Imagine receiving early warnings about illegal pollution of the sewerage network, enabling better protection of staff from hazardous waste and the potential to identify those responsible.

Imagine having unprecedented insight into sewer corrosion, pinpointing sources of sea water infiltration.

These impressive capabilities will shift from fantasy to reality for Unitywater when another of its innovative technology trials rolls out in the sewerage network this year.

Unitywater is working with Israeli wastewater management solution provider Kando to trial a sensor-driven wastewater monitoring system.

Kando’s smart sensors are placed in sewer manholes and can detect changes in sewage quality, to give early warning of events in the sewer such as odour. As soon as they sense a change in conditions, the units send a signal to network controllers who can then respond accordingly.

The units are also set up to remotely extract sewage samples and track the source of the pollution as soon as they detect it. This could prevent a major pollution event causing damage to a sewage treatment plant downstream.

The system’s smart cloud-based algorithms provide a 360-degree view of the sewerage network. Unitywater is now able to simply and instantly gain a complete picture of everything happening in the network, at any given moment.

“This has the potential to be a game-changing milestone in the history of our organisation,” Unitywater Executive Manager Customer Delivery Rob Dowling said.

“For the first time ever, we will be able to see precisely what’s going on inside our sewer pipes as well as closely monitor the condition of those very pipes, and inform our sewage treatment plants so as to optimise their operation.

“That is significant from a customer care perspective primarily, because it enables us to minimise one of the unfortunate, unpleasant realities of sewerage services – namely, odour.

“It is also transformative for us operationally, because it means we can move away from just reacting when something goes wrong in our sewers, to managing what will be a much smarter network.

“We’ve not had that capability before, so this is really exciting.”

Kando CEO Ari Goldfarb said he was thrilled to collaborate with Unitywater on this trial.

“We have a global client base that is already benefiting from our solution and we’re delighted Unitywater had the foresight to bring this technology to Australia,” he said.

“It takes courage to try new things and step out of comfort zones, but we are confident our solution will open the door to a whole new world for Unitywater.

“Our clients tell us they like the early detection, live-monitoring and automation aspects of the technology. It can also be customised to meet specific environmental challenges and ensure compliance with any regulatory licensing requirements.”

Unitywater will place a total of seven units in its network as part of the eight-month trial. Five of the units will be placed in high trade waste discharge areas, two will be placed in locations known to experience odour complaints and sea water infiltration.

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