The Utrecht water supply system is a complex system, consisting of nine treatment plants and one ground reservoir. The challenge in the day-to-day operation of the system is optimally using all the assets within the boundary conditions of pump capacity, maximum allowed pressures and raw water abstraction permits. This demanding challenge required intensive human supervision, and still the optimal operation could not be guaranteed.

Royal HaskoningDHV's advanced control software Aquasuite® OPIR generates water demand forecasts and uses the forecasts for the real-time optimized control of the system. The adaptive forecasting models generate both short-term forecasts (for the next 48 hours with 15 min. time steps) and medium-term forecasts (for the next year, with one day time steps). Based on the forecasts, Aquasuite® calculates set-points for the clear water pump flows and pressures and for the production flow. The Aquasuite® OPIR system is connected to the local controllers of all assets to read the actual process values of the system (flows, pressures, reservoir levels) and to send set-points for the automatic control.

Since the implementation the software controls all clear water flows and pressures in system by sending set-points for the pumps and the flow controlled valves in the system. Aquasuite® OPIR is able to control the pressures in the system more accurately, which enabled to allow a lower average system pressure. As a result, the energy consumption of the system and the number of flow changes decreased. The staff in the Vitens' control room increased their overall control of the system.