NNNCo trials IoT network for Hunter region's water pipe network

25 kilometres of pipe mains will trial NNNCo's IoT network which will enable real-time monitoring of water pressure and flow.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor

Government utility service Hunter Water will trial Internet of Things (IoT) sensors for its water networks, with NNNCo to provide sensors that assist in detecting leaks and predicting water main bursts before they occur.

The 12-month trial will test a range of sensors that monitor water pressure and flow in parts of the Hunter Water network in the Lake Macquarie area. 

A private carrier-grade LoRaWAN network and NNNCo's N2N-DL data platform will be used to enable the IoT-powered water pipe solutions of the trial.

"The potential is to be smarter with the management of existing assets and reduce spend on new or replacement infrastructure," NNNCo founder and CEO Rob Zagarella said. "That has positive impacts for the utility as well as the broader community by reducing cost and environmental impacts." 

SEE ALSO: Adelaide uses smart network to detect over 50% of water pipe breaks

For the trial, 30 pressure sensors will be deployed to provide real-time monitoring of water pressure across 25 kilometres of pipe mains, in addition to five water flow meters that will be used. 

Connectivity for the two types of sensors will be provided by NNNCo's N-sen device. 

"These devices, combined with the use of advanced analytics, will give us greater visibility into how the system is performing. Having that visibility will allow us to more quickly find and respond to breaks if they occur, particularly those in remote locations," Hunter Water's chief information and technology officer Richard Harris said. 

"Leaks can sometimes be a precursor to a water main break, so the sooner we find leaks, the sooner we can fix them and minimise any potential impact on our customers and community." 

According to Hunter Water, the sensors will issue alerts whenever there is a reduction in water pressure and flow, to enable the utility service to respond quickly to leaks and prevent pipe bursts. 

NNNCo began rolling out its LoRaWAN network to the Lake Macquarie Area in July last year, which provides 650 square kilometres of coverage.

"IoT is estimated to have the potential to add up to AU$120 billion annually to the Australian economy by 2025, and Lake Macquarie is now positioned to be at the forefront of IoT network and infrastructure delivery," Former Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities cum Minister for Communications, Cyber, Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher said at the time.

NNNCo is similarly building out IoT networks across Newcastle and the Gold Coast to enable smart city applications such as smart street lighting, waste management, and water meters.

It has previously worked on IoT trials with Melbourne's metropolitan water utilities to test coverage, data delivery, and battery life of digital water metering for City West Water, South East Water, and Yarra Valley Water.

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