There is change in the air (or in the water) as to how Australian water utilities are approaching general operations, the management of their assets and the loss of water caused by leaks and breaks through the increased adoption of digital analysis of raw data and the use of a Central Event Management solution.
The following is an extract from a recent release by Sydney Water.
In response to the number of utilities moving from smart meters to looking at end to end digital solutions across their business, WSAA is establishing a Digital Strategy and Architecture Community of Practice with a focus of developing a common architectural approach and shared architectural artefacts. The aim is to provide a common frame of reference for the use of digital technology in the water sector and encourage the sharing of best practice approaches.
WSAA is working with water businesses to help foster adoption of effective digital approaches recognising that this journey is not only within the business but involves smart partnerships and cross sector engagement.
The following is an excerpt from a press release from Sydney Water which may be of interest to the members.
In the spirit of sharing, a recent summit was conducted at Sydney Water’s headquarters, attended by water utilities around Australia as well as Central Event Management company TaKaDu to look at the trends and benefits of digital adoption. Everyone acknowledges that the days of utilities waiting for their customers to call and tell them there is a burst water main, a pressure problem or a problem with water quality are rapidly coming to an end.
Sydney Water is using the TaKaDu system which has led to over 1000ML in avoided non-revenue water loss, over 200,000 property impacts have been avoided or minimised since September 2017 and over $1.3M in rebate costs to customers for non-supply avoided.
Hunter Water has had a similar experience with a high level of water loss dropping from 104 litres per connection per day to 79 litres per day in 2018/19. Hunter Water is at the beginning of its journey in digital analytics with plans to expand the 25% of its network connected to the TaKaDu system to 100% by 2025. The TaKaDu system has helped detect a number of leaks where there was no visual evidence, in turn saving more than 70 ML of drinking water.
At Central Highlands Water in Victoria, the target is to drive non-revenue water to below 10%. The major part of the current NRW lost is due to a high number of small magnitude leaks that are difficult and time consuming to identify and locate. TaKaDu has been adopted in July 2019 providing significant transition from manual analysis of data to machine learning digital analysis through the TaKaDu system. Staff time reviewing trend data has been reduced and now have a better view of the locations of potential system losses via automated alerts.
At Unitywater in South East Queensland a small pilot using the technology has expanded to over 190 district metered areas being monitored. The digital system has resulted in a more integrated process across the entire business. The ability to detect leaks overnight means an investigation and repair can often be done before customers wake up.
The adoption of digital analysis is allowing a change in culture within water utilities with more customer focus and better outcomes for customers.
The system at TaKaDu allows analysis of peak flows, pressure regulation, faulty assets, telemetry and data quality issues, operational failures and Chlorine residual management. In addition, the system provides improved visibility of the network operations, general operations optimisation and enhanced planning for growth through improved water modelling.
Improved customer service is achieved through quicker response times, the faster resolution of events, shared awareness of events, and the effective handling of customer queries. All of this generates better value for money.