The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich, and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. These goals developed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Group are vital for a recovery that leads to greener, more inclusive economies, and stronger, more resilient societies. In the first of a series of two articles, we focus on the clean water and sanitatiion goal and show how our solutions are making a difference within the water industry.
The clean water and sanitation goal
There are six sub-goals to this, but the one that concerns most in the developed world is:
6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimising release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater, and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.
In the UK, it is illegal for water companies to dump untreated sewage from discharge pipes without a permit. Yet data released by the Environment Agency revealed that water companies discharged raw sewage into English rivers 372,533 times last year. This is often due to very heavy rainfall, blockages, and unexpected equipment failures. Key to these issues, is having the data available to alert you to potential issues before they occur. These issues must be set in the context from the pressures coming from PR19, such as supply shortages and pricing, which is why there is now an additional focus on using data to address the sector’s environmental impact.
At Novotek, we are using software from GE Digital to help Water/Wastewater companies improve their operations and practices using the latest HMI/SCADA software applications. You can explore real customer examples here, but in summary these are:
- Using data analytics to detect and predict leaks within the network before they even occur. Thus, allowing preventative maintenance to take place, which in turn reduces wastage.
- Using smart monitoring of sewerage controls to prevent flooding and bursting; and combining this with metrology data to predict periods of heavy rainfall.
- Prevent wastage of fresh water by monitoring reservoir fill and usage to avoid wastage from overflow, as well as monitoring clean water pipes to avoid wastage of freshly treated water.
In practice, many water companies lack the right data systems and processes to extract meaningful predictions. There is also a lack of experience in the complex area of data analytics. Having a partner, such as Novotek, can help water companies over come these hurdles and allow them to effectively utilise the data.
Usually there are a number of key steps we go through with customers. These are:
- Conduct an audit to determine what data is currently available, where the data is, and where the gaps in data are against the objectives they are trying to achieve.
- Assessing who needs what data, and what they should do with it.
- Ensure these data systems are connected and able to communicate with each other. This might involve rearchitecting, upgrading SCADA systems, new hardware, and the use of middleware.
- Finally, presenting the data in a way that transforms it into tangible predictions or recommendations.
To find out how Novotek are helping water companies achieve their sustainability and resilience goals, get in touch with us here