NB-IoT sensors provide a better overview and a more efficient water supply

In Halsnæs Forsyning in Denmark, the supply network is digitized with sensors for monitoring pressure in pipelines, water levels in wells and the use of fire hydrants.

Digital monitoring provides a better overview of the supply network and allows for faster response to customer enquiries. In addition, time and resources are saved by replacing manual inspections with remote monitoring.

Three specific requirements for a digital solution

Halsnæs Forsyning was looking for a solution to monitor the pressure and get a better overview of the supply network. And they needed the solution that met a certain set of requirements.
"It was important to us that the solution we found could comply with our specific requirements," says Mikkel Nielsen, COO at Halsnæs Forsyning. He continues: "First of all, we needed sensors that could be located across a large geographical area without being connected to the power grid. Secondly, the sensors had to be powerful enough for the signal to penetrate cast iron and composite lids, so we could be sure to receive data from them. And thirdly, we wanted a full integration of data from the sensors to our existing IT system."

Complete overview of pressure in the supply network

For some time, the utility had some challenges monitoring the pressure in the distribution network. The challenges arise when enquiries from customers need attention. This leads to time-consuming searches that are often in vain because it is difficult to identify the source of the problem. Therefore, they were looking for a solution that could help them monitor the water pressure across 21 section wells.

Initially, AVK delivered NB-IoT sensors for five section wells. Four sensors were installed in wells with cast iron lids and one in a well with composite lid. All five sensors work impeccably and send important pressure data back to the utility.

Therefore, they decided to install 16 additional sensors in other important section wells. Now the operation manager has a quick overview of the water pressure in the network right at hand. Based on the information from the sensors, he can check directly in the IT system whether the pressure is correct according to preset values and assess whether any problems are caused by something in the distribution network – saving both time and unnecessary driving related to manual inspection.

Monitoring fire hydrants and measuring water levels

The utility has also installed sensors for digital monitoring elsewhere in the supply network. In two wells, they have installed sensors to measure the distance to the nearest surface – allowing remote monitoring of the water level in the wells. In the past, employees had to inspect the wells manually four to five times a year, but this is no longer necessary. This saves resources and allows the utility to respond faster in case of sudden rises in water levels due to, for example, cloudbursts.

In addition, some of the hydrants in the supply network are now monitored via sensors installed in the caps. Any operation of the cap is registered, and the hydrants can be monitored remotely without manual inspection.

Knowing when the hydrants are being used, allows for better planning of maintenance, and a cross check with the fire authorities in the area will help identify vandalism or water theft. It will become easier to separate water loss through fire hydrants from water loss through bursts, and a faster response in case of a collision or water theft from a fire hydrant can minimise water loss.

Halsnæs Forsyning

Number of households: about 21.000
Employees at the utility: 77
Yearly drinking water production: about 620.000 m3
Distribution lines: about 200 km

What is AVK Smart Water

The solution consists of both digital sensors and a software platform. The battery-operated IoT sensors collect and decode data from the distribution network, and the software platform visualises complex data and turns it into valuable insights.

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AVK Smart Water IoT sensors

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AVK Smart Water digital monitoring

Battery-operated wireless IoT sensors collect data directly from the network and turn complex data into valuable insights.