. Alongside UU, Southern Water have plans to deploy 30,000 sensors2 across their network and Severn Trent are currently in the process of installing 10,000 alarm monitors3. Back in February, Thames Water announced they were trialling 300 sewer level monitors4 in a bid to prevent pollutions created by cooking fat and wet wipes (the company has had to tackle several ‘fat bergs’ over the last few years). And, with a focus on solving the problems caused by CSOs, Anglian Water have installed 700 Event Duration Monitors5 on CSOs in their catchment and plan to have a monitor on all of their CSOs by 2023.
enable an automated control system
So, it would appear that WASCs are taking a proactive approach to increasing their sewer network monitoring and we look forward to continuing to play a key role in this essential area of wastewater management.
optimise network performance via increased visibility of accurate and quality data
react to new issues before they become a problem increase resilience
By enabling this, they will be able to: be more efficient with spending reduce carbon footprint progress effectively to intelligent optimisation With 19,000 data points, UU will be in the enviable position of understanding the very
1 https://utilityweek.co.uk/ai-putting-eyes-and-ears-in-thewastewater-network/#.YVWZ_RytxKU.facebook 2 https://www.southernwater.co.uk/our-performance/ innovative-sewer-technology-to-tackle-blockages 3 https://smartwatermagazine.com/news/severn-trent/severntrent-begins-phase-two-smart-sewer-monitor-roll-out 4 https://www.thameswater.co.uk/about-us/newsroom/latestnews/2021/feb/sewer-monitors-help-detect-blockages 5 https://www.waterbriefing.org/home/water-issues/ item/18290-anglian-water-how-do-you-solve-a-problem-likecsos?
Wastewater Monitoring and Analysis
“It’s one minute to midnight”: why adaption is now as vital as mitigation in climate emergency Opening up COP26, Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared “it’s one minute to midnight on that doomsday clock” in his attempt to illustrate the seriousness of the climate threat we all face. While world leaders gathered at COP26, the Environment Agency warned that becoming resilient to the effects of climate change is now just as vital as mitigation. In the EA’s hard-hitting Third Adaption Report, its Chair, Emma Howard Boyd, suggests that we must “make the places where we live, work and travel resilient to the effects of the more violent weather the climate emergency is bringing. It is adapt or die”. The report warns that climate change will cause more floods and droughts, rising sea levels and a greater demand for water supplies. In fact, it is suggested that if no further action is taken between 2025 and 2050 then an extra 3.4 billion litres of clean water per day will be needed due to population growth and climate change. Almost universally accepted as the biggest challenge we face as a population, the effects of a changing climate are already being experienced and are projected to get worse. For example, the 2018 UK State of the Climate report, completed by the Royal Meteorological Society, evidenced that the UK’s climate is becoming wetter. According to the report, the most recent decade (2009-2018) has been on average 1% wetter than 1981-2010 and 5% wetter than 1691-1990 for the UK overall. Furthermore, the amount of rain from extremely wet days has increased by 17% when comparing the same time period. In February 2020, Storms Ciara and Dennis laid bare the dangers of extremely wet days.
Flooding in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and South Wales delivered untold damage and a clean-up bill estimated at well over £400 million. So, with greater demand and more climatebased challenges, how are water companies adapting their waste water networks? In the UK, a significant hurdle is the age and condition of the Victorian-era sewer system. The capacity of the network will be challenged by larger quantities of rainfall and greater demands through population growth, and so it is imperative that the network remains clear and operational. Ensuring blockages are identified quickly and cleared efficiently is critical. It is estimated that UK water companies spend £100 million every year clearing 300,000 blockages in the network. This is vital work, because blockages in the network can have devastating effects in the form of flooding and pollution events. Huge investments have been made into a wide range of solutions to blockages, both technical and awareness-led, and this has had a positive impact. In fact, Water UK suggests that customers are 8 times less likely to suffer sewer flooding than they were in the early 1990’s, so measurable progress has definitely been made. However, adapting the network to recognise blockages before they develop significantly is a highly effective way of ensuring the sewers continue to flow.
