South East Water’s journey to reduce non-revenue water losses with network leak detection at scale

For Australian water utilities, non-revenue water is a continuous challenge, previously with no clear solution at scale.

A 2019 Bureau of Meteorology report estimated that during the previous five years non-revenue water loss accounted for approximately 10 per cent of Australian utilities’ water supply.

The roll out of digital meters provides a unique opportunity to integrate additional sensors to gain better visibility – not only of customer side usage and leaks, but also of leaks across the utility network. This technological advance is providing utility teams and customers with more granular and immediate information about water consumption and losses.

South East Water is undertaking one of the largest digital meter rollouts in Australia so far, with more than 30,000 now installed across a range of customer groups and housing types.

Digital meters integrated with Sotto® network leak detection sensors are among the biggest game-changers utilities will experience in the near future. More than 5,000 have been deployed across South East Water’s network to date, detecting and locating network leaks at scale.

Host Iota CEO, Daniel Sullivan spoke with South East Water GM Digital Utility, Andrew Forster Knight and Landis + Gyr Vice President of Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, David Maclean to discuss the journey so far, the technology, outcomes to date and what’s next.

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The True Value of Digital Transformation

Utilities operate in an increasingly complex landscape with challenges that compete for attention and resources including climate change, a growing population, ageing networks, and heightened customer expectations. These challenges need to be met, while maintaining affordability for customers. 

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Sustainability

Water Utility ChallengesDigital Utility LeversLentic® Enablers
Water scarcity from climate change and population growthIncrease digital monitoring of water value chain to improve water quality and reduce environmental impact.Enable an integrated ecosystem that leverages machine intelligence.
Meet and exceed environmental regulatory requirementsReduce water wastage by identifying network leaksEnhance data quality and quantity to support regulatory reporting and transparency.

Customers

Water Utility ChallengesDigital Utility LeversLentic® Enablers
Rising customer expectationsProvide customers with relevant on-demand insights through preferred channels, enabling better service experiences.Built-in domain knowledge delivers on-demand customizable insights to customers.
AffordabilityReduce water services costs through innovative demand management and enhanced operational efficiency.Support automation of key business processes to enhance customer service delivery and reduce demand.

Assets

Water Utility ChallengesDigital Utility LeversLentic® Enablers
Optimise asset life and reduce operating costsVisualise performance and manage asset lifecycle in real time while reducing the need to fund additional infrastructure.Domain rules applied to predict unknown disruption across asserts, by providing high volume of data.
Reduce non-revenue water lossesAutomate identification of network leaks to enable rapid and cost-effective fault resolution.Enable integration of field device data across enterprise systems to manage utility response to network leaks and faults.
Protect asset securityProvide a safe and resilient operating environment reducing cyber risks to critical infrastructure.Security policy and controls are in place to support continuous monitoring efforts in line with ISO0227001