Siemens drives digital revolution in river pollution prevention with Yorkshire Water and the University of Sheffield

  • Game-changing Artificial Intelligence detects 9 in 10 blockages in CSOs and manholes, reducing the risk of pollution.
  • The AI enables intelligent alarming so analysts can actively manage over 30 times as many assets.
Siemens and Yorkshire Water, in partnership with the Univeristy of Sheffield, have rolled out game-changing digital technology to reduce sewer network blockages and pollution.

 

The integrated sensing, communication, analytics and reporting solution has been deployed across a network of around 2,000 Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) and manholes which discharge sewage and wastewater when the system is overloaded.

 

It works by using smart sensors to feed water level data into SIWA Blockage Predictor, an application on Siemens’ cloud-based, open Internet of Things (IoT) operating system, MindSphere. Artificial Intelligence (AI) then evaluates the performance of the sewer network in real time and detects problems like network blockages before they happen, enabling Yorkshire Water to plan and deploy the appropriate resource to inspect and resolve issues.

 

The innovative solution was developed by Siemens, Yorkshire Water and the University of Sheffield, and won the Data Analytics, Cloud and AI Project of the Year at the 2021 Water Industry Awards. 

For the cost of every resident in the UK spending 1p each year, every overflow in Britain could be monitored by the AI system.
The University of Sheffield independently validated the project by reviewing 21,300 days of data, finding that AI could give Yorkshire Water up to two weeks’ advance notice of problems and identify 9 out of 10 potential issues - which was three times more successful than its existing pollution prediction processes that relied on statistical methods.

Steve Hanslow, Head of Water for Siemens Digital Industries UK, said: “I am delighted that Yorkshire Water has cemented its relationship with Siemens by engaging our digital and domain expertise to mitigate the risk of blockages to the sewerage network to improve both customer satisfaction and the environment."

 

“The challenges of moving from a Proof of Concept to scale are considerable. Through partnership we have been able to develop a solution that is secure, scalable, cost effective and can be deployed at pace."

 

“Keeping sewers free from blockages and reducing river pollution is a wide-ranging and complex issue, and Siemens is happy to help the water industry meet the technological challenge.”

Our customers expect us to use the latest technologies. This solution has changed our visibility of the sewer network and improved how we identify and tackle blockages. Rolling out the solution to 2,000 assets across the entire county has had a significant role in reducing the number of pollution incidents, as well as increasing our efficiency and providing improved value to our customers.
Heather Sheffield, Manager of Operational Planning and Technology at Yorkshire Water

Heather Sheffield, Manager of Operational Planning and Technology at Yorkshire Water said “Reducing intermittent discharges from Combined Sewer Overflows is a key priority for us, and our partnership with Siemens illustrates Yorkshire Water’s commitment to investing in cutting-edge technology to reduce pollution incidents by 50%, a key goal of our Pollution Incident Reduction Plan 2020-2025."

 

“Our customers expect us to use the latest technologies. This solution, developed in partnership with Siemens and the University of Sheffield, has changed our visibility of the sewer network and improved how we identify and tackle blockages."

 

“Rolling out the solution to 2,000 assets across the entire county has had a significant role in reducing the number of pollution incidents, which can have a negative impact on the environment, as well as increasing our efficiency and providing improved value to our customers.”

 

UK water companies are under severe pressure from the Government and the Environment Agency to reduce water pollution from the sewerage network and commit to greater transparency and open data of overspills.

 

Siemens is now engaging with water companies to support the delivery of the UK Government’s Storm Overflow Discharge Reduction Plan which targets to eliminate pollution incidents in the sewer network by 2050.

 

Adam Cartwright, Head of IoT Application Delivery at Siemens, added: “SIWA Blockage Predictor is a step change in how water companies can avoid pollution incidents."

 

“The AI can work on existing or new sensors in the network. Integrated reporting of spills and overflow events will support water companies as they rise to the challenge set by the Storm Overflows Taskforce for greater transparency and open data.”

 

Find out more about SIWA Blockage Predictor.

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