Arqiva, the communications infrastructure and media services company, has today (6 July 2016) announced that it has been selected by UK utility Anglian Water to deliver and monitor a smart water metering fixed network trial as part of its plans for a long-term smart metering programme.
In partnership with utility technology provider Sensus, the four-year contract will see Arqiva build the fixed network infrastructure to facilitate the deployment and operation of 7,500 new smart water meters in and around Newmarket, Suffolk.
Arqiva will commence the six month network build in June 2016, after which the fixed network trial will continue for the remaining contract length.
Newmarket is the site of a project that Anglian Water is calling its ‘Innovation Shop Window’ – a place where the company will test and showcase its latest innovation projects, as it seeks to create the water company of the future.
Three of the key objectives of the Shop Window are to achieve 100% customer satisfaction, ensure zero bursts or leakage and reduce water consumption to 80 litres per head, per day. The trial has been set up to demonstrate the contribution that fixed network smart water metering can make towards these goals.
Throughout the trial, Sensus smart water meters covering both residential and non-residential properties will transmit hourly usage readings via the Arqiva network back to Anglian Water. The data will enable Anglian Water to better understand customer water consumption, and to quickly identify unusual patterns of use that might indicate a burst or a leak.
This proactive method of identifying leaks means Anglian Water’s teams can get out and fix them sooner. If, on inspection, the leak is found to be on a customer’s private pipe network, the company can let the customer know so that they can get it repaired.
The two-way communications capability of the fixed network will also enable Anglian Water to remotely reconfigure meters to deliver more frequent meter readings (every 15 minutes) for even more accurate identification of system leakage.
It is intended that customers taking part in the trial will have online access to their consumption data, and will be given guidance and advice to minimise their water consumption.
Paul Glass, Anglian Water’s programme manager for the smart metering initiative, said: “Long-term access to secure supplies of water is one of the most pressing environmental and economic challenges the world faces today, and that challenge is particularly acute in the east of England, which is the driest region in the UK.
“Getting to grips with it is not something that can wait until tomorrow. We want to lead the way in raising awareness about how essential water is to life, people and the environment, but also draw attention to the role technologies like this can have in helping address the challenges of a growing population and changing climate.”
Glass continued: “Smart metering has a key role to play in giving our customers access to information about their water use – helping them to understand how much water they are using, and therefore how to reduce their consumption and bills. In combination with our efforts on the wider network, this will help secure water supplies for the future.
“We procured Arqiva (and Sensus as subcontractor) through an EU compliant tender process. We selected them because of the long-term commitment they made to the deployment and on-going monitoring of our fixed network trial, as well as their proven expertise in delivering large-scale network builds,” said Glass.
Sean Weir, Director Smart M2M at Arqiva, said: “Arqiva is committed to working with water companies to help them use smart metering to tackle the challenge of water scarcity. Accurate monitoring enables consumers to better understand their usage and helps the water companies pinpoint and act quickly on leakages.
“We pride ourselves on the delivery of robust, reliable and comprehensive network solutions that aid this process, and are delighted that Anglian Water has recognised our reputation in this area by choosing us to support the progression of its smart metering programme.”
Neil Adams, Director UK & Ireland at Sensus, said: “Anglian Water is taking an important step toward water conservation that will benefit its customers for years to come. Sensus technology enables Anglian to reduce non-revenue water, detect leaks and ensure reading accuracy from day one and into the future.”