Managing Diverse Networks

In today’s climate of water scarcity, the enhanced visibility of networks, along with improved data and water security, is somewhat of a holy grail for water utilities.

In its discussion paper Water Security for all Australians, the Australian Water Association (AWA) says Australia can’t afford to be complacent about water security in urban, regional, rural or remote communities. This is especially true since surface water from streams, rivers and reservoirs is a major source of urban drinking water in Australia. In some locations, such as Perth, there is a heavy reliance on groundwater, while sea water, via desalination, has also become an important new source in several cities.

These various sources all require collection, treatment and delivery to customers, and water utilities and other providers have a clear responsibility to deliver safe drinking water to customers. AWA says the four key areas that must be taken into account when determining water security are: safe and affordable drinking water, water to support industry and agriculture, water management to create liveable communities, and water to protect the environment.

Taking these into account, the management of a diverse and geographically spread water network is a large and complex task. Variables and interactions are everywhere; and the best management decisions can only be made where there is a high level of knowledge about the variables and circumstances that exist within the network.

Data about a network can be gathered in many ways, ranging from traditional manual sampling and laboratory analysis through to remote, real-time monitoring of single or multiple parameters. Because of increasing and competing demands being placed on utilities, there is a growing need for automated remote monitoring and reporting of a wide spectrum of data, in both real-time and near real-time.

Remote real-time water quality monitoring and reporting has typically been a lengthy, complex and costly undertaking. However one company, Ayyeka Technologies, has re-thought the issues of remote monitoring and has developed an innovative new approach which simplifies the task of implementing remote monitoring for any measureable parameter.

The system, known as the Wavelet Kit, is comprised of field mounted hardware, cloud-based software and a user-friendly web-based user interface. It incorporates military-grade cyber security, and is easily integrated with existing SCADA systems. Alternatively, the Wavelet kit can bypass the Ayyeka Cloud server and send its data directly to a customer’s SCADA system. It is simple and affordable to buy, install and operate; making it both practical and economically feasible at any scale, from a single point to the largest network that may exist within the entire ‘catchment to consumer’ system.

The Wavelet kit is a plug-and-play solution that fills the gap between field measurements and having the data where you want it, when you want it.

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The Wavelet device is contained in an IP68-rated housing, and incorporates a military grade lithium-ion battery, which together with the use of low power components and user configurable communications intervals, enables the unit to run autonomously for long periods of time typically covering 3,500+ transmissions. The Wavelet can also accept external power from various sources including solar.

Data communication is via the cellular telephone network. Each Wavelet is delivered with a global SIM, which will automatically detect and connect to local networks. SIGFOX communication is now also available.

While the Wavelet can be integrated with almost any sensor that has a signal output, a further innovation is to offer a range of pre-integrated standard kits, which include sensors from some of the world’s leading suppliers, including APG, Schneider Electric, Hach, Ponsel, Veolia, SEBA, Xylem, Turner Designs and others.

Wavelets are already deployed in a rapidly growing number of locations throughout Israel and the United States. Monitoring applications include:

  • Pressure in wastewater and water supply systems
  • Water quality in drinking water distribution systems
  • Water quality and level in remote aquifers
  • Combined Sewer Overflow
  • Wastewater discharge
  • Oilfield wastewater quality
  • Sea level and temperature

Optimos Solutions has recently introduced the Ayyeka Wavelet Kit into the Australian and New Zealand markets, and has found a high level of interest from utilities, manufacturers, water treatment system manufacturers and consultants. Early applications are in wastewater treatment plant performance monitoring, aquaculture water quality monitoring, drinking water distribution system water quality monitoring and recycled water reservoir level and water quality monitoring.