This is something that Thames Water has been proactive with, through investment in a variety of waste water sewer monitoring projects including sewer depth monitoring (SDM) deployments and the installation of HWM’s new early-warning SpillSens level monitoring and blockage alert system. SpillSens is a low-cost, multi-alarm digital float sensor that acts as an early warning system for blockages and sewer overflows. On average, Thames Water spends £18 million every year clearing 75,000 blockages from its complex 68,000-mile sewer network, and as such, is at the forefront of embracing digital technology to prevent flooding and pollution events. Discussing the installation of SpillSens, Thames Water Operations Manager Anna Boyles explains that “these new sewer level monitors are the very latest bit of kit – they’ve only just come onto the market”. “These monitors are an important tool in our armoury in the fight against sewer blockages. The data they provide gives us a picture of what’s happening in our sewers and helps us to nip blockages in the bud before they cause problems.” Going forward, already stretched sewer networks will be expected to cope with greater intensities of rainfall more frequently. Digital technologies such as SpillSens will play a crucial role in ensuring sewers have the capacity to handle these future challenges. www.hwmglobal.com
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
SpillSens ATEX-Certified Digital Float Sensor
Using digital positioning technology, SpillSens monitors rising levels in waste water networks, delivering an effective early warning of blockages and sewer overflows. www.hwmglobal.com
Connecting your IoT World Adaptive Modules was established in 2001 and are pioneers of new Internet of Things (IoT) technology that allows customers to use its innovative products to reduce costs, increase efficiency and maximise profitability.
The Company has launched a new product that overcomes a common problem for all Utilities, which is getting data signals out from below-ground effectively to the cellular and other radio networks such as 2G, 3G, 4G and NB-IoT. These signals are usually attenuated or partially blocked by chambers and manhole covers, which leads to poor performance and unreliable data-capture. Eradicating unreliable data points not only saves labour and maintenance costs, but it can ultimately help save Utilities £millions in potential fines. The newly introduced Manhole Cover Antenna provides substantial cost savings and efficiencies across all water networks. This antenna has already proven its worth with UK, European water networks and with sub-contractors having deployed these unique devices in the thousands. Typically, the antenna would be connected to a data logger or other underground sensor in the clean or wastewater networks. As the compact yet rugged antenna is situated discreetly on top of the access cover, it transmits a much stronger and steady signal from the device below the ground. In turn, this provides a reliable and stable transmission, thus enabling more effective and efficient monitoring of water usage, losses, and other performance indicators. The use of Water Loggers in the clean water network is well established. The monitoring
of the wastewater networks is ramping up all over the UK, Europe and indeed Worldwide, which provides an opportunity to use Adaptive’s low profile antenna at the installation stage of new devices Globally. Another hot topic in the water industry is smart metering and this roll-out will face similar connectivity problems that can, in most cases, be solved with the insertion of Adaptive's antenna that readily fits on top of the access cover. Adaptive Modules are reaching out to Water Utilities, their contractors, device manufacturers, communications companies, data providers and chamber & access cover manufacturers. This strategy ensures that all stakeholders have an awareness of the advantages the antenna can bring to their own offering, as well as helping all industry partners to monitor what is happening across the networks. Aside from the water industry, the antenna could have similar positive effects in monitoring assets situated in underground chambers. For example, gas, electricity, communications, railways, smart cities to name a few. The advantages to Utilities are considerable, including:
Allowing urgent action to be taken should a network issue arise. Enabling reliable transmission of data from data loggers and sensors. Adaptive Module’s antenna has been rolled out as part of a device replacement project to guarantee coverage for new monitoring equipment and can also be easily retrofitted. Installation is simple, quick and requires no special skills or equipment. The Antenna can handle the full range of 2G, 3G, 4G and NB-IoT frequencies and its performance is excellent. Colin Thornback, Account Manager at Adaptive Modules says: “Having spoken with Utility managers across the Country, there is a clear need to improve data coverage of devices monitoring their networks, as there are too many black spots. Those Utilities that have engaged with us and tested the antenna are 100% happy. We are also working with access cover manufacturers and monitoring device suppliers to add functionality to their products and make it easier for the Utilities going forward.” www.adaptivemodules.com
Helping to meet regulatory requirements. Increasing data evidence points.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
Anglian Water and partners celebrate success at Strategic Comms Awards Anglian Water and its reporting partners Emperor are celebrating after scooping two awards at last week’s Strategic Comms Awards. They were awarded Best Use of Purpose as a Business Driver and Best Annual Report 2021. Back in 2019 Anglian Water became the first major utility to change its Articles of Association to enshrine a requirement for its directors to consider the needs of communities and the environment alongside the need to deliver fair returns for investors. This is encapsulated in Anglian Water’s stated purpose: “Our purpose is to bring environmental and social prosperity to the region we serve through our commitment to Love Every Drop.” Since then the water company has been clear that this purpose should guide every decision made across the business, and it was instrumental in the development of the water industry’s shared sign up to five ambitious goals to tackle leakage, carbon emissions, plastics, affordability and social mobility. Progress against its social and environmental priorities sits firmly alongside the company’s financial credentials as part of its annual reporting cycle, and was a key theme throughout the company’s 2021 annual integrated report - The more we keep exploring, the more we’ll achieve – which was also recognised at the awards.
