Digitalisation ensures safe and clean drinking water

Skanderborg Forsyning has a vast supply area in which they need to ensure safe and clean drinking water for the consumers. But it can be challenging to get a general overview of the fire hydrants’ status because they are placed around the supply area.

Skanderborg Forsyning has a vast supply area in which they need to ensure safe and clean drinking water for the consumers. But it can be challenging to get a general overview of the fire hydrants’ status because they are placed around the supply area.

It is Skanderborg Forsyning’s top priority to ensure safe and clean drinking water for the consumers, while at the same time improving their fire hydrants’ service level, when they decided to initiate a collaboration with AVK Smart Water.

Currently, the water utility Skanderborg Forsyning in Denmark has no overview of when or if the fire hydrants in the area are being used, and who is using them. The fire hydrants are only to be used by the fire department or the water utility, however, unauthorised use has been detected before. Unauthorised use is not only illegal; it also poses an increased risk of water contamination.

“Skanderborg Forsyning always seek to reduce possible incidents that can negatively affect drinking water. Therefore, it was important for us to find a solution that could indicate the duration of time a fire hydrant has been inactive to ensure sufficient water quality”, says the operations manager at Skanderborg Forsyning.

IoT to ensure safe drinking water

Skanderborg Forsyning decided to look for an intelligent solution that would enable them to monitor the fire hydrants in their network, and thereby reduce and ultimately end unauthorised use. Therefore, Skanderborg Forsyning decided to team up with AVK Smart Water.

AVK Smart Water developed the VIDI Cap solution that makes it possible to monitor where and when the hydrants are being used and for how long it has been unused. The solution consists of an IoT-device mounted in the cap of the fire hydrant. This enables the device to send a radio signal to a cloud platform, whenever the cap is opened.

“An IoT-based solution gives the utilities a reliable and cost-effective way of monitoring the water distribution network, and further, it enables utilities to make informed choices whenever they detect an opened fire hydrant cap”, explains the business development director at AVK Smart Water.

Benefits and unique opportunities

The technology behind AVK Smart Water’s VIDI Cap solution provides countless benefits and unique opportunities for utilities. Not only can it monitor whether the cap is open or closed; it can also monitor how long a fire hydrant has been unused e.g. in connection to flushing the network. This is important as stagnant water poses the risk of bacteria growth and water contamination.

In addition, this IoT solution will also enable Skanderborg Forsyning to inform consumers when the fire hydrants are being used, as this sometimes can affect the colour of the water due to iron and manganese.

“The IoT solution brings a lot of opportunities and benefits with it, and it will definitely improve our service level and help ensure safe and clean drinking water for our consumers,” says the operations manager.

What does the future bring for monitoring fire hydrants?

AVK Smart Water and Skanderborg Forsyning have tested the solution with positive results, and now Skanderborg Forsyning is planning the next step in the digitalisation of the 80 fire hydrants in their water network.

AVK Smart Water is looking forward to continue the collaboration with Skanderborg Forsyning to ensure the water usage and quality in Skanderborg: “The future holds many exciting projects for AVK Smart Water, and we are looking forward to welcome additional IoT devices to the VIDI solution like valve positioner, pressure sensors, temperature sensors and more”.

Skanderborg Forsyningsvirksomhed A/S

Skanderborg Forsyningsvirksomhed A/S is the main supplier of water in the municipality of Skanderborg with a population of approx. 62,000 inhabitants. The delivery of drinking water takes place from five waterworks and through 226 km of mains. They are furthermore responsible for all wastewater treatment in the municipality.

The AVK premises in Galten, Skovby and Låsby are located in the municipality of Skanderborg.

What is Smart Water and Internet of Things

A smart water network is a fully integrated set of products, solutions and systems that enable water utilities to:

  • Remotely monitor and diagnose problems
  • Pre‐emptively prioritise and manage maintenance
  • Remotely control and optimise the network using data‐driven insights
  • Provide customers with the information and tools they need to make informed choices about behaviour and water usage patterns
Internet of Things can be defined as "a network of electronic devices capable of collecting and sharing data via sensors". The collected data is translated into detailed knowledge of specific target groups through analysis. The purpose is to use collected data to help and develop healthcare, traffic and infrastructure, industry, communication and the general daily life without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.


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