Water/Wastewater

Changing the Economics of Leak Detection

May 17 2017 Comments 0

Affinity Water, serving 3.6 million people in south-east England, has partnered with HWM to target significant reduction in leakage rates using PermaNET+ fixed network telemetry.

“Using the HWM PermaNET+ solution, we can continuously monitor 25 per cent of our network, identifying leaks in a matter of hours, rather than the days it takes using conventional techniques and technologies,” said Drew Ritchie, managing director of wholesale operations at Affinity Water.

Affinity already uses HWM datalogging technology to monitor its network’s performance, but the addition of PermaNET+ will significantly enhance leak detection across the network.

PermaNET+ represents the next stage in the development of noise logging. Data generated by the noise logger is automatically sent to the user, removing the need to visit sites to carry out data collection. Data transmission is achieved through a combination of GPRS cellular communication or SMS. The unit also sends an audio file for remote monitoring and correlation to localise the leak position. PermaNET+ is located entirely below ground, making it less intrusive and more practical for large-scale deployment.

These features are critical to the long-term leakage reduction plan of Affinity Water, which has set ambitious targets for improvement of its network. “Of all the UK water companies, at Affinity Water we’ve set ourselves the largest percentage leakage reduction over the current five-year [AMP6] planning period,” explained Drew. “We’re achieving this with HWM’s PermaNET+, challenging industry thinking and methodologies to change the economics of finding leaks.”

By permanently monitoring water network infrastructure without extensive site visits, PermaNET+ identifies leaks more quickly than traditional methods and allows for rapid deployment to fix any leaks that do occur. This significantly reduces both water loss and the cost of identifying leaks within a water network.

The programme will be completed in May 2017, with the installation of 20,000 PermaNET+ systems. This represents a long-term commitment to improved leakage reduction from Affinity Water, as Drew explained: “We’re looking forward to working with HWM over the next 10 years to enhance the system and use leakage information in new and innovative ways. Our customers deserve the best. Together, we will meet the challenges defined in our business plan.”

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