200 pairs of ears and eyes in the Friesland mains network

Vitens to install first major smart drinking water network in the world

Biggest smart water

Zwolle, 2 November 2015 – Vitens is the first drinking water utility company in the world to install a large-scale smart drinking water mains network. In order to achieve this, the 9,000 kilometre-long mains network of the Dutch province of Friesland will be fitted with 200 sensors that will measure the demand and quality of the drinking water in real time. By doing this, the drinking water company has the ambition to resolve problems before it affects the customer and to gain more insight in what happens in the mains network. The project is called Friesland Live! The installation of the sensors is scheduled to start early 2016.

The end of traditional drinking water supply
In the event of a pipe burst or other problems in the mains network, Vitens currently still depends on customers calling the drinking water company. By monitoring out the drinking water mains network in real time, Vitens aims to solve problems even before the customer is affected by them. This means an end to the traditional method of operational management.

“To us, this is a real game changer”, Lieve Declercq, Chairwoman of the Vitens executive board, explains, “we use the best and most innovative technology in order to create tomorrow’s drinking water network. This enables us to proactively solve problems before anyone experiences any problems in the drinking water supply. Ultimately, we aim to be a water company that provides its customers with better service and information.”

200 pairs of ears and eyes in the network for Friesland Live!
Sensors monitor the situation in the mains network in real time and forward these data to Vitens’ central water distribution. The sensors, as it is, are the ears and eyes in the network: For example, a hairline crack in a pipeline can be ‘heard’ by a sensor even before escalating into a full-scale pipe burst. Vitens will respond and send out an engineer even before customers will experience a problem in their drinking water supply. Vitens envisages more possibilities with the sensors in the long term, such as reducing energy consumption by creating more insight into water pressure and measuring water quality in real time.

Vitens will start the installation of the smart drinking water network in the province of Friesland. The province will be the first in the world, as real-time monitoring of the mains network at this scale has never been done before. The project involves an investment of EUR 3 million.

It receives funding by the European Union and the Provincie Fryslân in the Netherlands.

Interested? Vitens will be presenting Friesland LIVE at the Aquatech International Water Exhibition in Amsterdam, at pavilion 02.214, from 3 to 6 November.