The next Asset Management Period (AMP7) will introduce a new focus on lowering expenditure, reducing costs to the customer, developing long term solutions and meeting more stringent water quality standards. Here, we look at how new innovations can help water companies to achieve these objectives.
Advances in technology, including the ongoing growth of the industrial Internet of Things, are helping to drive efficiency improvements in a wide range of sectors. In particular, connected technology has the potential to revolutionise how organisations within the water industry operate.
For example, Veolia Water Technologies’ AQUAVISTA™ Plant, part of our suite of digital solutions, provides real-time performance optimisation of water treatment facilities to help companies reduce the need for capital expenditure and achieve lower operational costs. It enables the enhancement of hydraulic and biological capacity as well as optimising energy usage, chemical consumption and sludge production of the plant.
With AQUAVISTA™, Internet enabled monitoring devices are installed on all relevant equipment, non-brand specific, which securely feed data back to the AQUAVISTA™ platform. The information is aggregated and displayed in real time on an intuitive dashboard overview that can be tailored to the specific needs of the site. The data, which is stored securely and protected by advanced cyber-security at every stage, is accessible to the users at any time, from any location and on any connected device through a private portal.
Optimising water treatment to maximise the capacity is not a simple task as it requires the conditions and parameters to be carefully adjusted so that the process functions as close to peak efficiency as possible. This is only achievable if the process is monitored and controlled on an ongoing basis.
By using the gathered data, combined with algorithms based on our decades of experience, AQUAVISTA™ can deliver significant increases in the biological and hydraulic capacity of existing equipment. It can achieve as much as a 40% increase in biological load with the same effluent concentrations and facilitate between a 20% and 100% higher flow rate through the waste water treatment process.
Furthermore, creating additional capacity in the treatment process will also allow water companies to increase the level of processing the waste water undergoes in order to achieve the stricter consent standards introduced in the next AMP period. This can reduce or even eliminate the need to invest in new plant equipment to meet objectives.
Finally, the sophisticated real-time monitoring can also help reduce operational costs. For example, preventing unnecessary aeration and mixing will help reduce energy usage across the site, whilst minimising the levels of chemical dosing will lower overheads. Furthermore, the remote monitoring and optimisation can reduce the levels of sludge produced by the process. This will also help lower expenditure by minimising the cost associated with disposing waste.
Water companies face growing challenges to meet targets and lower costs both in the short and long term. Embracing new technologies that allow greater control over water treatment and management can help organisations meet the current and future demands on the industry.
About the Author
William leads Veolia Water Technologies’ Municipal Services and Digital Services businesses in the UK. William has a background of working with a wide range of industrial and municipal customers throughout his career in the water sector. With a strong focus on commercial and service innovation William has been responsible for a number of development projects including for example involvement in the development of Veolia’s global AQUAVISTA platform of real time control and optimization services.