Can The Internet Of Things Help With UK Water Wastage?

It seems like not a day goes by at the moment without the global water crisis hitting the headlines and there’s no better time than the present for businesses around the UK and, indeed, the world to start putting measures in place to reduce their water footprint.


And it’s possible that the Internet of Things (IoT) could do an awful lot in this regard, with Microsoft’s Ian Banham telling BusinessCloud that the firm is now in talks with various water companies about deploying certain water-saving strategies, such as connecting pumping stations to analyse water flow in pipes to help improve leak detection.


Other projects include using smart sensors in storm drains and on manhole covers so that data about water levels can be fed back more frequently than has been possible thus far.


Mr Banham explained: “In the last 25 years, [water companies] collected data but haven’t had the means to store it or analyse it to find out what’s going wrong and do something about it. They only got the data when it was too late because it only sent it back every hour so, which is too slow during a particularly heavy rainfall. With this technology they can react more quickly.


“A lot of the water companies have storage facilities for water so, if they have that data, they can move water about to avoid floods and sewage overflows. That is massively important because they’re only allowed so many sewage flood incidents per year and, as soon as they go over that, the fines can run into millions of pounds.”


Microsoft is also working to come up with solutions that will accelerate how industries take on the global water crisis. It has teamed up with Nalco Water, Ecolab’s global water management business, to help scientists remotely capture real-time data from processes absolutely anywhere to give field personnel the right intelligence to manage these processes for over a million customers around the world.


Big data, the IoT and cloud-based services are now all being used to provide solutions that have the power and scale necessary in order to meet demand. At the moment, 3D TRASAR technology is being used to monitor more than 10,000 water systems, with thousands of sensors in facilities all over the world.


These sensors send information to the cloud every six seconds to help scientists better understand how their customers operate, as well as finding new ways to conserve, recycle or reuse water. Impressively, Ecolab succeeded in saving 140 billion gallons of water in 2016 alone.


If you’ve been reading about water scarcity and its potential impact in the not-too-distant future, and want to start implementing measures to reduce your water footprint in this regard, get in touch with us here at H2O Building Services today. We’ll be able to advise you on how to reduce your water usage, as well as helping you identify possible leaks – which will see your bills drop as well.