Increasing demand for advanced polymer dosing systems in sludge applications
Launch of specialised Qdos 60 PU offers precise and repeatable flows for many hard to handle fluids, including viscous flows and aliphatic hydrocarbons, at linear flow rates of up to 60 l/h and pressures of up to 5 bar. The pump provides excellent compatibility for complex polymers such as polyacrylamide (PAM) and other flocculants and coagulants used in wastewater treatment.
Leveraging decades of engineering expertise and research and development experience at WMFTS, the Qdos 20 PU, it uses an aliphatic hydrocarbon-resistant tubing material, enhancing chemical compatibility in peristaltic pumps.
Peristaltic pumps have notable advantages over diaphragm pumps in PAM metering applications, including enhanced accuracy and reliability. There is no need for diaphragms, valves, or seals that risk clogging.
The highly innovative design of ReNu pumphead. The ReNu pumphead - a new pumphead is a new peristaltic pump, ready to serve again.
Adeel Hassan, product manager at WMFTS said, “The new Qdos series. These versatile pumps can be used for accurate and safe dosing of liquids up to 120l/h and 7 bar pressure in various applications across a range of sectors. They are available in different sizes and control options depending on requirements.”
WMFTS expects market scope to grow significantly, particularly with the pump’s integral leak detection and chemical containment capability, which reduces operators' exposure to chemicals during maintenance.
At one wastewater treatment plant in Heide, Germany, the <span class="SpellingError SCXW75640022 BCX0" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; user-select: text; -webkit-user-drag: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: transparent; background-repeat: repeat-x; background-position: left bottom; background-image: url(" data:image="" gif;base64,r0lgodlhbqaeajecap="" 8aaaaaaaaaach5baeaaaialaaaaaafaaqaaaiilgaxcchrtcgaow="=");" border-bottom:="" 1px="" solid="" transparent;"="">Qdos 60 PU metering pump is enabling the easy dosing of even hard-to-process polymers and other hydrocarbons.
“Engineers are reporting high levels of accuracy, ease of use and manoeuvrability, coupled with maximum process security,” said Peter Dohrn, wastewater treatment manager for the plant.
Cornwall business located in environmentally sensitive area
New discharge point brings stricter permit requirements
Ultraviolet system will add additional treatment stage
Technology from water recycling specialist WCS Environmental Engineering (WCSEE) has been selected by a care home in Cornwall to provide onsite wastewater treatment in an environmentally sensitive location.
Manor in dementia care and is situated in the picturesque village of , two miles from the town of . As it is not connected to the public sewer, the property is served by an onsite wastewater treatment plant.
With the existing system coming to the end of its operational life, the it had historically discharged to was no longer deemed suitable. A new point of discharge, to a nearby brook, meant more stringent Environment Agency permit conditions were stipulated, requiring enhanced levels of effluent treatment.
After close liaison with installer Jones Drainage & Groundworks and WCSEE, the care home’s owner, private care provider , opted to replace the plant and add a tertiary stage of ultraviolet (UV) treatment. WCSEE has designed a custom onsite solution comprising a below-ground ® - high performance aerated filter - treatment plant and UV disinfection system with a capacity of approximately 300 population (PE).
Ultraviolet light destroys microorganisms and reduces dissolved organic material, which can impact the quality of watercourses. It is considered one of the safest methods of disinfection, as it does not require use of chemicals.
A configuration of UV bulbs in a below-ground chamber, UV units connect to the outlet of the treatment plant. Effluent passes around the bulbs, with the disinfection occurring when the light comes into contact with the flows.
The robust technology will ensure consistent compliance with the Environment Agency’s discharge permit requirements, set at 20:30:10mg/l for biological oxygen demand (BOD), suspended solids and ammonia, with UV disinfection.
WCSEE technical manager Dominic Hamblin said, “We are pleased Manor has selected our technology for its new onsite treatment plant.
