Research Aims to Clarify Benefits of Big Data Analytics

WE&RF awards contract to CH2M for research geared toward water utilities

CH2M research will clarify big data analytics for water utilities

The Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) awarded a contract to ­­­­CH2M for research on “Designing Sensor Networks and Locations on an Urban Sewershed Scale.” The Internet of Things (IoT) is driving a revolution of sensing technologies and communication platforms, spurring the development of advanced sensors that will provide access to new data streams for the wastewater industry. The research will provide a basic roadmap for the application of remote sensor technology to address the challenges facing wastewater utilities.

The overall goal of the research is to determine the current capabilities and state of designing and implementing sensor networks in urban sewersheds. The research will define the most pressing issues wastewater utilities face, including underground storage to minimize wet weather overflows, flow to pump optimization, overflow and infiltration/inflow issues, water quality monitoring, and installation of early warning systems. The research team, which includes Clean Water Services, will design an online survey and conduct interviews to yield quantifiable indicators of the current and future state from organizations focused on smart water systems.

Ultimately, this research will provide a clear understanding of big data analytics and its benefits to water and wastewater utilities. The results of the project will provide utilities with new information that will help them make better informed decisions, reduce operating costs, and identify cost-effective, focused capital replacement. The researchers will include a number of case studies that illustrate capital deferment, targeted mediation, requirements management and frameworks for implementation. Utilizing IoT sensing technology will help operators understand how to use real-time data to efficiently manage assets, proactively flag risk and avoid failure when possible.

The project is expected to be completed in 2018.

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