The industry’s most advanced platform for water and leak reduction management, Waterfall was showcased at the WWT Water Industry Technology Innovation Conference. It brings together and galvanises an eco-system of partners through a set of common goals.
Waterfall is a major step forward, both in terms of bringing together the water industry and our partners in the development process, but also because of the potential to provide our customers with an unprecedented level of water use information and control.
Why It’s Different
The word unique is overused. Yet, with Waterfall, it’s true. The platform combines – for the first time – the capability to uncover powerful real-time data from property water usage events using water signature profiling, with the ability to remotely isolate supplies in the case of a catastrophic burst or water release.
Many water companies already deploy smart meters. They usually transmit data overnight and need replacing after 15 years. Crucially, consumer buy-in doesn’t happen because contrasting meter and billing information can’t be linked to past events and actions.
Waterfall goes way beyond. With no moving parts, it’s designed to last significantly longer. Combining Internet of Things, cloud and machine learning technologies, it not only supplies but also predicts water usage data in real time. And, with a much lower price point compared to GSM data loggers currently used by water companies, it reduces the bottom line.
How It Works
Delivered by Creative EC as an end-to-end turnkey solution, backed by training and support services, Waterfall collects and informs occupants of real-time water usage. Crucially, that extends to flats and shared properties. The solution components (see Figure 1) include:
- Onsite sensor device collects billing-grade data (like water pressure, temperature and flow) and – through machine learning – profiles water usage events and looks for anomalies as early warning of water escapes.
- Cloud IoT hub provides property data capture with analysis and modelling at scale, forwarded on to water and insurance companies for further processing.
- Flexible connectivity maximises coverage with a full range of networking options.
- Management tools with customisable dashboards and open APIs to boost innovation. So, for example, insurers and property managers can integrate back-office systems.
- Mobile apps to keep solution installers up-to-date, while putting building occupants in full control of their water consumption. Real-time alerts mean they can remotely shut down the supply at the first sign of water escape.
People will no longer boast about how powerful their shower is because they will suddenly be aware of how much water is pouring down the drain. This is the lightbulb moment where suddenly a customer understands how much a shower uses and its relationship with their water bill, their energy use and their carbon footprint. That’s game-changing.
How It Meets PR19
Waterfall has been well received by 12 water companies, all looking to achieve sizeable reductions in average water consumption per household. Providing the ideal management tool (see Figure 2) examples of PR19-enabled innovation include:
- Sensing and pinpointing sudden drops in supply pressure on a large housing estate, saving hours or even days of investigation.
- Messaging building occupants to turn off outside taps during heavy frosts.
- Informing customers of dripping toilets and unseen leaks that may occur under floors or behind walls.
Figure 2. Example of Waterfall-enabled dashboard reporting (for water companies and insurers) and detailed billing (for consumers)
Initial results from a pilot with SES Water revealed noticeable behavioural changes and reductions in discretionary water usage. Especially in terms of reducing shower times and consumption for baths, dishwashers, taps and washing machines.
Ongoing collaboration with water companies continues to uncover new use cases, such as temperature monitoring to guard against Legionnaires’ Disease. One provider runs a water quality inspection team of eight remote workers, which could be scaled back or ceased to release valuable resources. Waterfall can also help with contamination cleaning, with one company estimating potential savings of £250,000 per annum on purifying chemicals alone. Add to that the elimination of other expenses, such as labour and compensation costs, and that figure rises considerably.