“The end result will be a modern, reliable and robust system that will treat effluent to the very high standards required in this environmentally sensitive location. UV disinfection will provide maximum bacteria and virus removal rates, and therefore give the highest levels of protection to local water environments.
“The combination of treatment and UV is usually only required when the receiving waters are particularly sensitive. The advanced process gives peace of mind that effluent has undergone rigorous treatment and will meet full compliance.”
Steven Jones of Jones Drainage & Groundworks said, “This is an important project to protect the local environment in the beautiful village of . The site has very tight access but because WCSEE’s
· Ovarro’s unique fixed-network-as-a-service model now in operation
· Technology company to present LeakNavigator at World Water-Tech
· UK water company trials record 20-25% increase in leaks found
A new end-to-end leakage reduction service has been launched by Ovarro, as the water sector moves forward with wider implementation of as-a-service models to improve efficiency.
LeakNavigator is the UK’s first fully-managed, fixed network leakage service. The leak-locating model comprises advanced acoustic data loggers, cutting-edge cloud-based software and Ovarro’s inhouse leakage expertise.
With all elements combined, the service can accurately identify points of interest (POIs) on behalf of water companies, alerting field technicians directly, so they can head straight to site with high confidence that a leak will be found, thereby reducing the need for inhouse data analysis.
LeakNavigator has undergone successful trials with UK water companies, recording a combined performance increase of 20-25% in total leaks found, plus a 30% reduction in lost field time through false positives and a POI-to-leak conversion rate of over 85%.
As-a-service models are subscription-based applications, with infrastructure that is entirely managed and maintained by an external supplier. These services allow companies to focus on their core responsibility of water system management and leave the data analysis to external specialists.
Matthew Hawkridge, chief technology officer, Ovarro, will be presenting LeakNavigator at World Water-Tech Innovation Summit in London, UK, on 21-22 February 2023.
He said, “Regulators and customers are continuing to push water companies to cut leakage and their expectations will only increase. While acoustic fixed networks – which are permanently in place to pinpoint leaks by monitoring the sound of water escaping from pipes - are bringing major improvements, the sector has at times struggled with the correct placement of acoustic loggers.
“For remote loggers to achieve the best possible results, they need to be placed in the optimum locations across a network – but establishing precisely where these spots are is no easy task and requires specialist expertise.
“If loggers are not placed appropriately, location data could be compromised and water company analysts have an even harder job of pinpointing leaks. This means leak detection teams could be spending valuable time and money trying to identify leaks in the wrong place.”
Ben Crabtree, Ovarro product line director for analytics, continues, “LeakNavigator solves this challenge by taking complete ownership of the data analysis and leak detection process, working in collaboration with water companies, with results-driven accountability.
“This consultative approach is already enhancing performance of acoustic fixed networks, including high accuracy POIs, high operability and good conversion rates. These outcomes are allowing leakage teams to focus their attentions on fixing, not monitoring, the problem, which will help them achieve their leakage targets and ultimately secure future water supplies.”
The LeakNavigator package uses acoustic loggers from the cutting-edge Enigma range, which are installed following an assessment of a water company’s district metered area (DMA), undertaken by Ovarro’s leakage analysts. This process establishes the most suitable equipment to install, the unit numbers required and the best locations for optimum efficiency. The service can also apply to existing Enigma logger fleets already installed.
Once the loggers are in operation, Ovarro’s teams undertake ongoing data analysis, sending POIs directly to water company field technicians via a mobile app. The captured data, which also supports maintenance targeting, is processed and presented to customers in a dashboard.
Smart approaches to leakage detection are expected by regulator Ofwat, which said in its price review 24 (PR24) final methodology, published 13 December 2022: “Innovation will be key. On leakage, for example, companies will be rewarded if they can set and deliver aggressive reductions. We expect companies to embrace the opportunities to improve performance through smart technology and better use of data.”
