The city of Adelaide, Australia has been using an integrated network of more than 400 smart sensors since July of 2017. The network enables SA Water, the region’s water utility company, to proactively identify and repair potential problems before they worsen and affect customers and commuters. The utility reports that since it began collecting the data 15 major breaks or water leaks have been prevented.
The network is made up of 305 acoustic leak detection sensors, 34 pressure sensors, 11 flow meters, three water quality monitors, and 100 smart meters on customer connections. Collected data is transmitted over LTE and narrowband communications systems to an analytics platform at five to 15-minute intervals.
“The combination and volume of sensors installed across the water network in Adelaide hasn’t been seen before, and is delivering outcomes and learnings that will be applicable right across the country,” said the program’s architect, SA Water Manager of Water Assets Dr. Helen Edmonds. “As engineers, we’ve been immersed in rich data that’s helping us make informed decisions, but as South Australians striving to deliver a world-class service for our customers, we’re making vital in-roads to delivering a better customer experience. Although our network performance is among the best in Australia, we know that any water main break or service interruption has an impact on our customers, and we want to reduce that as much as possible.
Identifying a potential leak and intervening has been hugely rewarding, but there’s also been a sense of accomplishment in analyzing the data and understanding the immediacy of some sudden ruptures that didn’t offer any warning signals.”
Edmonds also reports that the implementation had been so successful that further sensor systems are planned for later this year across Adelaide’s water and wastewater networks.