Ovarro and Anglian Water pollution initiative among industry’s best

An Ovarro and Anglian Water project that is mitigating the risk of pollution and flooding events has been recognised as one of the best of 2024 at the prestigious Water Industry Awards.

 

The collaborative PumpInsight project was a finalist in the Asset Management Initiative of the Year category at the ceremony, which took place in Birmingham, UK, on 4 July 2024, and celebrates best practice in the industry.

PumpInsight is a monitoring platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI), including machine learning, to support predictive maintenance of wastewater pumping stations.

Anglian Water, like all water companies, faces significant challenges with reducing pollution events. Wastewater pumping stations are a major contributor to pollution and flooding, but previously their maintenance was time-based or reactive.

Working with Ovarro, Anglian Water sought to use existing data in new ways to transition to a more proactive, data-driven maintenance strategy to enhance pump performance, proactively reduce pump failures and blockages, minimise discharges from combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and ultimately reduce the risk of pollution events.  

PumpInsight analyses fill times of wet wells before and after a pump run, normalising and comparing datasets. This method, allows for a unique evaluation of pump performance, going beyond traditional practices.

Its ability to flag discrepancies enables end-users to pinpoint issues like blocked pumps, non-return valve problems, impeller wear, control issues or failing pumps. The data is presented through a combination of system alerts and data visualisation, facilitating easy identification of reduced pump performance or prolonged running periods.

Following a successful trial, more than 18,000 assets are now monitored by Anglian Water, facilitating a shift from reactive and time-based maintenance, to proactive. PumpInsight data has notably helped to reduce pump replacements from 10% to 2%, with teams now focussing on in situ repairs such as impeller adjustments, over outright pump replacements. This shift signifies a more cost-effective and sustainable approach to asset maintenance.

In addition, a first-time fix rate of 95% means that operational and maintenance teams are successfully addressing issues on the initial visit. These early outcomes highlight the tangible advantages of adopting PumpInsight in terms of cost savings, operational efficiency, and environmental impact mitigation.

Tom Rust, technology development manager, Anglian Water, said: “It’s an honour for the collaborative PumpInsight project to be selected as a finalist at the Water Industry Awards 2024.

“Anglian Water's expertise in asset behaviour was combined with Ovarro's AI algorithm expertise to transform existing data into actionable insights. This iterative process, from concept to trial and now widespread implementation, demonstrates the successful deployment of technology and collaborative efforts in revolutionising pump station monitoring at Anglian Water.

“The PumpInsight system has already demonstrated significant benefits, particularly in fostering a proactive approach among operational and maintenance teams. The initiative represents a comprehensive, forward-thinking approach to water management and environmental sustainability.

“Furthermore, the initiative aligns with Anglian Water's commitment to carbon neutrality and the company's Get River Positive commitment.”

Gavin Russell, regional sales manager, Ovarro said: “The development of PumpInsight stemmed from the existing relationship between Ovarro and Anglian Water. 

“Recognising the potential of leveraging existing telemetry data from pumping stations in a novel manner, the goal was to repurpose data to gain insights into asset performance. The anticipated outcomes include a reduction in pump failures/blockages, CSO spills and flooding/pollution events. 

“PumpInsight's ability to optimise asset performance using existing data is a gamechanger for improving environmental performance and meeting regulatory requirements.

“As the initiative gains traction, its application may extend beyond the water sector, potentially influencing other industries seeking efficient and data-driven solutions for infrastructure optimisation and environmental sustainability. are proud that this collaborative project was recognised as one of the best asset management initiatives of 2024 by the Water Industry Awards.”

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