Hawkridge said: “As-a-service models are now being embraced by the water sector, with companies finally moving away from legacy systems. By allowing specialists to take the lead is enabling water companies to focus attentions on their customer, shareholders and regulator commitments far more effectively.”
Ovarro is a global operating company that works with customers across water, oil & gas, broadcast and transportation to help monitor, control and manage their assets.
Matthew Hawkridge will discuss LeakNavigator in more depth at the World Water-Tech Innovation Summit on 21 February 2023, when he opens the segment on smart asset management. The summit takes place in London, UK, on 21-22 February. More information is available at: www.ovarro.com/leaknavigator
Ofwat has published its PR24 final methodology and expectations around leakage and water consumption are predictably high. Implemented now, smart technology can help get data in order for upcoming business plans, says Kevin Brook, director, Orbis Intelligent Systems
Innovation will be key to water companies hitting future targets and delivering against new expectations, says Ofwat in its price review 2024 (PR24) final methodology, published 13 December 2022.
The regulator tells water companies in England and Wales that it will reward ambitious plans for the 2025-2030 operational period. With leakage, for example, it says “companies will be rewarded if they can set and deliver aggressive reductions. We expect companies to embrace the opportunities to improve performance through smart technology and better use of data”.
The long-term challenge of ensuring sufficient water resources is a key element of Ofwat’s methodology framework, including through the reduction of leakage and water consumption.
While data-driven real-time monitoring has kick-started the water sector’s smart transformation, with leakage performance being just one area to have improved as a result, companies will need to be bolder and move faster to put themselves in the best possible position ahead of the next price review.
With both leakage and per capita consumption, there are some quick wins available to enable utilities to get their data in order, close reporting gaps and help inform business plans. Smart standpipes, for example, allow more precise monitoring of water supply networks.
By calculating in real-time the exact volume of water being extracted from the network by third parties who have hired the devices, utilities can assign consumption to an authorised user, such as a local authority or construction company. Orbis’s unique have a built-in multi-sensor that measures water extractions and pipeline flow data, provides GPS location data and records the time the water was taken.
Traditional standpipes are not equipped with this smart capability, meaning this usage – measured by Orbis as up to 20ml per day during periods of 2022 - may go unaccounted for and possibly incorrectly attributed to leakage. This insight may similarly have a positive impact on per capita consumption targets, if any of the significant volumes abstracted by third parties were previously attributed to domestic households.
Smart standpipes also enable water companies to factor their own operational teams’ usage into their calculations, through everyday activities such as mains flushing, giving a far more accurate picture of what is happening right across the network – including pinpointing illegal network abstraction, from non-authorised users.
With more stretching targets fast approaching, alongside the major long-term challenges of water scarcity, drought and growing populations, utilities are looking at how they can deliver improvements and build resilience quickly and cost effectively. Investing in smart systems not only allows for proactive network management - meaning better targeted maintenance programmes, reducing the risk of bursts, service interruptions and discolouration - it now enables water companies to measure usage that was once unaccounted for.
While once those gaps in reporting may have been considered too small to matter, they now do - but thanks to the availability of advanced technology such as smart standpipes, companies have the tools to close the gaps quickly and build a complete picture of network activity to present to regulators.
A criminal cyber-attack on a UK water company in August 2022, which saw hackers gain access to customer banking details, led utilities to urgently reassess cybersecurity strategies. In this Q&A, Philippe Willems , engineering manager at Ovarro, discusses the enduring challenge for the water sector and what it means for suppliers.
What are the biggest cybersecurity threats facing the water sector today?
The biggest cybersecurity hazard for water companies, and for all critical infrastructure companies, is an attacker taking control of their IT or OT [operational technology] systems to steal data and block or disrupt operations. Risks stem from water companies still using legacy systems which were installed many years, if not decades, ago.
These systems have minimal, if any, cybersecurity features and present a huge digital attack surface – this means there are many pathways an attacker can take to gain unauthorised access to a computer or network.
