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Wessex Water’s journey from first support customer to first customer with Servelec’s end-to-end suite of data collection, monitoring, control and optimisation.

Data collection, monitoring and control in the water industry may have changed dramatically over the past thirty years, but one system and one company has been at its heart since the late 1980s when the UK water industry was first privatised.

From its origins in developing control systems for the steel industry, Servelec saw the opportunities presented by the newly opened up water market and the synergy between their fast-developing intellectual property and products for monitoring and controlling assets in key asset-intensive infrastructure industries.

Visionary

 

 

Understanding the opportunities for cost efficiencies to be gained through the automation of asset monitoring, Wessex Water Authority (pre-privatisation), recognised the benefits of implementing an area-wide telemetry system, monitoring water supply and waste and procured Servelec’s SCOPE 1 SCADA system in 1988.

The original SCOPE system was a VMS, desk-based system with a Workston user interface, giving one single view of the network. The system was further developed to include the MW2 graphics package, which Wessex Water adopted in 1993.

This ensured the separate sides of the system – for supply and waste – were linked into one enterprise model. Following implementation of the system, Wessex Water became Servelec’s first long-term support customer.

After implementation of the SCOPE 1 system, Servelec was awarded the contract to replace the S50 and S200 outstations used to capture and monitor data from assets across Wessex Water’s network, supplied several years earlier by Servelec, with the state-of-the-art, S250 and S500 model.

From data collection to business optimisation

Following their third election victory, the Conservative government pushed ahead with their plans for privatising the UK water industry and in the immediate years that followed the newly formed water companies faced criticism over increasing tariffs and doubling profits. In reality, since privatisation water quality has improved, over £100bn has been invested in services and customer satisfaction is consistently over 90%, thanks largely to the innovative products developed by companies such as Servelec.

it is during the early period following privatisation that Servelec Technologies was developing the first of its business optimisation solutions for the UK water industry, MISER, which was adopted by Wessex Water in the late 1990s. MISER is still used successfully to produce monthly production plans for the company’s entire grid and provides decision-making support to operators of the SCOPE SCADA
platform regarding how the network should be operated for optimal efficiency.

Wessex Water was the first customer to use the Servelec Technologies’ S250 RTUs and has been a forward thinking partner, being involved in the development and the first
to adopt many of the products created by Servelec Technologies.


As telemetry and SCADA technology has progressed at a pace, so have the requirements of UK water companies and the systems developed by Servelec Technologies to meet
these demands. The SCOPE system has moved from VMS to Windows to Solaris to Linux operating systems alongside the development of over 6,000 bespoke mimics used by Wessex
Water’s operators. Each year, Servelec’s engineers have upgraded the SCOPE engine with each incremental upgrade providing new features. Recently, a further update to the user interface was launched providing

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"The S50 looked like little more than a circuit board and was vastly different to what we know as an RTU today. It didn't have a case and needed far greater specialist knowledge to install and configure than modern units."

Mick Crowther, Design & Development Manager      ;

Asset Management Periods

With the privatisation of the water industry and the establishment of Ofwat to regulate the new industry, came the introduction of Asset Management Periods (AMP) through which the price water companies are able to charge their customers is determined, based on the level of investment they have made in the network during the previous period. The current period is known as AMP6 because it is the sixth cycle since the water industry was privatised in 1989.

Wessex’s journey with Servelec’s technology

Whether through incremental upgrades or leaps in technological advances, throughout the AMP periods, Wessex Water has been an early adopter of new technologies enabling them to better manage their assets, improve efficiencies and maintain low costs for customers.

Asset Management Periods With the privatisation of the water industry and the establishment of Ofwat to regulate the new industry, came the introduction of Asset Management Periods (AMP) through which the price water companies are able to charge their customers is determined, based on the level of investment they have made in the network during the previous period. The current period is known as AMP6 because it is the sixth cycle

since the water industry was privatised in 1989. Wessex’s journey with Servelec’s technology Whether through incremental upgrades or leaps in technological advances, throughout the AMP periods, Wessex Water has been an early adopter of new technologies enabling them to better manage their assets, improve efficiencies and maintain low costs for customers.

The area served by Wessex Water covers 10,000 square kilometres and includes Bristol, most of Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire and parts of Gloucestershire and Hampshire. Today, the company supplies 2.8 million people with around 280 million litres of water a day.

A new standard for the logging and wireless transfer of data from remote assets, the S2000nano is a product at the cutting edge of telemetry technology. The S2000nano is a Water Industry Telemetry Standards (WITS) and Native DNP3 based device that fits seamlessly into existing networks and can store up to 100,000 timestamped records. Introduced in 2015, the S2000nano is designed to monitor assets in remote, inaccessible locations and has a built-in battery that can last up to 12 years.

Wessex Water was instrumental in the development of the S2000nano and was the first company to install it within its network using 60 devices to monitor sewer levels and report changes back to its main control room. The devices, which require zero maintenance once installed will continue to transmit data wirelessly, year after year.

 

Supporting Wessex Water’s biggest ever project

Due to be completed in 2018, the water supply grid is a £230 million project that will enable Wessex Water to meet demand in their area for the next 25 years without the need to develop new resources. Started in 2010, the grid when finished will be over 124 miles in length of which hundreds of miles of trunk main will be optimised by Servelec Technologies’ real-time automated water network control system, OptiMISER. As the grid gradually comes live, OptiMISER will manage

 

the transfer of water in numerous simultaneous directions along the trunk main by automatically controlling pumps, valves and chemical usage based on demand and the telemetry data collected from their network of outstations.

This system will ensure the new grid is operating in the most efficient way with future aspirations of controlling their whole network in real-time using OptiMISER delivering 10-12% savings per annum

Beating the burst 

A further tool in the Servelec Technologies optimisation armoury is FlowSure, a unique, intelligent and self-learning event detection system for clean and wastewater networks. Wessex Water is interested in trialling FlowSure, which has been developed by Servelec Technologies in collaboration with the University of Sheffield and helps to identify and predict emerging network events to enable companies to prevent rather than respond to major bursts in their network. As water companies come under increasing PR and regulatory pressure to reduce leakage, many companies, like Wessex Water will have to find new innovative ways of tackling old problems.

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"Over the last 30 years, the hardware and solutions provided by Servelec Technologies have enabled Wessex Water to continually improve the service we offer to our customers."

Jody Knight, Wessex Water;

Wessex Water fact file

• 2.8million customers served
• 280million litres of water treated every day
• 7,300 miles of water mains
• Covers south west of England including Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, most of Wiltshire and parts of Gloucestershire and
Hampshire

• Landscape includes the Mendip Hills, the levels of Somerset, the cliffs of Dorset, Wiltshire’s Salisbury Plain and two
coastlines

• Owned by Malaysian company YTL Power International
• One of the most efficient water and sewerage companies in England and Wales according to regulator Ofwat
• Longstanding relationship with suppliers such as Servelec Technologies with a history of being early adopters of new technology
• Second out of all water companies in England and Wales for customer satisfaction