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Vodafone joins forces with SES to reduce water leaks

SES Water and Vodafone have signed a 10-year deal to revolutionise how water leaks are detected and prevented.
The UK based water firm will use Vodafone’s Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology to create an intelligent water distribution network that aims to cut leakage by 15% over the next five years and pave the way for more than halving it by 2045.
In the UK alone, it is estimated that on average 3 billion litres of water is lost to leaks everyday – the equivalent of 1,268 Olympic swimming pools.
While SES Water has one of the lowest leakage records in the UK and has met its reduction target for the last 21 years, the company has set itself a challenging target to go further.
The project, now underway across east Surrey, west Kent, West Sussex and south London, follows Vodafone’s smart water network pilot with South East Water last year.
Vodafone and SES Water have been working over the past few months with partners to install specialist digital water meters, sensors and acoustic loggers on underground mains water pipes. These were then connected using Vodafone’s NB-IoT network, which operates within a very narrow radio band frequency enabling wider coverage and deeper penetration than traditional networks, so is perfect for use underground or within buildings.
Data will be collected and transmitted across the system, and advanced analytics will be used to monitor readings and alert SES Water immediately in the event of a leak, low pressure or other network abnormalities.
Anne Sheehan, director of Vodafone Business UK, said: “Internet of Things technology can make a real difference to the health of our planet. We are thrilled to be innovating with SES Water, helping to provide a more accurate and efficient way of identifying and preventing leaks.”
Daniel Woodworth, SES Water’s network strategy manager, added: “At SES Water we already have industry-leading leakage levels, but we want to do more.
“This collaborative project has been worked on for a number of months and will help us revolutionise how we detect and prevent water leaks – either our mains or our customers’ pipes – as soon as it occurs. In the future it could even enable us to predict and prevent pipeline failure before it happens. It will put our operational teams in a position of knowledge, not only enabling us to reduce the water we take from the natural environment but also further minimising interruptions to supply, and in doing so provide a gold standard service for our customers for many years to come.”

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