More precise monitoring of water supply networks via smart standpipes

More precise monitoring of water supply networks via smart standpipes

More precise monitoring of water supply networks via smart standpipes is making evidence-based data readily available, closing reporting gaps and giving a clearer picture of network activity, says Kevin Brook, director of Orbis.

UK water companies saw a sharp increase in water usage during the record temperatures in summer 2022, but newly available data shows that much of that can be attributed to third parties abstracting water from hydrants.

Orbis’s innovative SmartStandpipes, which are hired by organisations such as councils, drainage specialists, construction companies and event organisers, recorded a 24% overall increase in water usage from 1 April 2022 to 1 October 2022, compared to same period last year. Smart standpipe water usage peaked in August 2022, doubling in some regions, according to Orbis data.

Smart standpipe in action

Orbis SmartStandpipes recorded a 24% overall increase in water usage from 1 April 2022 to 1 October 2022

The period from January to August 2022 was the driest in the UK since 1976, with water companies seeing an inevitable surge in demand for water during prolonged dry spells. While much of this can be attributed to domestic use, as households typically use more water in the hot, dry weather, Orbis data confirms large volumes of water, up to 20ml per day, were taken from the network by third parties who had hired smart standpipes during this period.

The increased demand for water has been driven by the dry ground which requires frequent watering, sports and training pitches, construction sites to reduce dust, watering of groundworks and newly-laid landscaping. Well-attended outdoor festivals also contributed.

A standpipe is a means of connecting to a water distribution network for a temporary water supply, with UK utilities typically outsourcing the hiring of standpipes to a partner, such as Orbis’s sister company Aquam Water Services. Typical uses may be construction, landscape gardening, drain cleaning and outdoor events, such as festivals.

Orbis’s unique smart standpipe technology can calculate in real time the precise volume of water extracted from the network and assign it to an authorised user. A built-in multi-sensor measures water extractions and pipeline flow data, provides GPS location data and records the time the water was taken.

Data is uploaded to a cloud-based portal where scheduled reports and real-time alerts can be accessed by operators. All water company clients have access to the portal, where they can view and analyse real-time data from their networks.

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Upgrade your temporary standpipes to become smart monitoring devices. This cutting-edge technology gives you accurate real-time data to measure water extractions and pipeline flow data to support you managing your network. Our SmartStandpipes come with this technology already integrated, while our SmartPipes are designed to retrofit your existing standpipes.

Managing standpipe water usage is much easier with smart technology, our systems can calculate the precise volume of water extracted from the network and assign it to an authorised user. The technology also provides GPS location data and records the time the water was taken, making it easy to automate bills.