Arqiva delivers further smart water metering fixed network trial for Anglian Water
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

Arqiva has completed an extension to its smart water metering fixed network trial for Anglian Water.

Conducted in partnership with Sensus, a Xylem brand, the new trial network in Norwich is part of Anglian Water’s plans for a long-term smart metering programme, and uses the Sensus FlexNet two-way communication fixed network solution across Arqiva’s dedicated network.

In partnership with utility technology provider Sensus, the three-year contract will see Arqiva build and operate the fixed network infrastructure to facilitate the deployment and operation of around 11,000 new smart water meters in and around Norwich.

Sensus smart water meters covering both residential and non-residential properties will transmit hourly usage readings via FlexNet, across the Arqiva network (with each of Arqiva’s base stations capable of supporting up to 60,000 water meters), back to Anglian Water. The data will enable Anglian Water to better understand customer water consumption, and to quickly identify unusual patterns of use that might indicate a burst or a leak.

Arqiva’s solution provides a private network which uses licenced spectrum and has dedicated channels for Anglian Water’s thereby avoiding any potential volume of traffic issues that might arise if multiple users were attempting to use the same spectrum.

Anglian Water installed around 10,000 new smart meters ahead of the network going live and remotely collected meter data and meter alarms are now being delivered every day. At the end of February there were around 11,000 smart meters installed with more than 99 per cent successfully connected to the network using the two-way communications functionality.

The Norwich trial follows a successful earlier project in Newmarket, Anglian Water’s ‘Innovation Shop Window’ – where the company has tested and showcased its innovation projects.

The two-way communications capability of the fixed network enables Anglian Water to remotely reconfigure meters to deliver more frequent meter readings (every 15 minutes) for even more accurate identification of system leakage. Customers taking part in the trial will have online access to their consumption data, and will be given guidance and advice to minimise their water consumption.

Paul Glass, Anglian Water’s programme manager for the smart metering initiative, said: “Anglian Water believes that our customers would benefit from smart water meters. Smart meter data will show customers not only how much they use compared to others like them, but will also show the customer when defects occur in their plumbing, such as a leak on the supply pipe or a leaky loo. This information will help customers save water and cut their water bill.

“The information would also help us to target leakage reduction on our network which, coupled with reduced demand from our customers, will help to conserve the finite water resources in an area of fast growth and changing climate.

“Arqiva and Sensus have succeeded in creating a stable platform to generate data for our customers in Newmarket, and we are confident that this success will be repeated for some of our customers in our other trial in Norwich.” Glass added that Anglian Water will use the information from its trials to discuss the wider application of smart water meters with Ofwat, the regulator for water and sewerage services in England and Wales.

Sean Weir, director smart M2M at Arqiva, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with Anglian Water with the further rollout of the Sensus FlexNet fixed network. Previous trials in other regions have clearly demonstrated the business value that a secure, reliable and resilient network with clear service levels can deliver.

“The management of our water resources is critical and the Arqiva and Sensus partnership provides technology that can help water companies to gain much clearer insight into their own networks. The Sensus FlexNet solution is built to exacting customer specifications and can provide near real-time data enabling the business to react quickly to impending issues. Our network is already proving its worth and we look forward to rolling it out further.”

Colin Eagle, sales director UK, Nordics and Benelux at Sensus, said: “Anglian Water identified that accurate data was the key for them to achieve reduced water consumption, improve network management, more accurately identify system leakage and improve customer satisfaction.

“Sensus’ technology operating across the Arqiva network is able to provide Anglian Water with a dedicated, reliable and proven smart water solution designed to deliver both the hourly and 15 minute data needed…”

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