“At Anglian Water we have always understood the special responsibility we hold as a monopoly provider of an essential public service. We have a duty to deliver wider benefits to society, above and beyond the provision of fresh, clean water, and to be transparent in reporting our journey to do the best we can for our region.”
Ciaran Nelson, Director of Brand and Communications for Anglian Water, said, “I’m very proud to see our determination to put people and the environment at the forefront of every decision we make recognised – as it really is at the heart of all we do.
Helen Dunne, Editor of CorpComms magazine and organiser of last night’s awards, said: “The clarity of Anglian Water’s vision was really apparent in their entries – it’s clear that for them, purpose is not just words on a page but really shines through in all of their actions.”
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Wastewater Treatment and Technology
Electrifying advanced oxidation processes A collaboration between HPNow, Evonik and Xylem is showing how sustainable treatment processes can turn wastewater into healthy drinking supplies. Strong population growth, contamination from industrial and municipal uses, and critical regional droughts are placing great stress and challenges on global water resources and, consequently, on water purifiers. In addition to decades of proven drinking water treatment processes of surface and ground waters, there is a strong future need to recycle municipal wastewater in order to relieve the growing pressure on water resources.
would accumulate to critical concentrations in drinking water if not removed. In addition to eliminating micropollutants, established AOPs act as an effective disinfection barrier against viruses, bacteria, and protozoa.
For this purpose, advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are an essential part of the treatment chain. AOPs are used to remove harmful trace substances (e.g., 1,4-Dioxane, ibuprofen) that find their way into the water cycle – for example, through the use of hygiene products, medicines, or industrial production – and that
On-site generation of hydrogen peroxide holds strong benefits to logistical, handling safety, and regulatory challenges and can complement today’s established hydrogen peroxide production and supply chain. Copenhagen-headquartered HPNow has developed and brought to market a technology
A key component of AOPs is hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This is converted by ozone or UV light into highly reactive, extremely shortlived hydroxyl radicals, which remove harmful trace substances in an environmentally friendly, economic, and efficient manner.
solution, branded as HPGen, which can make use of low-concentration H2O2. Utilizing proprietary direct electrochemical synthesis, HPGen generates low-concentration H2O2 directly at the point of use, in a secure and sustainable manner.
The collaboration: HPNow, Evonik and Xylem
The innovative approach of this project is to produce hydrogen peroxide directly at the point of use, thus demonstrating the safe and reliable integration of this technology into a typical water treatment scheme using a UV AOP solution. For this purpose, an HPGen – UV AOP facility was installed in April 2021 at Evonik’s premises in the Industrial Park in Hanau-Wolfgang,
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
Wastewater Treatment and Technology
Complete test setup
HPGen H2O2 generator from HPNow
Spektron 6 UV-reactor from Xylem
Oxidation chart - Log reductions of the tested compounds in each experiment
Germany. The test plan focused on evaluating the removal efficacy of four emerging contaminants using this unique combination of in-situ H2O2 and UV. HPNow’s HPGen on-site H2O2 generator was integrated with Xylem’s WEDECO low-pressure UV reactor. HPGen produces hydrogen peroxide using only tap water, electricity, and oxygen from the ambient air. Xylem’s UV reactor “activates” the H2O2 into the desired hydroxyl radicals. Due to the very high reactivity of the hydroxyl radicals with micropollutants and other water constituents, the substances are oxidized within fractions of a second and no hydroxyl radicals remain in the water. Ibuprofen, caffeine, dichlorobenzamide, and 1,4-Dioxane were spiked to the process water as target pollutants and the degradation behavior was investigated in UV-AOP using the environmentally friendly oxidant H2O2. Within this process, hydrogen peroxide decomposes into oxygen and water only.
Both test series with 5 and 10 mg H2O2/l showed good to very good degradation results of all substances. In both tests, the same pattern was revealed with the strongest reduction of ibuprofen, followed by caffeine, dichlorobenzamide, and finally, 1,4-Dioxane, with the double H2O2 dose increasing the log reduction by a factor of about 1.4.
