Unitywater has embarked on a trial of  new technology proven to reduce bursts in water pipes and lessen leaks.

Unitywater is currently working with UK smart solutions provider i20 Water to test the technology, which could help minimise disruptions to customers.

The trial is particularly focused on Pressure Reducing Valves (PRVs) and the use of high-precision data loggers to monitor water pressure and flow around these important pieces of the network.

Unitywater has 184 PRVs, play a vital role in maintaining the quality and reliability of water supply to Unitywater’s 316,000 customers by reducing excess pressure across the water network and minimising the potential for bursts and leaks.

Surges in pressure can cause pipes to weaken and eventually fail, significantly reducing overall asset life. i20’s artificial intelligence solution enables utilities to automatically optimise PRVs by reducing network pressures and keeping pressure variances to a minimum.

“These data loggers will alert us to spikes in network pressure and allow us to act quickly to calm them,” Unitywater’s Executive Manager Customer Delivery, Rob Dowling, said.

“Furthermore, the advanced pressure management system will allow us to be more in control, remotely, of our water network.

“This smart network monitoring-and-analytics solution will lead to fewer bursts, which not only extends the life of our pipes but also means we can reduce the amount of water lost through leaks.

“That’s great for us, but it’s even better for our customers. They are the very reason we are conducting these trials. We’re always striving to give them a higher level of confidence in the reliability of the water we supply.”

The trial will be conducted at various locations across the network over a period of 12 months.

If implemented, this solution will enhance existing leak detection systems Unitywater already has in place across its network.

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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