SEW and Vodafone pilot NB-IoT leakage solution
South East Water is working with Vodafone on a pilot that the water company believes is likely to revolutionise leakage detection and prevention.
The trial, now underway in Kent, will run for a year and is the first in the UK to include Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) as part of a smart water network.
Vodafone and South East Water worked with partners to develop and connect specialist digital water meters, sensors and acoustic loggers on underground mains water pipes via Vodafone’s NB-IoT network.
Data will be collected and transmitted across the system and advanced analytics will be used to monitor readings and alert South East Water immediately in the event of a leak.
Acoustic loggers ‘listen’ for escaping water within the network to determine when leaks have occurred and to pinpoint the precise location.
NB-IoT operates within a very narrow radio band frequency. This means it can provide wider coverage and deeper penetration than traditional networks – even underground or within buildings.
It also operates at low power so that batteries within IoT devices in the field, such as sensors, can last up to 10 years. This combination ensures that NB-IoT solutions are more sustainable and less expensive to install and run than current alternatives utilising 4G or fixed line networks.
Anne Sheehan, Vodafone Business director, said: "This is a really exciting project. NB-IoT technology has the power to transform the utilities sector. It provides a more accurate way of identifying and preventing leaks, helping companies like South East Water meet important regulatory and environmental standards.
"It is a perfect example of how technology can be used to create a more sustainable future and manage what is an increasingly precious commodity."
Dr Simon Earl, South East Water’s operations director, said: "This trial is likely to revolutionise how we detect and prevent water leaks. The solution has the potential to alert us to the smallest leak – in either our or our customers’ pipes – as soon as it occurs and could even enable us to predict and prevent pipeline failure before it happens.
"This has the potential to reduce the water we take from the environment, further minimise interruptions to supply and increase the resilience of the service we provide to our customers."
- Affinity Water achieves lowest ever leakage levels Affinity Water has achieved its lowest ever levels of leakage for 2019/20, following significant investment and innovation... Read More >
- On demand: Yorkshire Water shares insights on how to build a smart network A pilot project to create a smart water network at Yorkshire Water has produced new insights into how utilities can use... Read More >
- Essex & Suffolk Water using 3D asset data technology Essex & Suffolk Water is working with technology company MGISS to improve the accuracy and currency of asset data. Read More >
- Water Innovation 2050: what next for the sector? Welcome to 2050. The Innovation 2050 document has been published, setting out the key principles of an innovation... Read More >
- Innovation could improve performance and transform water The Environment Agency's 2019 environmental performance report highlights some of the complex challenges facing water... Read More >
- Maximising water efficiency savings from smart meters and adapting to lockdown From 1 September, Thames Water will restart its award-winning programme of in-home water efficiency visits having used... Read More >
- UKWP releases Digital Water whitepaper and call to action UKWP identifies next steps to help UK plc win its share of $30 billion digital revolution in water Read More >
- A smarter water future Andrew Welsh, General Manager for Water Utilities at Xylem Water Solutions UK, talks about how we can future-proof water... Read More >