South East Water has turned on a major data analysis project to reduce leakage across its network with a 12-month trial designed to cut water waste by 15%.
The company, which worked with nine specialist organisations to deliver the scheme, linked digital water meters, sensors and loggers together for the first time to divert data to a central hub for advanced analysis and exploring artificial intelligence techniques.
Older water meters were switched to digital and loggers and sensors were added to the underground network to transmit data in near real-time.
Head of leakage operations Jim MacIntyre said early indications are that the project could help the firm reach the target it submitted to regulator Ofwat as part of its 2019 price review, PR19, which outlines how water companies will meet the needs of their customers from 2020 to 2025 and beyond.
MacIntyre said: “During the trial the analytics system consolidated more than 25 million data points from various meters, loggers and sensors deployed across the network, transmitted by three different communication networks.
"This gave us insight into how the clustering of events on the network could be better interpreted to find and fix leaks quicker, as well as identifying customer side leaks much quicker."
The company’s performance commitments included the 15% leakage target, and a 7.2% reduction in consumption per household. It must also show a 50% reduction in water supply interruptions and a 2% fall in unplanned water treatment works.