Overview

Westland is located in South Holland between the metropolitan areas of The Hague, Delft and Rotterdam, and the coast. With its greenhouse horticulture industry, the municipality has an important economical function in the region. Recent urbanisation has placed increased pressure on the sewage network, which required better monitoring and management in order to maximise performance of the current asset without need for additional investment.

The Challenge

The Westland sewer system has more than 2,700 mini-pumping stations and, to use this network optimally, it is important to know which inhabitants and businesses discharge unwanted rainwater and when. To accurately monitor the load and pressure on the system, all mini-pumping stations are equipped with sensors. 

Collecting, analysing and reporting data captured by the sensors was done manually in the past. Pieter Vellekoop, Sewer and Groundwater Advisor at the Westland municipality, says, "We compared graphs and that took an awful lot of time and money. You could easily spend two days comparing a hundred pumps, and it was necessary to hire external capacity for this job.” In addition to reasonably high costs, insights were delayed. The need was growing for improved efficiency in order to effectively manage the asset lifecycle; and to be able to trace abuse of the system and enforce legislation.
 
The client’s needs moving forward were therefore to be able to accurately and predictively regulate the use of the pressure sewage network; to hold inhabitants and greenhouse farmers to specific rules to prevent abuse of the network; to not drain unnecessary and clean rainfall water; and to avoid unnecessary energy usage, costs, and wear and tear on the system and pumps in order to maximize the asset’s lifespan.

A new way of doing business

In consultation with Royal HaskoningDHV, a trusted advisor to the municipality for many water-related topics, Westland opted for Aquasuite FLOW, a digital application that fully automates the measurement and analysis of sensor data.

Aquasuite FLOW translates real-time data from sewage pumping stations into valuable insight of the actual performance of the entire wastewater transport system. It can actively control sewage pumping stations to optimise the total sewage system including wastewater treatment plants. The application also predicts sewage overflows, pipe friction loss, pump efficiency and energy consumption, giving holistic control of wastewater system transport.
 
Michel de Koning, Director Sales & Marketing at Royal HaskoningDHV, notes, “Aquasuite FLOW fits very well with the way the organization functions. Westland did not want a complex data system, so the Aquasuite FLOW software now only covers the analysis of rainwater and running times. The expansion of the system’s functionality is done in close collaboration with end users, taking into account geographical information in order to further develop the system.”

The municipality is constantly looking for ways to use the existing sewer system better and more efficiently. Vellekoop adds, “Many parties with whom we collaborate report digitally. We can include this data in our system and display it geographically. We are expanding step by step because it works best with our people from the field. We give our people new opportunities and ask them for feedback. In this way we continue to work on optimizing our wastewater system.”

As a supporting consultancy service, Royal HaskoningDHV developed a strategy around how to enforce the legislation on discharging too much water; and executed analysis to substantiate the implementation of this enforcement. 

A longer asset lifespan

The choice of Aquasuite FLOW enables the municipality to make better use of its existing system. It is not only simpler to monitor the load/pressure on the system; the data from Aquasuite FLOW also helps to predict pressure in a reliable manner. Preventing bottlenecks and overloading directly contributes to a longer asset lifespan. With over 2,700 pumping stations, this offers a considerable cost saving. And, by reducing the number of manual actions, Westland requires less external support and reporting is less open to error. 

Aquasuite FLOW is a cost-effective software solution that is able to deliver the requested insights on a 24/7 basis, real-time, together with historical insights. Because it is based on Royal HaskoningDHV’s broad experience in the sector, it is applicable to any pressurised sewage network. And, as an API-enabled system, it is suitable to connect to any data management system which is already in place.

Impact

By creating a well-organized process and centralising reliable data, the municipality now has a continuous up-to-date overview of the sewer system; as well as continuous insight into the number of peak discharges and the amount of discharges throughout the day. This allows the municipality to immediately determine if and where intervention is needed.

While providing real-time insight instead of delayed hindsight, Aquasuite FLOW is also approximately 50% more cost-effective than the old, manual solution. Other benefits include better asset maintenance and planning; calmer networks with less unaccounted sewage flows; a system that is less open to abuse; and better reporting to third parties.

Client
Gemeente Westland / Municipality of Westland

Challenge
To optimise the management and operations of Westland’s existing sewage system. 

Solution
A digital innovation, Aquasuite FLOW, for accurate data analysis and real-time, predictive reporting.

Results

  • Better asset management with predictive maintenance
  • An automatic analysis process of sensor data
  • Quick up-to-date insight into the performance of the sewer system
  • A uniform process that minimises errors
  • Reliable information for efficient management and maintenance
  • Improved operational performance of the networks
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Cost savings through a longer asset lifespan and the need for fewer external consultants

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