Benefits for users
The test results support the treatment processes practiced worldwide with AOP to produce drinking water. 1,4-Dioxane is a particularly resistant micro-pollutant to oxidative wastewater and drinking water treatment processes. Consequently, good 1,4-Dioxane reduction suggests even better reduction of most other micropollutants. By combining HPNow’s decentralized HPGen hydrogen peroxide generators with UV, an advanced and environmentally friendly technology can be implemented while eliminating the need to transport, store, and handle high-concentration peroxide. Of no less importance is the positive impact on sustainability. A substantially reduced carbon footprint is achieved through the combination of highly efficient direct electrochemical generation, as well as the elimination of transportation emissions. In fact, with the
use of green electricity, HPGen-UV’s carbon footprint can be reduced to near zero. This project has successfully demonstrated how combining the expertise, products, and technologies of Xylem, HPNow, and Evonik opens up sustainable opportunities in treatment processes to reuse wastewater for potable purposes and can provide people with healthy drinking water. HPNow provides hydrogen peroxide generation solutions for clients’ water treatment needs. More details at hpnow.eu For information on Evonik, visit active-oxygens.evonik.com/en/markets/ environmental-applications More details about Xylem at xylem.com/en-us/products-services/ treatment-products-systems/disinfectionand-oxidation/advanced-oxidationprocesses-aop
Wastewater Treatment and Technology
Four steps to follow for successful sewage AD plant design Embarking on a new wastewater anaerobic digestion project can be daunting, but a comprehensive design phase to determine the most successful layout for your site can reduce the risk. Here are Anaergia’s four design cornerstones to set your sewage AD project on the path to success… By Steven Cotterill
3D CAD Designer, Anaergia UK
1. Follow the process flow
Process dictates positioning; design the layout of your plant to follow the flow of material. This will enable feedstock to be conveyed over the shortest distance, reducing the likelihood of downtime from blockages and lessening equipment wear and tear. This principle can be applied across the whole site, as a smaller footprint means less land, less concrete and less labour will be required to build the plant. However, make sure to factor enough space for landscaping, planting and shielding, often required by planners.
2. Enable easy access to equipment
Ensure that forklifts, small vehicles or lifting machinery can easily access key equipment such as tanks, pumps and mixers. This will enable service engineers to quickly remove, repair and replace parts, reducing downtime. Ensure that high level equipment can be easily reached, with a sufficient platform for working, or that there is room for a cherry picker or scissor lift. If the plant has a flexible membrane roof, accommodate access for cranes, as the lifetime of the membrane is shorter than the subsidised life of UK AD plants. Finally, avoid siting equipment that will need regular maintenance within a DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations) zone, to reduce the time that operatives spend in this high-risk area.
3. Protect your people
The potential for explosive atmosphere increases near to pressure relief valves so avoid locating electrical equipment or instrumentation within the biogas release zone. Establish clear personnel routes throughout the facility. Inside the reception building, provide designated walkways, as well as barriers and/or handrails to protect people
Consider placing pipe runs and electric cables above head height on support frames to keep floors clear for access from tipping vehicles and bucket loaders. Arrange process pumps and pipework away from walkways to avoid trip hazards and consider placing pipe runs and electric cables above head height on support frames to keep floors clear. Take into account the maximum number of personnel that could be on site and ensure adequate facilities are available, including good washing facilities and toilets in both clean and dirty areas. Showers, changing rooms, laundry rooms and a sufficient-sized mess room for operatives and contractors are also essential.
4. Take care of transport
Consider vehicle movements in and out of the site, as well as within the site boundary. A traffic management plan is a good starting point, and a traffic light system may also be required. Locate the weighbridge close to the operations office to enable efficient communication between drivers and site personnel. If the weighbridge needs to be located further away, then install a serviceable automated ticketing system. Make certain there is enough vehicle turning and reversing space. If delivery vehicles are
Ensure service engineers can easily access key equipment to reduce downtime tipping into a reception building, it should be high enough to accommodate the bulk trailer at full tipping height. Include sufficient parking spaces to accommodate all staff and contractors and situate car parks close to the reception. This will ensure that new personnel can safely get to reception prior to signing in and being inducted. Finally, ensure that the bund size is adequate (110% of the largest vessel or 25% of total tank volume, whichever is higher) and that vehicles can easily access it, whether via a ramp or flood gate. To conclude, a comprehensive site design coupled with strong 2D and 3D concept artworks can help developers to visualise their proposed sewage AD plant and correct any potential layout issues before building works commence, saving both time and money. For expert AD design and layout advice, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
Wastewater Treatment and Technology
Yorkshire Water working with Anglian on sludge trade deal Yorkshire Water is working in partnership with Anglian Water to ensure sludge can be treated efficiently. As part of the short-term partnership, sludge will be transported from Anglian’s treatment works in Great Billing to Yorkshire Water’s wastewater treatment facilities. Yorkshire Water can accept the additional sludge after increasing its sludge treatment capacity with the introduction of the new Huddersfield anaerobic digestion plant. The trade deal makes use of this spare capacity in the market and is a first for Yorkshire Water, with the utility company also speaking with other water and sewage companies to explore further use of its internal sludge treatment expertise. Kevin Spink, bioresources waste services manager at Yorkshire Water said: “This sludge trade deal is a first for Yorkshire Water and illustrates the benefits available to our sector through collaboration with other companies. “We currently have some short-term sludge capacity available as a result of our new Huddersfield site beginning operation and we are pleased to be working with Anglian Water to deliver efficiencies. We are also working closely with others in the sector to expand trade deals and ensure sludge can be treated more efficiently.”
