IoT in Water - 4 Ways to Make Sense of Your Data

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October 28, 2020

Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of devices, data, and other technological features to run any operation more intuitively with minimal manual intrusion. IoT has gradually spread across everyday life and the commercial landscape. The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) concept is hugely based on IoT’s intuitive adaptation and intelligent automation in every industrial activity. 

In the last few years, IoT has also entered water and wastewater management. Many local governments and municipalities have started using sensor-based technological features to “smartly” run their operations. Moreover, industries are using IoT smart water management to streamline the functions of their effluent treatment plants and utilities management overall. 

IoT in water management helps utilities managers reduce risks that may exist in sewer networks, water distribution networks, as well as both water and wastewater treatment plants. It provides the foundation of data-driven utility management that can also be applied to more effective asset management and operational efficiency.

Since IoT has become a buzzword in the industry, more organizations are starting to incorporate it into their systems. However, many of them try to do it in a hurry and fail to make the most of IoT’s smart capabilities. The most recurring issue that organizations face in making the best of of IoT in water is their inability to handle enormous data volumes. 

It is important to understand that the telemetric data obtained from IoT sensors is just one piece of the puzzle. If you cannot use this data correctly, establishing IoT smart water management will not deliver actionable outcomes to improve management of water at both public and private operations.

These are ways you can make sense of IoT data and use it to streamline your water management.

Connect IoT Data Sources with an Infrastructure Model

When managing a sewer network, freshwater distribution, or effluent treatment plant through IoT, you need its digital infrastructure model. Connect this model with the data setpoints your IoT telemetry setup picks up. The integration of IoT data with an interactive digital model of the infrastructure keeps the model updated in near-real-time. This utilization of data in infrastructure modeling will help you make quick decisions regarding any infrastructure changes/controls.

Use the Infrastructure Model as a Digital Twin of the System

Your next step is to transform the water network model into a virtual replica of its physical infrastructure. This accurate virtual model is also called the digital twin of the network. A digital twin is one step ahead of regular models because it visualizes KPIs in near-real-time and leverages AI/MI for predictive analysis. For example, you can use a sewer network’s digital twin to predict when overflows may be imminent.

Use the Digital Twin to Drive Better Operations

The next step is to make use of digital twins to improve utilities management operations. Digital twins can be used to:

  • Reduce non-revenue water in a municipal water network.
  • Improve the capital planning for asset repair and renewals
  • Avoid sewage overflow risks to prevent contaminations and ensuing regulatory repercussions.
  • Optimize effluent treatment plants and other industrial water/wastewater networks for efficient energy and chemical use.

Democratize the Data for Cross-Functional Application

You also need to make sure all stakeholders can make sense of all the IoT data without a hassle; this is possible with better data visualization and the resolution of previous information silos. The idea is to make sure everyone, from regulators to engineers and operators to the general public, can understand the operation of these systems based on accurate, and up-to-date information.

Innovyze solutions are key tools for making sense of telemetered/IoT data; delivering purpose-built modeling solutions that provide engineers, utility managers and operators digital twins of their water, wastewater, and flood control systems.

We’ve introduced a range of AI-powered software that leverages IoT for improving water and wastewater operations in both the public and commercial sector. Ultimately, the software applications to make the most of IoT in utilities management, from making digital twins to running predictive analysis and democratizing SCADA/telemetric data. Click here to learn more!

Tags: artificial intelligence, water management, clean water and sanitation, utilities management