Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT June 2015

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 10 of 47

www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | JUNE 2015 | 11 Industry leader O ne of the key ways in which technology can help the water industry step up to a higher level of efficiency is to bring about the operation of genuinely 'smart' networks, in which data from across a network is collected, analysed and acted upon to enable the proactive management of assets. One industry professional who is playing his part in making this a reality is Dr Paul Linford, Chief Technical Officer and founder of Syrinix, who last month celebrated receiving the prize of Engineer of the Year at the Water Industry Achievement Awards, co-organised by WWT. Best known for its Trunkminder technology, which uses a 4-dimensional sensor array to provide risk management and detect leaks on trunk mains, Syrinix has in the last two years developed two further products: Transientminder, which detects and tracks damaging pressure spikes within pipeline networks, and BurstMinder, which incorporates flow monitoring capability to give immediate notification of bursts. The recent product innovation has marked a new phase of development for the company, which Linford formed as a spin-out from the University of East Anglia in 2004. While TrunkMinder emerged directly from university research – and a subsequent two- year development tie-up with Thames Water – its newer products have sprung from wider engagement with the industry about smart water, as Linford explains. "TrunkMinder was a classic story of academic work, followed by more directed development, followed by a commercial organisation," he says. "TransientMinder and Burstminder are completely different – they have come from the conferences and workshops we have done on smart water and in response to an issue that was developing in the industry." Pumping and transients While there has long been an awareness of the role of transients in bursts and leakage, the reason the subject kept arising in discussions with the utilities was because of changes in the way pumps are being used, Linford says. "There has been a big push in recent years to manage pumping requirements via predictive models, to improve your carbon footprint and energy bills. The corollary of doing that is that you are tending to turn the pumps on and off a lot. That causes transients, which can then cause water discolouration events, quality issues, bursts, and so on. A lot of the people we were talking to at the time were using Trunkminder data - because it's sampled at such a high rate - to do transient analysis, because they were worried about transients and not being able to track them. That's the genesis of Transientminder." Having recently celebrated its ten-year anniversary, and led by CEO James Dunning since 2010, Norwich-based Syrinix is now reaping the fruits of success. As well as providing Dr Paul Linford, Chief Technical Officer, Syrinix: "It's always 'on to the next thing'… that's what makes engineers tick."

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