Gary Cunliffe, bioresources trading manager for Anglian Water said: “We are pleased to be able to help Yorkshire Water maximise their treatment assets and make sludge trading a reality between us.”
Fueling a sustainable world
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Why IIoT is set to transform water management By Stephen Major
Nokia’s Digital Industries Lead - Utility Sector The pressure is on for water companies right now. Rising temperatures, rapid population growth and increasing urbanisation are having a huge effect on water availability. Even as availability fluctuates, demand is growing, and as with all industries, water companies are under the magnifying glass to meet new sustainability goals. It’s clear that utilities need to take a fresh look at water management. Even as companies are investing in new water supply and distribution systems to meet the needs of a growing number of city dwellers, they are under pressure to reduce costs. It’s not viable to do a wholesale replacement of aging infrastructure, but as that infrastructure continues to deteriorate over time, it is increasing the risk of supplying reliable potable water. Corrosion and other damage can have a huge impact on water quality, and leaks can adversely impact water supply, revenue and reputation. In North America, Stanford estimates that 20-50% of water is lost through leakages, and across England and Wales, just under 3 billion litres of water (equivalent to 1,182 Olympic size swimming pools) are lost to leaks every day. UK regulator, Ofwat, has set performance commitments to reduce leakage over the 2020-2025 period, and by achieving those commitments, the sector will cut leakage by 16% by 2025. While it can be a struggle to decide where to place investments, utilities that leverage digitalisation will dramatically enrich their capabilities, unlocking new efficiencies that allow them to minimise risks.
Speeding the digital transformation journey By adopting digital technologies, utilities will be able to gain access to the data held within their own operations, allowing them to make smarter decisions. Wireless technologies hold the key to flexibility, enabling companies to leverage internet of things (IoT) connectivity for myriad sensors and devices. This will allow them to take advantage of smart water management applications using artificial intelligence and machine learning, such as real-time analytics and 24-7 monitoring, to minimize the issues that currently impact the water supply. Equipped with greater knowledge, including demand and supply levels as well as the common events that can lead to faults, leaks or sewage overflows, utilities will have more control. They’ll be able to increase water
© Getty Images efficiency and better manage water reuse and conservation, and can implement predictive maintenance capabilities, attending to problem areas before they become an issue. Additionally, the greater situational awareness will serve to speed response times and reduce the impact of incidents when they do occur.
Reducing digitalisation cost and complexity using open IIoT architectures
To leverage the true advantages of flexible wireless systems, utilities should consider adopting an open architecture approach to industrial IoT (IIoT). This will allow greater choice and flexibility in choosing the vendors that they work with, selecting the solutions that most closely meet their needs and enabling the use cases they want to implement. They’ll also have more freedom to take advantage of emerging applications. With no vendor lock-in, collaboration is made easier, integration is simplified, and implementation costs are reduced with more agile approaches. Technology advances are also driving down the cost of adoption for utilities. The ability to take advantage of secure, low-power wide area (LPWA) networks such as narrowband IoT (NBIoT) means that water utilities can implement the long-range wireless connectivity and deep underground and indoor penetration that they need. Low power consumption can prolong IoT device battery life to more than 10 years, providing a cost-effective and sustainable way to connect assets while also reducing the time and money spent on maintenance. These capabilities have also advanced the adoption of end user devices such as smart water meters. The Market Report for the Global Smart Water Meters Industry was
estimated at US$2.8 billion in 2020 and is now projected to reach US$4.3 billion by 2027. Increased adoption not only provides many operational benefits but also drives greater awareness among individuals about their own water consumption, often supporting changing customer behaviour and aiding the sustainability journey of utilities.
