Skanderborg Forsyning needs to ensure safe and clean drinking water for the consumers in their supply area. However, in a vast supply area it can be challenging to get a general overview of the fire hydrants’ status because they are located around the area.
In Skanderborg municipality in Denmark, it is a priority to ensure safe and clean drinking water for the consumers as well as to improve the service level of their fire hydrants.
Currently, the water utility Skanderborg Forsyning has no overview of how often their fire hydrants are being used – or who is using them. The fire hydrants are only to be used by the fire department or the water utility. However, unauthorised use has previously been detected, and that is not only illegal but 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.
Especially the fire hydrants located in industrial areas are exposed to unexplainable water loss, and the utility wanted to reduce this. Previously they have been using cable ties to protect the fire hydrants but these were cut, and the utility needed to find another way.
IoT sensors installed to ensure safe drinking water
In order to reduce and ultimately end unauthorised use, Skanderborg Forsyning decided to look for a digital solution to enable monitoring the fire hydrants. And they initiated a collaboration 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. An IoT device is mounted in the cap of the fire hydrant and sends 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", they explain at AVK Smart Water.
Unique benefits and opportunities
The technology behind VIDI Cap provides countless benefits and unique opportunities for the 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. As stagnant water poses the risk of bacteria growth and water contamination, this is important e.g. in connection to flushing the network.
Furthermore, Skanderborg Forsyning will also be able to inform consumers in their supply area when fire hydrants are being used. It can sometimes affect the colour of the water due to iron and manganese and will therefore be an improved service for the consumers.
“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.
The future of IoT solutions in the supply network
AVK Smart Water and Skanderborg Forsyning have tested the solution with positive results, and Skanderborg Forsyning is planning the next step in the digitalisation of their 80 fire hydrants.
We are looking forward to a continued collaboration with Skanderborg Forsyning to continuously ensure clean and safe drinking water for the consumers. The future holds many exciting projects for AVK Smart Water, and we are looking forward to projects including VIDI Cap as well as other IoT devices from our product range, such as VIDI Positioner, pressure sensors, temperature sensors and more.
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?
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