Using Innovative Technologies to Help Mitigate Pollution Caused by Wastewater Spills: WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Class 2022 Retrospective


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Monitoring wastewater levels in a wastewater network is imperative to enabling utilities to effectively manage their networks to prevent wastewater spills, reduce pollution and improve visibility, performance and forecasting.

At WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Class 2022, the multi award winning* team from Metasphere showed us how poor wastewater network visibility can be significantly improved when employing a holistic, all-in-one approach for managing wastewater levels through the mass deployment of innovative technologies. CEO, Tim O’Brien, and Commercial Director, Phil Tomlinson, explained how high wastewater levels and spillage risks can be pro-actively detected and reported to a secure, scalable data collection and device management platform hosted in the cloud.

Their presentation further demonstrated how utilities are able to intelligently manage their wastewater networks by combining wastewater level data with historic, current and forecast rainfall data, and through the use of smart, machine-learning analytics, start to provide intelligent alarms that allow their control rooms to react to the most important spills.

Tim and Phil subsequently hosted deeper dive roundtable discussions with all delegates in attendance.

Presentation highlights included:

  • Challenges – including climate change; growing population; industrial demands on the wastewater networks; changes in regulation; utilities coming under increasing pressure to control spillages and unplanned escapes to prevent pollution; industry wide goal to reduce spillages to zero; and natural capital protection;
  • Utilities ambitions to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030;
  • Blockages, spills and blocked sewers – reporting, performance, and ESG;
  • Learning from the past, preparing for the future – AMP6 and AMP7, CSO monitoring, monitor to alarm and being reactive;
  • Understanding the utility and their customers’ situation;
  • Having a transparent business case, knowing the value proposition and measuring success;
  • Intuitive innovation to predict and prevent leaks and spills – IoT hardware, Cloud processing AI/ML scalability and visualisation;
  • Simple and effective tools for interaction – remote device management vs reporting/action;
  • Intelligent alarms;
  • Partial blockage detection;
  • End-to-end thinking, scalability & connectivity and dependable & reliable data;
  • What’s next from a technology & approach perspective? Integrated wastewater network management with analytics and capacity utilisation;
  • What’s next mentality wise? Open vs closed data, zero pollution vs zero spills;
  • What’s next in terms of legislation? Impact of the Environment Act, PR 24 and storm overflow discharge reduction plan;
  • Open vs closed data and solutions;
  • A shift to quality – indicative measurements vs specific parameters, solution mixing and reporting vs prevention.

* Metasphere are winners of both the Pollution Mitigation Initiative of the Year 2022 and the Monitoring & Metering Product of the Year 2022.  

If you satisfy our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us in Birmingham on November 10th for the live in-person event at The BCEC, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage and slides from Tim and Phil’s initial presentation).

Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, innovation, trialling and partnering leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers, environmental managers, policy makers and planners from UK water companies and utilities, wastewater and sewer operators, lead local flood authorities (unitary authorities and county councils), city/borough/metropolitan councils, district councils, combined authorities, highways authorities, prime contractors, general insurers, large water consumers, central governmental and regulatory bodies (e.g. Defra, DCLG, Ofwat, Environment Agency, DWI, SEPA), independent industry and consumer organisations (e.g. Water UK, CCW) etc.

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WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Classes show key buyer side stakeholders how deploying the latest digital technology-enabled solutions and best practices can help manage the distribution and management of water resources, and also offers utilities an opportunity to improve efficiency and customer service whilst reducing water scarcity. WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Class 2022 will be hosted in Birmingham on November 10th.


   Birmingham, UK

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British Water

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