Essex & Suffolk Water has teamed up with utility giants SUEZ and satellite experts Utilis, to harness the power of space satellites to help spot leaks on its network.
Using the same outer space technology that helps find water on other planets, the satellites are being focused initially on around half of the company′s network across Essex and Suffolk, with a focus on remote areas and parts with higher records of leakage.
The satellites are being used to help detect leaks and unusual deposits of water. These details will then be passed on to a team of leakage technicians on the ground who will carry out further investigations.
The new technology was put into use in Essex and Suffolk on Monday 15 October, and since then 41 new leaks have been identified, across 26 specific points of interest. The initial phase of the scheme will see over 550 points of interest being investigated.
The whole process takes place with no impact to any customers, and will hopefully result in problematic leaks in some of the most remote areas of the region being repaired much quicker than ever before.
Essex & Suffolk Water has made a commitment to reduce leakage across its network by 17.5% by 2025, through significant investment an innovative approach. This was part of the company′s ‘Our Plan′ for 2020-2025 that was unveiled last month, and is currently being assessed by industry regulator, OFWAT.
Essex & Suffolk Water′s Network Performance Technical Specialist Joseph Butterfield said: "This project is off to a great start, and we′re really impressed with how effective the use of satellite technology is proving for detecting leaks. This is extremely exciting technology that opens up a whole world of leakage detection benefits for us, and we′re delighted to be working with Suez UK on the project and to see what we find and can fix."
Jason Plunkett, Customer Field Services Regional Manager for Essex & Suffolk Water said: "This is a really innovative project that we are excited about bringing to our region. We have set ambitious targets for bringing down leakage across our network, and hopefully by utilising this technology we can detect and repair leaks more quickly, meaning less inconvenience for our customers."
Nick Haskins from SUEZ, who are exclusive representatives of Utilis in the U.K. and Ireland, is delighted to be partnering with Northumbrian water on this innovation and cutting-edge technology, he said: "We're very excited to be teaming up with Essex & Suffolk Water on this project and are really excited to see what impact it can have on the company′s performance around leakage.
"Using satellite technology to locate and fix water leaks is the most up-to-date and innovative method there is out there and it gives water companies the ability to survey the whole water pipe network in a single operation. This, of course, has the added benefit of being completely discreet to the customer and without any disruption to them."