Hunter Water, the state owned corporation that provides water services across the Lower Hunter region in Australia, is turning to the internet of things (IoT) to find and fix leaks and predicting water main bursts.
In a media release, the company said a 12-month trial using IoT devices to monitor water pressure and flow in parts of the network at Lake Macquarie and Maitland is underway.
The trial deploys 30 pressure sensors to monitor water pressure in real time across 25 km of pipe mains and five Water Flow meters to monitor flow in Hunter Water’s pipes.
The project will use the LoRaWAN network and N2N-DL data platform of the National Narrowband Network Co. (NNNCo) to connect devices and deliver essential data.
“Intelligent networks will help transform the way we do business, driving better outcomes for our customers and community. We’ll be using the latest in Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and data science to more effectively understand the operation of our network,” said Hunter Water’s Chief Information and Technology Officer Richard Harris.
He said the work would involve installing devices like pressure sensors and flow meters on the water infrastructure between Dora Creek and Arcadia Vale.
“These devices, combined with the use of advanced analytics, will enable us to monitor the water flow and pressure in real-time, giving us greater visibility of how the system is performing. Having that visibility will allow us to more quickly find and respond to breaks if they occur, particularly those in remote locations,” Harris explained.
According to the Hunter Water chief, leaks can sometimes be a precursor to a water main break, so the sooner leaks are found, the sooner they can be fixed.
“If successful, we hope to expand it to other parts of our network and apply the learnings to future projects,” he said.
In a separate release on its website, NNNCo Founder and CEO Rob Zagarella said the trial was particularly relevant to infrastructure-rich organizations like utilities.
“This is about implementing a system to better monitor and manage existing assets in order to prevent issues and prolong the life of the asset,” he said. “The potential is to be smarter with the management of existing assets and reduce spend on new or replacement infrastructure.