Vitens improves drinking water quality by up to 20% with Aqua Suite

Vitens - Aqua Suite water utility

Project facts

  • Client
    Vitens
  • Location
    Netherlands
  • Challenge
    Optimising production and distribution to increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption – as well as to capture knowledge from the workforce.
  • Solution
    The Twinn Aqua Suite virtual operator predicts water consumption and drinking water production and then controls them centrally – freeing operators from repetitive tasks.
  • Impact
    Centralised, stable control of water production processes reduced energy consumption by up to 10% while improving water quality by up to 20%.
Vitens is the Netherlands’ largest drinking water provider, supplying more than 360 billion litres of water annually to 5.9 million customers in Friesland, Overijssel, Gelderland, Flevoland and Utrecht. 

The challenge

Optimising production and distribution while capturing employee expertise

Vitens was looking to optimise drinking water production and distribution at its 93 production facilities and 200+ pumping stations across 5 provinces. Not only did it want to increase efficiency, but it also wanted to save energy by making water production processes more uniform and more efficient. The company was also keen to harness its employees’ knowledge. 

"Our operators have a great deal of insight and expertise. How do we retain this valuable information should they leave?" asked Doeke Schippers, Leading Professional at Vitens. "It’s important to take this into account, especially as the labour market matures. It’s much less common today for people to stay with the same employer throughout their career."

The solution

Aqua Suite predicts consumption and automates control of processes

Vitens implemented the Aqua Suite virtual operator, which accurately predicts water consumption and drinking water production over the coming 72-hour period. Using local system information and Big Data, the software calculates optimal setpoints for water production, pumping stations and control valves – and then controls them centrally. This has freed up operators to focus on value-added tasks during the day, with operations fully automated at night.

Vitens has reduced energy consumption by up to 10% with Aqua Suite. It’s a bit like driving a car: if you drive steadily at 100 km per hour over a certain distance, you use less fuel than when you switch between faster and slower speeds.

Doeke SchippersLeading Professional at Vitens

The impact

Greater stability, less wastage, fewer faults and higher quality

Vitens can now fine-tune its complete water production and distribution process to match demand. Using all available information, the virtual operator automatically sets optimum values for pressure and flow at water production and pumping stations, as well as levels in reservoirs. As a result, the entire system performs with greater stability and efficiency. In addition, it retains insight into system control and optimisation, relieving the pressure on operators.  

Thanks to advanced pressure management and centralised, more stable water production and transport, Vitens has reduced energy consumption by up to 10%. Doeke explained: "It’s a bit like driving a car: if you drive steadily at 100 km per hour over a certain distance, you use less fuel than when you switch between faster and slower speeds."

Constant water transport at night means that the water pressure in the pipeline network is more stable. Reservoir optimisation reduces retention time, in turn reducing bacterial growth. And stable production improves the treatment process: drinking water is generally 12-20% percent less turbid. The savings mean Aqua Suite will achieve a return on investment within 3 years. Vitens is now well positioned to ride the Big Data wave – as more data from sensors, systems and the internet become available, the better the system will function.

0payback period investment
0reduction in energy consumption
0reduction in water turbidity
Melchior  Schenk - Sales Leader Twinn Aqua Suite

Melchior Schenk

Sales Leader Twinn Aqua Suite