Anglian Water expands digital asset management technology trial

Dec. 6, 2023
The United Kingdom water utility will use InfoTiles’s software to manage roughly 317 biofilters, along with pumps and valves, across 100 sites as part of an expanded proof of concept program.

Following the successful pilot of its digital asset management technology with United Kingdom water company Anglian Water, InfoTiles is now embarking on an expanded proof of concept program, according to a press release from InfoTiles.

The on-going collaboration with the U.K. utility will use InfoTiles’s software to manage roughly 317 biofilters, along with pumps and valves, and will be extended from 24 sites to 100.

The technology could help create better-informed asset management decision-making and allow for further understanding of maintenance prioritization of water recycling assets.

Approximately 483 data points will be measured across all assets included in the scale-up. The water recycling centers will be chosen based on current model predictions and for their ability to send relevant asset data to the InfoTiles software.

Additionally, many of the sites vary in terms of system design and scale, testing the technology’s effectiveness across different geographical locations within Anglian Water’s region.

Initial pilot scope

The initial 12-month pilot of InfoTiles’ software monitored the rotating arms of 76 biofilters at 24 sites over a period of six months, to assess whether they were rotating when needed. It also measured sludge blanket levels in final settlement tanks to monitor optimal ranges for effective operation.

The data was collected through a mix of new and existing sensors via supervisory control and data acquisition control (SCADA) systems. This was combined with flow rates and publicly available weather data, to build a contextual overview of what was happening at Anglian’s water recycling plants in real-time.

InfoTiles also combined Anglian Water’s existing SCADA systems into one event-streaming platform that aggregated, compared, and visualized reliability of the equipment.

The platform can visualize and model process data through machine-learning to show the likelihood of critical failures in wastewater treatment, such as potential stoppages and breakdowns.

When fully integrated, this will allow Anglian Water to easily trial and compare different sensor technologies for reliability and accuracy.

During the initial pilot phase, 14 machine-learning models were used to identify biofilter deviations and identify whether failure or slowdown was imminent. Four models were selected and brought forward for further development due to their ability to scale.

Proactive troubleshooting

As a result of the pilot and the extended proof of concept Anglian Water, one of the U.K.’s largest water utilities, can set its ambitions on anticipating, detecting, and resolving potential problems. By continually assessing the health and effectiveness of assets, maintenance teams could be deployed much more efficiently in the future.

“Working with the operations team at Anglian Water has given us critical feedback to improve our platform and its ability to give operations teams actionable insights,” said Adam Wood, chief product officer at InfoTiles. “A key learning has been the development of methods to leverage the data our utility customers already have available, which is important when considering relevance to assets in use throughout the U.K.”

Anglian Water’s main goal of the collaboration is to apply InfoTiles to reduce the risk of biofilter failure and therefore augment its efforts to prevent the occurrence of serious pollution events from its water recycling centers. A further goal is to optimize the use of operational resources by reducing the number of emergency callouts during evenings and weekends and enabling maintenance decisions based on facts and forward planning.

Moving to implementation

During the scale-up stage over the next 12 months, InfoTiles will be working with Anglian Water personnel to further adapt its preventative maintenance processes and onboard internal data scientists to transfer knowledge of the InfoTiles user platform and data analysis.

The success of the pilot program goes beyond demonstrating the feasibility of the InfoTiles technology, it also shows the value in water utilities working with start-up and scale-up technology companies to find solutions to the most pressing problems within the sector.

The two companies were brought together through WaterStart, a U.S.-based membership platform, which seeks to remove common barriers to the adoption of innovative technologies and connects utilities and municipalities with solution providers globally.

"Anglian Water is so proud to be involved in the success of the pilot program, which will transform the way we manage our water recycling sites,” said Mark Stirling at Anglian Water. “Collaborating with international companies through WaterStart has helped the team to work at pace to find and integrate solutions to improve the service provided."