Supplying high-quality drinking water on a permanent basis to the whole country is an essential service that is expected from water service management. Delivered close to its place of consumption, tap water has a range of sources and characteristics, requiring tailored treatment processes and 24/7 monitoring. Taking into account the wide variation in raw water source quality, treatment processes and network intervention procedures, this basic mission is at the same time a highly complex one.
The monitoring procedures carried out by the personnel responsible for water production and supply (PRPDE, initials in French), include regular checks on the measures in place to protect the resource being used, verification of operations at facilities, analyses carried out at different points, depending on the hazards identified in the water production and supply system... Within the parameters of the contracts managed by SUEZ in France, these analyses show water bacteriological compliance of 99.7%.
The deployment of sensors in the network, linked to a data analysis solution using statistical detection algorithms and "machine learning*, is therefore particularly suitable for drinking water networks. The AQUADVANCED® Quality Monitoring approach begins with a study to gather knowledge of the network’s configuration, identify the equipment already in place and assess the risks to be covered. On this basis, selection of the correct monitoring parameters and strategic placement points make it possible to achieve a perfect balance to minimise the impact of pollution, whilst also optimising investments in measurement equipment:
The first 7 parameters are measured using multi-parameter stations, equipped with intelligent sensors, which are deployed at strategic points along the supply network and inserted in water pipelines. Changes in the water’s bacteriological status are monitored using a bacteria meter, which identifies possible contamination by pollutants. All the sensors can be electrically powered by an innovative pico-generator system, which produces electric power using the water network thus allowing us to have a fully independent, renewable energy source.
Finally, all the measured data are collected, located and viewed using the AQUADVANCED® software. The solution processes thousands of real-time data using advanced computer techniques to identify unusual occurrences, such as the use of a fire extinguisher or an intrusion in the network, as well as operational incidents, such as works and intervention procedures on the water distribution network.
This new solution, offering improved, digitised water quality monitoring, is part of an overall risk assessment and management strategy, in which innovative digital tools all have their place.
*Implementation of methods permitting machines to evolve by a systematic process