By Gregg McCallum, Utilities Enterprise Manager, Nearmap
Sydney Water, Australia’s largest water utility, is streamlining its asset maintenance processes and improving efficiencies across its complex waste and water networks, with help from innovative digital solutions.
From proactively identifying and scheduling repair needs and resolving customer complaints, to ensuring compliance with regulations — Sydney Water delivers its services safely and reliably via an integrated, data-led solution.
Improving customer outcomes
Realising the potential for geospatial intelligence to help improve customer outcomes, Sydney Water integrated Nearmap content into its Spatial Hub — a platform built in-house as part of an internal shift towards focusing on proactive customer service.
With Nearmap’s high resolution, aerial imagery frequently updated within Spatial Hub, Sydney Water can also access and manage real-time and historical data from various sources, such as geographic information systems (GIS), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, and the internet of things. This empowers detailed and accurate spatial analysis and visualisation of specific locations, which in turn improves planning and completion of maintenance and repair jobs.
For example, when a sensor alarm is triggered, Sydney Water can use Nearmap to quickly locate the asset, zoom in to inspect its condition, and compare it with previous images to identify any changes or anomalies. This helps the utility diagnose the problem, prioritise the response, identify entry points and measure site clearances, and allocate the appropriate resources more efficiently and accurately — all before stepping on site.
When a customer reports a water quality issue, such as discolouration or odour, Sydney Water can use Nearmap to verify the address, check the surrounding area for any potential sources of contamination, and trace the water flow direction and velocity with remote elevation profile and measurement tools. This helps pinpoint the cause of the issue, resolve it faster, and communicate with the customer more effectively.
Preventing theft and securing water supply
The same location intelligence also helps Sydney Water identify unauthorised or unmetered connections, such as illegal taps, bypasses, or extensions. Nearmap content is detailed and recent enough that Sydney Water can use it to scan its service area for any signs of water usage, such as pools, sprinklers, or gardens, and cross-reference the data with its billing records. This helps detect any discrepancies and ensure fair and equitable billing for all customers.
By harnessing the power of location intelligence, Sydney Water is able to enhance its operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and financial performance, and deliver better water and wastewater services for its customers and the environment.
This sponsored editorial is brought to you by Nearmap. For further information, please visit nearmap.com/au