Building a sustainable future using Open IIoT today
Utilities who want to adopt smarter water management practices and improve their decision making should investigate the use of flexible wireless systems built on open IIoT architectures. By offering a modular, interoperable, secure and scalable approach, these allow companies to reduce complexity, become more agile and transform operations. As a result, utilities will be able to better manage the balance of supply and demand, reduce costs, ensure regulatory compliance and deliver the in-built resilience and intelligence that will help them move closer to their sustainability goals. While the pressure may be on for water utilities, investing in IIoT can help to mitigate the stress, reduce costs, and build a sustainable future for the years to come. Stephen is currently working within the Nokia Customer Experience Digital Industries group, focusing on developing solutions and services for utility clients. He has over 20 years’ experience working within the Utilities industry specialising in operational technology (OT) systems, information and mission critical communications technology (ICT), asset management, smart grid application development and the design.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
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The future for pumps, IIoT and Industry 4.0 The second decade of the fourth industrial revolution has brought with it a fascinating, fast-moving development within the manufacturing and industrial automation sectors. This technological growth, commonly referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), is a meeting of smart device technology and data generation, processing and accessibility. Within the consumer sector, this has resulted in the rapid creation of the smart home, where users benefit from the ability to remotely control a multitude of household appliances – from lighting and heating to kitchen appliances, security devices and entertainment systems – via computers, smartphones and tablets. Outside of the consumer sector, a branch of IoT has emerged within industries including manufacturing, healthcare and water treatment. Known as Industry 4.0 or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the integration of technology in physical devices can help managers make significant improvements to operational efficiency, energy consumption and environmental impact. This cutting-edge technology is now changing what is possible in traditional pump applications, including liquid transfer and chemical injection in processes as varied as swimming pool, wastewater and cooling water treatment. From flocculation and coagulation to pH correction and countless other watertreatment applications, operators seeking to improve efficiency and sustainability are increasingly specifying web-enabled pump systems. For example, the capacity for ‘live’ document sharing creates the potential for equipment manufacturers to update digital
installation guides and operating manuals to reflect changes in design or software and immediately upload the latest revisions to the cloud. This allows unlimited changes to be made and means engineers and operators always have access to up-to-date literature. As well as accelerating installation, setup and commissioning, managers can reduce associated time and costs while helping to ensure a smoother user experience. During equipment operation, IoT systems receive information from pump sensors, constantly harvesting data on multiple values – including cycle status, chemical consumption and vibration monitoring. With both historical and real-time data at their fingertips 24/7, users can make informed decisions relating to system performance and perform immediate adjustments to formulas, flow rate, unit of measure and other parameters as well as altering pump operating modes such as manual, batch and timed. As well as making instant efficiency improvements, operators are able to budget with greater accuracy and confidence while streamlining stored chemical volume. Additionally, many web-connected pump systems have the capacity to convert chemical consumption volume into the equivalent financial value, which allows projected savings to be precisely calculated when considering dosing adjustments. These figures may also be presented to senior management in order to justify changes or to demonstrate performance in monetary terms.
IIoT-based systems also enable users to receive smartphone notifications as soon as faults occur, meaning defects can be immediately identified and remedial action planned to take place outside normal operating hours when disruption can be minimized. This yields a vast improvement in the efficiency of equipment maintenance, repair and upgrade planning while avoiding costly and inconvenient unplanned downtime. It’s not only the efficiency of equipment and utilities that can be improved. For businesses running across multiple sites in different countries or even continents, IIoT and the leveraging of real-time data means operations management can be anywhere in the world and still be as effective as they would be whilst stood in front of the machine’s controller. Plus, wasted journeys by technicians – who may travel a considerable distance to assess a pump’s condition as part of routine maintenance only to find it in perfect working order – can be eliminated, as they need only be deployed when required. This is particularly timely post-coronavirus, when the remote-working trend established during the pandemic has seen many operators continue to work at least partially from home and the integration of IIoT has begun to be seen as an expectation rather than a bonus. With 5G opening yet more possibilities for high-speed, ultra-reliable IoT, the pump industry is primed to see where technology will take Industry 4.0 in 2022 and beyond. seko.com
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
Connecting you to your chemical dosing pumps, wherever you are
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A world of data at your fingertips The Elektra digital dosing pump controller from SEKO allows you to monitor and manage your dosing equipment 24/7 via smartphone for a new standard in operational efficiency and accessibility in water-treatment applications.
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
New portable tank cleaning service for utilities sector Industrial cleaning and waste management specialist Qualitech has launched a new tank cleaning service for the utilities sector, following an investment in the latest screening and classification technology from wet processing industry experts CDE. CDE’s D:MAX is a mobile, trailer-mounted screening and classification system which efficiently removes grit, rag and other troublesome solids from the water and wastewater treatment process. Its mobility enables flexible processing of waste across a range of industries as it can be transported between sites to process material closer to the source, therefore eliminating the need to haul waste at high cost to a central processing facility. Qualitech spokesperson Bob Currie said: “We have identified a clear gap in the market in our region for a tank cleaning contract service of this kind, and it’s an area where we see great potential for future growth.” “Although this is our first project with the team at CDE, we have long been familiar with their technology and credentials in this space. From the moment we observed the D:MAX solution in operation and witnessed firsthand the results it was delivering we knew it had the potential to play a key role in our business.” Qualitech’ s new D:MAX will be used to process a variety of waste materials from digesters at wastewater treatment sites at a rate of 120m3/hrat 6% dry solids (DS) content.