Protecting insecure legacy infrastructure can seem like a daunting challenge. The main task for water companies is to update or protect their existing systems. This requires a detailed analysis of their OT network vulnerabilities, before establishing an initial plan to protect the most vulnerable entry points for attackers.
Who is behind water sector threats and attacks, and what are their motives?
There are three main attacker types. Hackers who do it for the sake of doing it - they are perhaps the least concerning. Then there are the attackers who want to block access to computer systems using malicious software, such as ransomware, until a sum of money is paid. The most dangerous and under-the-radar, unnoticed threat comes from state-backed attackers trying to gain access to water companies, and other critical infrastructure, in what is called cyber-warfare.
What steps should water companies take to protect their systems from attacks?
First and foremost, companies must undertake a full assessment of their security systems. The correct steps can then be taken to protect these systems. Actions may include replacing existing unsecured devices with cyber-secure devices, by using firewalls, or by segregating IT and OT networks, to ensure any access routes to critical operational networks are blocked to unauthorised users.
How does Ovarro, as a supplier, maintain awareness of emerging threats to your own systems?
As a supplier, we are in the process of obtaining IEC 62443, an international series of standards published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) that address cybersecurity for operational technology in automation and control systems. This includes not only the certification of our devices but also of our processes and procedures.
We receive security advisories from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) about the software components we use in our devices and if we are affected, we publish a security advisory with a description of the fix or workaround we have implemented.
In the UK, Ovarro has joined the Industrial Control System Community of Interest (ICS COI), hosted by the National Cyber Security Centre, to further drive compliance and cutting-edge cyber security into products and practices.
How important is collaboration between water companies and their supply chain partners on this issue?
Water companies and the supplier community must use the same standards:
IEC 62443-4 for devices
IEC 62443-3 for integrators
IEC 62443-2 for owners of systems
This is a key concept of IEC 62443 - companies like Ovarro can provide certified devices, but these devices must be correctly installed and configured by the system integrator. Then the owner, in this case the water companies, must enforce best practices from their employees and other authorised users. If any of these practices are not implemented correctly, the cybersecurity of the whole system will be vulnerable to attacks.
In 2021, industrial cybersecurity platform Claroty performed testing on Ovarro’s TBox remote telemetry unit (RTU) and detected vulnerabilities. How does Ovarro manage vulnerabilities such as this when they are detected?
Any vulnerabilities found by cybersecurity companies are corrected and new versions of our software are released. If there is no correction possible, we establish a workaround. On very rare occasions, we may recommend our customers do not use the affected feature to eliminate risk.
If vulnerabilities are detected, we publish detailed security advisories to inform our customers of technical details and mitigation information and direct them to software updates and workarounds.
For Ovarro, how important is external product testing?
Thorough testing, including by external specialists, is vital. Ovarro carries out multiple stages of testing. The systems are tested in-house first, by engineers in charge of the development, then by a dedicated team assigned to software tests. We also provide beta versions to selected customers who help us to test the systems in real-world situations. Finally, we work with cybersecurity specialists for penetration testing.
Looking forward, is the scale and complexity of cyberattacks against the water sector likely to increase?
Unfortunately, yes, it is a never-ending game. Attackers will always find new ways to penetrate systems and companies are continually assessing how difficult it be to attack their system and how much money it will cost to protect them to an acceptable level.
However, alongside this, the technology to tackle threats is developing at a fast pace and is moving towards being fully automated, driven by artificial intelligence, including machine learning. Of course, robust security cannot be achieved through hardware or software alone, but through a joined-up strategy, comprising people, policies, products and procedures.
Ovarro ensures its products are protected from threats through a continuous process of learning, monitoring and updating. The TBox RTU, for example includes a firewall and can be used to protect downstream devices in the field and to forbid unauthorised accesses and protocols from upstream.
In addition, a VPN [virtual private network] is available to add a cybersecure layer of protection.