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Participating in the intelligent sewers trial – Detectronic

A post by Detectronic

Water pollution monitoring is something we’re pretty good at here at Detectronic. In fact, we (and our clients!) see ourselves as experts on the topic. So, when we found out about Wessex Water’s intelligent wastewater networks Event Duration Monitoring (EDM) trial via the Marketplace, we jumped at the chance to participate. Finding the project on the Marketplace was simple. The portal is much more user friendly than other tender portals and it was clear from the description what Wessex Water was looking for. Overall, we found Marketplace much less formal than an official tender process and easy to use.

With the increased number of monitors in the wastewater network, Wessex Water’s control room is receiving an increasing number of alarms during wet weather events. Some of these alarms are genuine, whilst others are simply triggering because of the high volume of rainfall. The project objective is to enable the prediction and resolution of surcharging sewers before they become pollution or flooding incidents and to reduce the number of ‘false’ alarms during storm events. Along with two other successful companies, we were allocated a proportionate number of in-situ level monitors across the Bath catchment.

We have a number of different solutions available for a wide variety of applications, but DetecAnalytics takes water pollution monitoring to the next level: it allows water and sewerage companies to predict what will happen in their sewer network.

DetecAnalytics is an AI-powered analyst which uses smart algorithms, real-time data, historical data sets and information from other sources such as rainfall and translates it into actionable insights. Machine learning technology makes dry weather flow predictions and uses the additional data (e.g. rainfall forecast) to predict future flows and identify anomalies in the network.

Screenshots from the system

When a level reading falls outside of the predicted bandwidth, an ‘event’ is raised. An event is not an alarm as ever-changing conditions (e.g. silt movement) in the sewer network and spurious readings from ultrasonic sensors can result in differing levels from one day to the next, resulting in a high number of ‘events’ being raised. Smart alarming functions are therefore set and only these alarms are autonomously sent to Wessex Water. The two autonomous alarm functions set for this trial are:

· Alarm: Critical level (spill point) breach and upper bandwidth exceedance occurs simultaneously. *When a critical level is breached but the level is within the bandwidth e.g. during storm events this would therefore not create an automated alarm.

· Alarm: Set time (20mins) continuous exceedance upper/lower bandwidth. *This ensures autonomous alarming is not forwarded for spurious ultrasonic readings or temporary ‘events’ which clear.

Only these alarms are autonomously passed over to Wessex Water, which could significantly reduce alarms to the control room. This enables a clear view to Wessex Water to react to differing conditions specific to a catchment or a water recycling centre at any point in time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

With the help and support of the Wessex Water team, the project commenced at the end of May. It has been a fantastic learning experience for all of us and has pointed us towards further development of the DetecAnalytics systems, notably, in smart alarming.