Unexpected events that can severely impact business operations are now increasingly common. As such, risk mitigation is essential wherever possible. Here, William Jeal, our Business Manager - Municipal & Digital Services explains why an increasing number of customers are seeking out remote accessibility and technical support as part of a wider tailored service solution.
What are the risks?
There are a number of reasons why businesses may need to operate as usual but with a reduced number of people on site, including fewer employees or specialists from partner organisations. For example, extreme weather events can disrupt travel or render sites inaccessible, especially where facilities are located in more rural areas. This can mean that crucial personnel are not available to operate, monitor or maintain equipment.
In the case of product and process water production or waste water treatment this can result in the business being left no option but to halt operations. At times, restricting the number of people who visit the site on health and safety grounds could be necessary. This can be challenging if the staff need to physically be on the premises to complete crucial tasks, especially for municipal water treatment facilities where operations must continue to serve the local population.
What can be done to mitigate these risks?
As it is impossible to predict when these events will occur and what the impact will be, it is important that operations are as flexible as possible. Embracing new innovations and digital technology has an important role to play – with the potential to change the way process water production and waste water treatment processes are managed.
What solutions are available?
Our AQUAVISTA™ suite of digital services provides remote cloud-based monitoring, control, analysis and optimisation solutions that can be tailored to the needs of organisations of all sizes and from a variety of sectors. For example, AQUAVISTA™ Portal provides remote monitoring, real-time alert management and automatic reporting functions that allow users to remotely track the performance of their systems without any assistance from VWT UK. Alternatively, AQUAVISTA™ Assist offers real-time online process support from our team of experts who can provide guidance and recommendations.
How does AQUAVISTA™ work?
Internet enabled monitoring devices are installed on all relevant equipment, regardless of the original supplier or manufacturer. The data from these devices is transmitted back to the AQUAVISTA™ system where it is aggregated and displayed in real time on an intuitive dashboard overview. The system alerts the user to any issues with the equipment using alarms and notifications. Based on the needs of the business this can be tailored to provide the users with the exact information they need. It also allows adjustments to be made to the operational parameters of the plant without needing to physically access it. Depending on the solution in place, this is either carried out by VWT engineers, the in-house team or through live algorithms automatically optimising the plant every 2 minutes.
How does this help ensure continued operations?
As the system is cloud based, the real-time data can be accessed remotely from an internet enabled device, removing the need for the user to be on site. This means that in the event that staff cannot or should not access the site, the process water or waste water treatment plant can be monitored and controlled.
Our service engineers can also view the data to conduct a detailed check on the performance of the equipment as part of the regular maintenance cycle. Adjustments can then be made as required but if no further action is needed the engineer will not need to visit the site.
In the case of an issue with the plant, the engineer can access the available data and either guide the team on site through the steps or make a recommendation on the steps required to return it to optimum performance. If necessary, the system also allows the engineer to rectify some problems remotely. This further reduces unnecessary visits to the site.
How is the data security and confidentiality of the system guaranteed?
Protecting the business from data loss and unauthorised access to its systems is an essential part of the overall security strategy. With AQUAVISTA™ the data is stored securely in the cloud and is accessible to authorised users through a single private portal. Advanced cyber-security and data confidentiality measures are also in place and are fully integrated at every stage from data acquisition and transfer to aggregation, analysis and reporting.
What are the other advantages of AQUAVISTA™?
Alongside the remote access and monitoring, one of the key benefits of AQUAVISTA™ is the ability to optimise the performance of the waste water treatment plant and sewer networks. This can ensure stability, reduce energy costs and lower the use of chemicals as well as increasing both the biological and hydraulic capacity of the facilities. For example, the sophisticated algorithm-based optimisation that is a feature of the AQUAVISTA™ Plant solution delivers as much as a 40% increase in biological load with the same effluent concentrations and between a 20% and 100% higher flow rate through the wastewater treatment process. This not only helps reduce operational costs but, due to the increased capacity, may also allow businesses to meet increased demand or stricter water discharge standards without the need for further capital expenditure on new assets or facilities.
Already this year we have seen unexpected events that have threatened to severely impact business operations both in the short term and over longer periods of time. Digital services such as AQUAVISTA™ provide customers with a reliable, effective and secure option for remote monitoring, control and technical support while also delivering significant benefits in terms of lowered costs and increased efficiency through optimisation.
Click below to find out more about our AQUAVISTA™ solutions or to contact a member of our team to discuss your requirements visit our contact us page.
About the Author
William has a background of working with a wide range of industrial, public sector and municipal customers. William's career in the water sector started with a start up services business focused on working with commercial, industrial and public sector organisations to manage their water and wastewater usage, costs and environmental compliance. Having grown and developed this business for 5 years William then joined Veolia Water Technologies in 2015 to focus on growing its wastewater technologies activities in the Municipal market. In 2019 William took responsibility for leading Veolia's Municipal Services Business as well as its Digital Services Business across all sectors in the UK. With a strong focus on commercial and service innovation William has been responsible for a number of development projects including involvement in the development of Veolia’s global AQUAVISTA platform of real time control and optimization services.