Timely detection of quality issues and leakages has been a challenge for water utilities across Europe. Pipelife Smart Probing is a state-of-the-art solution that allows monitoring and obtaining real-time data from any point of the water network. After five successful projects in the Netherlands, Smart Probing is now gaining popularity in the Nordics. The first installation in Sweden was recently completed in the Kristinehamn municipality, and more projects are on the way.
Committed to the EU sustainability goals, the Kristinehamn municipality has been working hard to modernize its water supply network. Being at the forefront of adapting new technologies, the municipality was interested in the Pipelife Smart Probing solution and how it could be applied to minimize water losses and detect quality issues within their network.
Without having to interrupt water supply, the Smart Probing unit in Kristinehamn was installed on a 110-mm SDR 11 PE pipe and equipped with pressure and temperature sensors. Although the customer had no prior experience with this solution, the installation was completed in just one hour. The municipal water utilities team was assisted by Pipelife representatives from the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland, where the next Smart Probing project is to start soon.
“In order to meet today’s challenges, such as water shortages, and to ensure water safety in the long run, we continuously work on improving our network,” says Patrik Karlsson, Water and Sewage Department Operations Manager at the Kristinehamn municipality. “As we had already started the digitalization of our assets, Pipelife offered us to test the Smart Probing solution. We are proud to be the first municipality in Sweden that implements this new technology.”
Thanks to the flow pressure sensors installed on the line, the Kristinehamn municipality will be able to detect and localize potable water leakages earlier. In addition, the data provided by temperature sensors will help better control bacterial growth in pipes and prevent water contamination risks.
Pipelife Smart Probing is a fully modular solution that can be installed directly on PE, PVC and cast-iron pipes anywhere in the water supply network, eliminating blind spots. Each unit is fully tailored to clients’ needs regarding sensors and communication protocols used and can measure anything from flow rate and flow direction to temperature, acidity, turbidity and more.
What makes Smart Probing different from other water asset monitoring methods is its Plug-and-Play installation. Due to the battery-operated design, Smart Probing units are fully autonomous and can be installed within a few hours without interrupting or contaminating water supply. Once the installation is complete, the line can be monitored 24/7 from the operator’s computer or smartphone.
Furthermore, Smart Probing units are practically maintenance-free and easily accessible. Replacing batteries and exchanging or adding sensors is carried out from ground surface level and doesn’t take more than a few minutes.
Since the beginning of the first pilot in the Netherlands, around 40 Smart Probing units have been installed and tested. Pipelife’s R&D team worked in close collaboration with several water utilities and research institutions to achieve high data accuracy, straightforward, hygienically safe installation as well as customizable design, which offers endless application opportunities.
“With our extensive knowledge of piping materials and water networks, we can create better solutions, tailored to the water industry’s needs,” says Jorien Loots, New Business Developer at Pipelife Netherlands. “Instead of offering generic, off-the-shelf products, we work with water utilities, see what they are up against and deliver solutions that actually help.”
Smart Probing is available to utilities all over Europe, and the interest in the new solution is high. The next Smart Probing project will start in Finland already this autumn.
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