Anglian Water steps up drone leakage trial
Anglian Water is extending a trial of the use of thermal imaging drones to detect leaking water pipes.
The new technology has already been used to successfully identify leaks in the rural villages of Southery and Wissington, Norfolk, and the company plans to trial the new technology more over the coming months.
With nearly 24,000 miles of water pipe to keep an eye on, much of it in rural and remote areas, Anglian Water hopes the aerial technology will help reduce the cost and time taken to find a leak and pinpoint its location more precisely by spotting changes in soil temperature near the water pipes.
“The drones are just the latest weapon in our £60M war on leakage,” said Anglian Water’s Emma Staples.
“We’re testing other high-tech tools and have put more boots on the ground. Our 300-strong leakage team now includes new detection teams tasked with uncovering hard-to-find leaks, who have been given specialist training on how to use the new drone technology.
“We’ve also invested millions to better manage the water pressure in our network of pipes, dramatically reducing the number of bursts.”
The company’s focus on an innovative approach is paying dividends; last year Anglian’s leakage level was the lowest in the country and less than half the national average.
“We hate leaks as much as our customers do and we’re determined to keep reducing them,” Staples continued. “Our targets are already way beyond those of other water companies and we’re always looking for new ways to push things forward.
“The drones have already saved us time and money finding and fixing hard-to-spot leaks. We’ll continue to trial them over the coming months, focussing on leaks in and around Newmarket where our innovation hub, the Shop Window, is based.
“Leading on leakage reduction is what our customers told us they wanted. It’s the right thing to do for them and the environment. It also helps to increase of region’s resilience to drought.”
The drones will also help Anglian Water minimise disruption for customers, by covering large distances in a short space of time. The sensor and camera on the drone can identify differences in soil temperature which could be caused by water escaping from the pipe. These differences are then investigated further by a leakage technician on-site, rather than needing to be analysed back in the office.
South West Water announced earlier in the month that it is also trialling the use of drones for leak detection, after a research project with the University of Exeter suggested the effectiveness of the method.
- Report reveals 'yawning gap' over the water firms' environmental plans The water companies' environmental plans reveal "a yawning gap" between the best and worst performers in England... Read More >
- Anglian Water saves time on THM analysis Anglian Water has become one of the first water companies in the UK to install an in-house trihalomethane (THM) sample... Read More >
- Anglian Water opens £44M 'unique' water treatment works Anglian Water has officially opened its new £44M Hall Water Treatment Works (WTW), which it describes as "one of the... Read More >
- Comment: The vast potential of machine learning and data Recent efforts to use machine learning to predict bursts and leakage illustrate how the collaborative use of data could... Read More >
- Leakage: Acoustic loggers strike the right note for Affinity Water Affinity Water has taken leakage detection in its network to new levels by fitting 20,000 permanent acoustic loggers... Read More >
- Being intelligent, the smart thing to do Can pressure management and intelligent networks help tackle the issue of leakage? Read More >
- Valves and flow control: Pressure Points Building a smarter network need not be expensive - a first step is to establish a calm pressure profile, writes Craig... Read More >
- Optimising water supply network performance the smart way Water network management is complex but accurate flow measurement plays across the spectrum of activities, says NEL's... Read More >
- Supply Network Manager Location: Somerset Salary: £30,767 to £41,226 per annum Looking for your next career move in water supply? If so, we may have a fantastic... Read more here.
- Senior Analyst The Organisation The Water Industry Commission for Scotland is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry in Scotland. ... Read more here.
- Key Account Manager Key Account Manager Competitive Salary: £40,000+ DOE London and Thames Valley Knowledge, Skills & Experience Commercially astute with... Read more here.
- Contracts Manager Contracts Manager Castle Water Limited Castle Water is the leading independent water retailer in the UK, and one of the fastest growing... Read more here.
- Divisional Customer Services Director Castle Water is the leading independent water retailer in the UK, and one of the fastest growing utility supply companies, supplying services... Read more here.