Smart Water: Programs Seek to Uncover Valuable Data for Improved Operations
Water and wastewater systems use hundreds and sometimes thousands of data-producing instruments, but much of that information remains isolated. There is little two-way communication, so the vast amount of data stays buried, just as the water infrastructure itself is mostly buried and out of sight. Smart water programs are seeking to change all that.
“You can rapidly process intelligent sensor data at the device level and take immediate action if warranted, and that’s a big advancement,” said Fred Ellermeier, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Smart Integrated Infrastructure for Black & Veatch.
This is what is called edge computing, where the data is analyzed at the source of the data, and it doesn’t have to go back to a centralized node. This means that the potential for useful information available to water and wastewater utilities has grown exponentially in recent years.
“Many years ago, a pump just told you whether it was on or off. Now a pump tells you its speed, efficiency, vibration, temperature and more. This information can help optimize the operation of that pump, as well as maintain the pump, doing the right amount of maintenance at the right time.”
Jeff Neemann, Smart Integrated Infrastructure Sector Lead for Black & Veatch’s water business