The D:Max by CDE is the latest addition to Qualitech’s range of services
With the D:MAX, Qualitech can eliminate plastics, rag, grit and other solids passing through pumps, tanks and centrifuges which can reduce capacity and adversely impact efficiency due to their wear on downstream processes. By removing these highly abrasive materials the D:MAX minimises avoidable and costly downtime for maintenance, while
recovering capacity within the process where solids build-ups have occurred resulting in increased operational efficiency. CDE Business Development Manager Fergal Campbell added: “Qualitech has developed an impressive network in its 10-year history, providing coverage throughout the north and south of England. The solution will play an important role in advancing the circular economy in the region by recovering dewatered grit, with opportunities for applications in construction, and allowing retained sludges to be recovered for energy generation that will produce high quality cake free from solids contamination for agricultural uses” A key advantage of the D:MAX is that it has the potential to divert high tonnages from waste for landfill and can recover significant volumes of recycled grit and aggregates suitable for a variety of applications. This material represents an unknown proportion of the volume of sludge that could potentially be removed and transported offsite at significant cost. By utilising the D:MAX only the solids contamination is removed, resulting in considerable reductions in disposal costs, reducing carbon footprint and minimising environmental impact. In addition to recovering materials for future use, screened organics can be used in electricity and energy generation while screened sludge can be used for composting and agriculture. For more information about CDE and the D:MAX, visit CDEGlobal.com
Sludge cake to liquid in minutes Yorkshire Water Knostrop is a large wastewater treatment plant servicing a growing population of 800,000 people. The decision was taken to rebuild the works with standard digestion and a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant. The contract was given to build a facility to process indigenous sludge and imported dewatered sludge cake. SEEPEX had previously installed 12 large progressive cavity pumps on site, pumping sludges to an incinerator which had come to the end of its asset life. Over many years these pumps had proven to be reliable, and SEEPEX had built a well-established relationship with both the end user and their logistics hub.
Reliable operation under extreme conditions
Knostrop is a sludge treatment centre that not only produces indigenous sludge but also receives five daily loads of dewatered sludge by truck five days a week from satellite sites in West and North Yorkshire. Each load had to be processed in under an hour to prevent vehicle backup. The application required a pump to receive imported dewatered sludge from a large reception belt facility and process 28 tonnes of 30% DS cake with high grit and rag content into a 6% DS homogenous mixture. The resultant total volume after mixing was 150m3/h which was then fed to the digesters. The pump had to run up to eight hours a day, achieve a constant dry solids mix and operate reliably under these extreme conditions.
Perfectly mixed for optimised digestion
SEEPEX calculated the total pumped volume of sludge cake plus dilution liquid, using a combination of application experience, pump selection software and algorithms. Choosing the correct amount of dilution/side stream liquid to thin the cake is important to achieve the 6% DS required to optimise digestion. Two large TVE open hopper pumps with an auger feed screw were selected, these were fed from the imported sludge reception facility. Each pump was designed to handle a capacity of 150m3/h of back mixed sludge and pump 30% DS dewatered sludge cake in the absence of dilution liquid. A homogenous mix was achieved within the pump hopper by the auger feed screw and
SEEPEX pumps back mix 30% DS dewatered sludge into 150m3/h 6% DS homogenous mixture in under 1 hour appropriately positioned dilution connections. A reliable 6% DS mixture was delivered by monitoring the pump’s speed and discharge pressure by controlling the amount of dilution liquid being added to the pump hopper. To assist with maintenance, the pump was fitted with rotor joint access (RJA) enabling the pump’s compression zone to be moved over the stator. This allows access to the rotor universal joint and gives the ability to remove debris without involving extensive maintenance work, e.g. removing pipework and the pump’s stator.
