AVK develops “Smart hydrant”

Together with Skanderborg Forsyningsvirksomhed A/S we have developed new retrofitted hydrant covers with integrated sensors for AVK series 09 hydrants in order to monitor usage.

Development of the ”Smart hydrant” was initiated by our partners at Skanderborg Forsyningsvirksomhed as they have been facing an ongoing issue related to the usage of their hydrants. They suspect that some of their hydrants have been exposed to water theft and they are extremely concerned about unauthorized use of the hydrants, since this increases the risk of contamination of the drinking water.

They did not have any concrete evidence or a system that could confirm or deny their suspicion. So, they contacted us with a request for a Smart application to reveal and notify opening of the hydrant covers. The application should meet the following requirements: It should be possible to retrofit in the covers, be battery powered, be invisible when the cover is closed and be able to communicate via Sigfox protocol (radio communication).

Smart water solution developed by AC.MO

The entire development process was handled by AC.MO, our Italian AVK subsidiary. At AC.MO, they specialise in development of applications like this. They solved the challenge by mounting a motion sensor, also called an accelerometer, in the hydrant cover together with an integrated battery with 10 years lifetime, an antenna and an electrical board. 

The accelerometer is monitoring the gravitational force. When the hydrant cover is opened, there is a change in the relative gravitational force which will then lead to an alarm notification. The notification from the hydrant is sent via a Sigfox network, a so-called LPWA (low power wide area network), which has been specially developed for the transmission of small data packets from e.g. sensors. 

The notification is sent to Skanderborg Forsyningsvirksomhed’s SCADA-system, where they have an overview of the use of the hydrants. This enables monitoring the hydrant cover position, the battery condition and historical data for usage of the hydrant. The data can be shared with the fire department that owns and typically maintains the hydrants, or with the municipality, responsible for the water mains. 

The application does not measure the amount of water taken from the fire hydrant, but only whether the cover is opened.

One solution – several purposes

The new application provides different uses. Besides helping to detect unauthorized access it is also a tool to help the fire department maintain the hydrants. Information about how often the hydrants are used is very relevant to their planning of maintenance.

Testing the application

In a first test phase ten prototypes are installed. In the long term, they have about 120-130 hydrants in Skanderborg, on which they would like to install the application.

When AVK joins a project developing an application like this, it is also to become more aware of what can be achieved by applying sensors on different products used in the water sector. We have an ambition of being in the forefront when the water sector adopts the Internet of Things and we want to contribute to less contamination and a better utilisation of the world's water resources.

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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