The trial is particularly focused on Pressure Reducing Valves (PRVs) and the use of high-precision data loggers to monitor water pressure and flow around these important pieces of the network.
Unitywater has 184 PRVs and the prospect of enhancing their performance and the customer experience through this technology is persuasive.
These PRVs play a vital role in maintaining the quality and reliability of water supply to Unitywater’s 316,000 customers by reducing excess pressure across the water network and minimising the potential for bursts and leaks. Surges in pressure can cause pipes to weaken and eventually fail, significantly reducing overall asset life.
i20’s artificial intelligence solution enables utilities to automatically optimise PRVs by reducing network pressures and keeping pressure variances to a minimum.
“These data loggers will alert us to spikes in network pressure and allow us to act quickly to calm them,” Unitywater’s Executive Manager Customer Delivery Rob Dowling said. “Furthermore, the advanced pressure management system will allow us to be more in control, remotely, of our water network.
“This smart network monitoring-and-analytics solution will lead to fewer bursts, which not only extends the life of our pipes but also means we can reduce the amount of water lost through leaks.
“That’s great for us, but it’s even better for our customers. They are the very reason we are conducting these trials. We’re always striving to give them a higher level of confidence in the reliability of the water we supply.”
i2O Water’s Global Sales Director David Kenny expects great results from the trial.
“Based on our knowledge of Unitywater’s network and their prioritisation and commitment to enhancing customer service, we expect our solutions to make an immediate impact,” Mr Kenny said.
“We’re delighted to be collaborating with Unitywater. Throughout our pre-project engagement, they have proven themselves to be thought-leaders in the field of smart water networks in Australia.
“We have worked with more than 100 water utilities in more than 30 countries worldwide to help them turn their water networks into smart water networks.”
Other utilities who are using this technology have reported an average 20% leak reduction, an average 40% reduction in burst frequency and energy savings of 20% due to less water being pumped at a lower average pressure.
The trial will be conducted at various locations in the network over a period of 12 months.
If implemented, this solution will enhance existing leak detection systems Unitywater already has in place across its network.