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Digital sewers - the future of wastewater

Dec 14, 2016, 18:33 PM by Carli Barnes

When you think hi-tech, you don't necessarily think of sewers. But a new system has been trialled this year that may mean a closer connection between traditional wastewater management and digital technology. What will this new combination mean for the way we manage wastewater systems, and how can Webforge products fit with this potential direction for sewers?

Testing new tech

Victoria's utility company South East Water has this year trialled a new venture in the science of waste water: smart sewers. The project involves incorporating Narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology into the network infrastructure of wastewater to create what tech news site Gizmodo has called the 'Internet of Sewers'.

South East Water said in a press release that it was testing the tech in Melbourne's CBD, Mornington Peninsula and the Dandenong Ranges. It has partnered with ICT providers Optus, Vodafone and Huawei to make the project happen.

The network-connected sensors and software are being used to collect real-time data on storage levels and expected rainfall for rainwater tank management systems, control wastewater flows and identify faults in the system.

South East Water has partnered with leading ICT providers to make the 'Internet of Sewers'.South East Water has partnered with leading ICT providers to make the 'Internet of Sewers'.

An aspect of the trial that was of particular interest to us here at Webforge was the use of NB-IoT chipsets to monitor manhole covers for unauthorised sewer access. This improved oversight will help reduce the risks of accidents to the public or vandalism to the water systems.

The project is a first in Australia. There is already 3G technology being used in the system for monitoring performance, but NB-IoT represents a step up in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

All our access covers and drainage grates are made to meet Australian standards.

Webforge products work with old systems and new

Webforge works hard to provide the best quality safety and access products we can. All our access covers and drainage grates are made to meet Australian standards and can be used in a diverse range of environments and settings.

Our access covers can comply with all the current AS3996 requirements. While the NB-IoT project is still in its early stages, if it is found to be successful it may well become the standard for wastewater systems in the future. If that is the case Webforge will be eager to comply with any new requirements of the hi-tech digital age, whether it's Wi-Fi connectivity or nanotech incorporated into our drainage grates.

Webforge can supply products for a range of civil and industrial situations. To find out more about how we can help you with your next project please get in touch today.

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Webforge Asia operates throughout the Asia Pacific region in locations such as  India, New ZealandSingapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, and Australia.