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Industry firsts are happening at South-East Water as part of a digital water meter trial which could revolutionise the way the water industry detects and prevents leaks.

The Kent-based company, which supplies 2.2 million customers in parts of Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, is the first utility in England to have a full NBIoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) commercial agreement in place with Vodafone.

It will use the partnership to transmit data for analysis from digital water meters at 2,000 homes in the trial area, as well as information from other network sensors.

In addition, a collaboration with ATi and Syrinix is the first time data from both their pressure and water quality monitors have been combined into one data set for analysis.

 

PIPEMINDER-S and ATI Water Quality sensors

South-East Water’s Operations Director, Dr Simon Earl, said: “In total, this trial has brought together nine specialist companies in their respective fields to test the latest cutting edge digital water meters, sensors, advanced analytics and telecommunications channels.

“If successful, it has the potential to alert us to the smallest leaks on both our and our customers’ pipes soon after they occur, and could even enable us to predict and prevent pipeline failure before it happens.

“The data received at regular intervals from the digital meters and sensors within our trial area could revolutionise the way we look for and prevent leaks in the future, further reducing interruptions to supply, reducing the water we take from the environment and increasing the resilience of the service we provide to our customers.

“It represents a step change in the efficiency of providing this digital information as it doesn’t require the often prohibitive costs of installing new apparatus such as radio masts to transmit local data back to a central point.

 

South-East Water has met its leakage target for more than 10 years, but we are not complacent and are committed to using the latest, most innovative technology to drive leakage down further.

We anticipate by undertaking this trial over the coming year it will give us a solid head start to meeting our commitment to reducing our leakage levels by 15 per cent by 2025.”

“We are delighted to be working with South-East Water and its partners on what is such a landmark project.

As utilities grapple with increasing regulatory pressures, our collaboration with ATI and Visenti on this project is truly showing smart networks in practice with its provision of actionable data.”

James Dunning, CEO Syrinix