Reliable operation and good service life SEEPEX maintenance-in-place technology enables the removal of blockages and simplifies maintenance
is pumped without interruption. And there has been no reported failure or performance drop. The removable compression zone significantly reduces downtime as blockages caused by large debris can be removed and the pump put back in operation within hours without dismantling the pump and extensive downtime. The solution delivered by SEEPEX is a more cost-effective alternative to the traditional multi-step back mixing approach which would involve further tank storage, additional pumps and blending. seepex.com
Since their installation in June 2018, the pumps have performed as per the predicted KPIs related to parameters such as flow, pressure, speed, kW and amps. The processed sludge
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
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Pressure Sensors for Water Pipelines
Fitness tracker for water pipes could spot bursts before they happen Innovative technology, which does for water pipes what fitness tracker wristbands have done for people, could spot water bursts before they happen. The Critical Infrastructure Pipeline Protection System® (CIPPS®) dynamically tracks pipeline deterioration, using data from sensors strapped to the outside of water pipes, to work out how ‘healthy’ a pipe is. It does this by monitoring the expansion and contraction of a pipe in real-time. Pioneered in the North West by Datatecnics, in conjunction with water firm, United Utilities, results from early trials in Lancashire and Liverpool are already attracting industry interest. Steve Quarmby, of United Utilities, said the tech was the latest breakthrough in the company’s drive to create ‘smart’ networks using tools, like Internet of Things and AI, in ever more inventive ways. “United Utilities has tens of thousands of miles of underground pipes made from a mix of materials that have been used over the years, from cast iron used by the Victorians to the plastic that’s common today,” said Steve. “When they burst they cause inconvenience and disruption to our customers. When you put water under pressure in any pipe, it’s the pressure itself that can cause the damage. It makes pipes swell and contract. These stresses and strains over decades weaken the pipe and it’s the classic cause of failure. “Datatecnics’ uses a set of tiny permanent sensors which are strapped to a pipe to deduce how it’s flexing in real time. By interpreting the data we get insight into whether it’s becoming brittle and how long it has got until it needs to be replaced. When we’re prioritising our pipes for maintenance and repair, it’s very important we know we’re spending our time and resources in exactly the right place,” he added.
Suhayl Zulfiquar, Chief Executive of Datatecnics, noted how big a step forward this achievement was not just for Datatecnics but for the water sector. He said: “Really, what we’ve achieved here, with the support of United Utilities, is as much about cultural innovation as it is technological. Datatecnics is transforming the visibility that water companies have on the most complex system that they manage - their pipelines. “In doing this, we’re helping water companies predictively manage their assets.” Manchester-based Datatecnics is one of a number of new, or new-to-the-water industry, companies whose pioneering potential was spotted by United Utilities and incubated in its respected Innovation Lab.
Previous Lab technologies have won awards. The three plastic pipes, of various ages and burst histories, being used in the Datatecnics trial are the first fully digitised pipes in the world. The greatest value from the technology is most likely to come from monitoring mains of critical or strategic importance where CIPPS® can enhance the resilience of the water supply. Datatecnics is working on developing new models which will allow asset management teams and operational staff to not only forecast failure on pipelines where CIPPS® is installed, but to make much more accurate assessments of the wider networks healthiness.
Really, what we’ve achieved here, with the support of United Utilities, is as much about cultural innovation as it is technological. Datatecnics is transforming the visibility that water companies have on the most complex system that they manage - their pipelines. In doing this, we’re helping water companies predictively manage their assets. Suhayl Zulfiquar, Chief Executive of Datatecnics
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
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Water company restoring habitats across Essex A fantastic project that has seen hectares of habitat created for local wildlife has now been completed. In autumn last year, Essex & Suffolk Water started the project at Abberton Reservoir near Colchester, to create and enhance more than two hectares of priority habitat. Priority habitats are a range of semi-natural habitat types that have been identified as the most threatened and requiring conservation action. In addition to the habitat enhancement, the water company and Essex Wildlife Trust have been hard at work over the past three years to restore seven ponds. This includes Essex & Suffolk Water restoring four ponds to their natural glory at Hanningfield Reservoir, located between Billericay and Chelmsford, and Essex Wildlife Trust restoring two ponds at their Abberton Reservoir Nature Reserve.
During October last year the team began work to enlarge and restore an old and degraded pond that was completely overgrown with willow and scrub and had sat dry for most of the year - making it less desirable to the local wildlife. The work was carried out under the close supervision of members of the water company’s Conservation and Land Management team, as the pond was recorded historically as being home to the highly protected Great Crested Newts. The team were able to remove the overgrowing scrub while retaining mature hedgerow and dug out the sediment that had been deposited in the pond over time, returning it to a much deeper pond.
“Although the excavation work looked dramatic at the time, it is amazing how quickly nature restores when given a helping hand. The pond now looks fantastic and will support a whole host of wildlife over the next few years.” Charlotte Bradley , Essex & Suffolk Water, Conservation and Land Advisor
Over the last 12 months the pond at Abberton Reservoir has refilled naturally and wetland vegetation has come back thriving with the addition of wildflowers around the edges and surrounding grass. During this summer Broadbodied Chaser dragonflies were even seen patrolling the shoreline. Essex & Suffolk Water, Conservation and Land Advisor, Charlotte Bradley said: “Although the excavation work looked dramatic at the time, it is amazing how quickly nature restores when given a helping hand. The pond now looks fantastic and will support a whole host of wildlife over the next few years. “As well as benefitting wildlife we hope this project and others of its kind at Abberton Reservoir will help flooding, silting and improve water quality. “These projects also demonstrate a great working partnership with Essex Wildlife Trust and local landowners who are very engaged with the work.”
WATER INDUSTRY JOURNAL DECEMBER 2021
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