Increased monitoring of our sewerage network - can you help?

30 September 2022


Following on from the success of our EDM intelligent sewers challenge, and in line with our vision of developing intelligent wastewater networks, we are launching another challenge in this space. However, for this challenge we are looking specifically for low cost monitors rather than an analytical system/software.

We want to increase our ability to proactively monitor and identify issues in our sewer network (principally blockages and sewer health), in order to further reduce the number of flooding and pollution incidents that occur, while also improving customer service and environmental benefits.

Therefore, we are looking to significantly increase the number of in-sewer monitors across our network at key assets/locations, likely monitoring level but we are open to other options. Due to the potential scale and end user requirements, we are looking for a lower cost solution than the EDM-standard sewer level monitors.

Increased monitoring could also aid in our transition from time-based maintenance to condition-based maintenance.

Challenge overview

The aim of this Marketplace challenge is to help us gain information and experience to inform procurement of a suitable monitor in the future.

We will trial potential monitors, and we are inviting suppliers to apply to take part.

We expect the trial to proceed as follows:

  • Monitors will be installed at 5-10 locations per supplier for a period of 3 months in early 2023 (installation likely to happen between January and March).
  • Data will be inspected to see if it is representative during a range of operational conditions (dry/wet weather, potential issues), and where relevant for alignment with EDM-standard sewer level monitors.
  • When we are alerted of issues, where appropriate we would check whether this was a valid alert by inspecting the site.

For the product identified as most successful, we envisage placing a small contract (likely no more than c.200 units) to enable further assessment.

As a regulated business, we are bound by the Utilities Contracts Directive 2016 so any subsequent larger-scale roll-out would have to go to competitive tender due to the expected value of the contract. The trial and initial contract is principally an information-gathering exercise to confirm that we can use the data and to help us inform requirements for an invitation to tender (ITT). The ITT would be opened to the market and not restricted to the successful triallists, although we would use the trial outcome to inform the tender criteria, which would not be changed. A successful trial will not guarantee a contract nor any other form of business.

What are we looking for?

For the ultimate solution, we are looking for a monitor that:

  • Can measure conditions in sewers to infer potential issues/operating conditions.  This will likely be by measuring sewer levels but we are open to other methods.
  • Is low cost to purchase (lower than traditional regulatory standard sewer level monitors).
  • Is low cost and easy to install, ideally at manholes with no enabling works (e.g. civil works) required.
  • Is low cost to operate, maintain and replace.
  • Is suitable for installation in a range of location types.
  • Has a low maintenance/failure rate.
  • Enables us to respond to significant issues in a timely fashion, with few false alarms.
  • Reliably logs and communicates data that is:
    • Accurate
    • Repeatable
    • Usable (e.g. logging/transmission frequency, lack of noise).
  • Uses a suitable communications platform for reliably returning data from remote locations, in a sewer, under a manhole cover.
  • Provides an API-based connection for data transfer.
  • Has a long battery life span (ideally 5-10 years).
  • Can be installed, operated and maintained as safely as possible, ideally without the need for entry into a confined space (i.e. surface accessible).
  • Is ATEX-rated.

How to find out more

We will be holding a Teams session to explain the background of the challenge and answer any questions you may have. This will take place on Monday 17 October, 15:45-16:45 UK time.  Please email to register your interest and receive the dial-in details.

Suppliers will be able to submit outstanding queries following the call – please email them to by 23:59 on Tuesday 18 October. We will respond to them all here (unless there are questions that wouldn’t be appropriate to share answers to that may relate to the specific IP of an organisation).

How to apply

Suppliers will then have until 23:59 on Wednesday 9 November to submit their application for the trial – by email to  Please keep submissions as concise as possible and include:

  • Details of the monitor and any case studies of previous use including contact details of users that we can refer to if required.
  • Confirmation that data from the monitors would be available for Wessex Water staff to access throughout a trial.
  • Confirmation that the product generates data that it is possible to set alerts against.
  • Confirmation that during a trial we could have access to whatever portal displays the alerts (if your product generates alerts).
  • Confirmation that the product is compatible with third-party software to enable future integration in a wider roll-out phase.
  • Confirmation that the monitor is in production / production ready.
  • Confirmation that the monitor would be available for purchase and installation following a trial.
  • Indicative costs for a trial of 5-10 monitors, installed by the supplier.
  • Discount schedule based on volume (with or without installation).
  • Typical costs for operation, maintenance and replacement.

For information, suppliers would need to adhere to our supplier onboarding requirements should their proposal progress. These include insurance (see the end of the article for details). There would also be the requirement to hold either ISO 45001 or SSIP certification. Further onboarding requirements will be detailed later in the process.

We’ll review the applications and hold face to face meetings with a shortlist of suppliers, before selecting a small number of suppliers to proceed to a trial.

We’ll feedback on how the challenge progresses via our blog.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Important point: Taking part in this Marketplace challenge does not guarantee a contract at the end. Wessex Water reserves the right to stop this challenge at any time.

Insurance policy Level of cover

  • Employers’ liability The minimum level of employers’ liability required is GBP 10,000,000
  • Public liability The minimum level of public liability required is GBP 5,000,000. (Where contracts are expected to exceed GBP 500,000 the level of insurance required shall be GBP 10,000,000).
  • Contractors all risk (not required if only providing professional services) The sum insured must be equal to the value of the contract works (plus allowance for professional fees and debris removal costs as appropriate).
  • Professional indemnity (required if providing professional services) The minimum levels based on contract value.