Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT March 2020

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 24 of 35

key themes for AMP7 – customer service, resilience, affordability and innovation – and the necessary technologies are already available. The squeeze on budgets and higher regulatory accountability than ever before means investment strategies need to be carefully targeted. A risk-based planning approach using probability and conse- quence models can ensure water utilities are investing cost-effectively. Servelec Technologies helped lay this out for the UK water industry as the lead contractor for the development of UKWIR's Common Framework for Capital Maintenance Planning. Investment plan- ning feeds directly into water companies' Drainage & Wastewater Management Plans - the new way for stakeholders to work together to plan for future drainage, wastewater and environmental water quality improvements in England and Wales. We have worked with 12 utilities on their asset management plans over four price reviews, and have developed sewer models based on parameters such as age, diameter, depth, property densities, rain- fall, gradient and local features. Models www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | MARCH 2020 | 25 WASTEWATER QUALITY can be calibrated against historical data, and data projections enable determina- tion of the future risk profile. The most advanced asset management planning soŽware, like Servelec Technolo- gies' PIONEER, incorporates these models to produce optimal investment plans for future periods and analyse the trade-off between capital and operational expendi- ture. Utilities can decide how and when to survey, refurbish or replace assets at mini- mum overall cost, across a single asset group or an entire company network. The same soŽware can be used to plan day-to- day operational activities effectively. There is also great potential to make the daily management of sewer networks much more efficient through the use of real-time predictive analytics. In a dynam- ic real-world environment, where serious incidents can emerge rapidly due to storm weather and blockages, tools like Servelec Technologies' Datective WasteSure detect the anomalies that warn of an emerging event. WasteSure is an automated online computing system that uses artificial neural networks and fuzzy logic to detect anomalous signals by correlating his- torical and current data. Rapid anomaly detection means events can be picked up early, averting more serious incidents, reducing customer contacts and avoiding regulatory penalties. Roll-out of real-time predictive analytic technologies means that even during extreme weather false alarms are less frequent, potential blockages can be iden- tified earlier and operations teams can prioritise incidents more effectively. Being able to home-in rapidly on events is invaluable, but having a com- plete picture of the network means all assets can be operated at much higher levels of efficiency. Servelec Technologies' MISER system can build a model of the physical network and the catchment that can be calibrated against historical data. One of many advantages of this kind of digital twin is that storage opportuni- ties throughout the network can be put to work. By holding back dry weather flow, companies can capitalise on lower elec- tricity tariffs for energy intensive pumping and treatment; maintenance work can also be scheduled more exactly. Under wet weather conditions, storage and other operating options can be used proactively to minimise sewer overflows. A further benefit is that the interaction of all components in the network can be modelled historically against the current situation to identify problems and faults. Mass balance checks can be used to test some assumptions, for example, if pump energy use is too high for the head, this might indicate a blockage or pump dete- rioration; if flow is too high for the size of population, this could indicate groundwa- ter ingress or saline intrusion. This valuable data - including informa- tion about flow, storage, pump operation, energy tariffs and population - can also be used to create 'what if?' scenarios and understand network bottlenecks. By simulating pump operations, problems in the network and ways to improve assets and capacity, engineering teams acquire deeper understanding of the whole system creating multiple opportunities for efficiencies. Data analytics has the potential to transform the way the sewerage assets are planned, managed and operated in AMP7 and beyond. By encouraging their teams to explore, trial and deploy the tech- nologies available, water and wastewater companies can improve customer service, drive efficiency and build resilience into their networks. Marcus Fowler.

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