Client: A water utility company serving 15 million customers
Products/Services: Water and wastewater services
Area of Operation: United Kingdom
A UK-based private utility that supplies drinking water to 15 million customers wanted to improve the safety of its water supply by transforming how it handled sections of its distribution network that had been cut off from the rest of the system. Although new water flows through these “dead leg” sections, they often contain trapped water that can stagnate and become breeding grounds for microbes that may contaminate the water supply and pose a health risk. Typically, identifying and addressing “dead legs” is a manual, labor-intensive process that requires the use of external water-quality teams. The utility wanted a faster, more automated process to reduce the threat and minimize costs.
Wipro worked with the business team to capture all the possible scenarios that could lead to the occurrence of dead legs within the complex water-distribution network. This discovery effort required understanding the logic and business rules of mitigating risks, as the solution would involve data engineering to integrate business logic with geographical information systems. For example, the Operations teams would need to be able to identify dead legs within a flow monitoring zone. This would enable proactive steps like flushing to reduce and eliminate dead legs from the network; it would also allow the utility to redirect water quality samplers and field teams to prioritize flushing for areas at risk.
Ultimately, the solution was a new automated workflow for dead leg identification. The user can use a custom tracing tool in the application to traverse the individual section of the water network, isolate and tag any potential dead legs. The new solution include the ability to track changes over time, which enabled the utility to generate reports on situations and actions taken. This helps in taking future corrective actions and to avoid repeat occurrences of dead legs.
By automating the identification process using location data, the utility improved the visibility of dead legs to its risk-assessment team and field engineers by more than 90%. That enabled the utility to be much more proactive at addressing dead legs situation, minimizing water quality events and improving public health. Water contamination incidents declined by 40%, and the new system also improved compliance with regulations from the UK’s Drinking Water Inspectorate. Finally, it reduced the utility’s need for external water quality teams, lowering the costs of managing and mitigating risks.