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A Victorian utility has received two awards from the IoT Alliance Australia for its digital transformation program, building a sophisticated digital and customer network. 

South East Water won the IoT Smart Places & Infrastructure Award for its innovative use of IoT technology to reduce customer bills, prevent water wastage, monitor sewer spills and manage water pressure and pump controls. 

South East Water was also the recipient of the Interoperability Award, which recognises a system or product’s capability to communicate, share data and work with other systems or products.

Organisations cannot nominate for this award, so the judging panel put forward entries from other categories in recognition of their achievements in this area. 

Image: (L) Frank Zeichner, CEO IoT Alliance Australia; and (R) Jonathan Crook, South East Water Group Manager Analytics and Performance, courtesy of South East Water.

South East Water General Manager Digital Utility, Andrew Forster-Knight, said the accolades reflected the water organisation’s innovation and demonstrated the exciting work happening in the water industry. 

“We’re honoured to see our digital utility projects recognised for the work we’re doing to transform our business and protect our water supply for generations to come. The water industry is embarking upon a significant period of transformation as we digitise our network and see the benefits of a connected network,” Mr Forster-Knight said.

South East Water’s IoT network of sensors uses cloud-based storage technology, with close to five million data points being collected each day and used for insights, workflows and process automation.

The IoT technology has already produced tangible results in the digital metering program, saving an estimated $3 million in customer charges and 0.5 GL of water. 

So far, almost 100,000 end points have been established, serving a wide range of business needs. 

Mr Forster-Knight said the revolutionary program is already bringing many benefits to the customers, community and the environment. 

“We know water scarcity and climate change impacts are increasing the need to manage and use water efficiently. At the same time customers and communities can expect to be kept informed of their real-time water usage.”  

“Our technology provides an opportunity to help address these challenges, so we can continue to provide the best possible customer experience while saving money,” Mr Forster-Knight said.

South East Water was also a finalist in the ‘IoT for Good’ category, where nominated projects had to fulfil at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – which South East Water continues to proudly support.

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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