What do you need to digitalize your water system?


With each of its digitization projects, PUB has gained valuable experience that may be applied to our future efforts and assist other utilities in their virtual development.

Our journey thus far has emphasized the importance of some essential concerns and concepts, particularly those that must support the digitization adventure.

To digitize their operations, utilities must have the technology to collect data, the infrastructure to transmit and share it, and analytics to make sense of it and turn it into actionable insights.

Because each digitalization activity is unique, finding the appropriate combination of technology on each occasion is critical.

For long-term use, hardware and software must also be developed with continuity in mind, so that utilities are not locked with any particular protocol or manufacturer.

PUB has incorporated these and other fundamentals into its digitalization framework for developing and implementing programs.

This framework, which is described in the following sections, can be advantageous to many water utilities.

Building the right wireless infrastructure

An appropriate, strong and stable Wi-Fi communications community is one of the maximum crucial additives in digitalization.

Without a dependable and stable manner to transmit statistics, all the data accrued with the aid of using sensors, drones, robots and different technology has no manner of being analyzed and operationalized.

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There are many communications networks within side the marketplace nowadays that cater to distinctive makes use and packages, consisting of 4G, Wi-Fi, LoRa, Sig Fox, etc.

When determining which community to use, water utilities must keep in mind the specified community variety and transmission fee, length of statistics to be transmitted, the community’s strength intake and latency, and different factors.

Security ought to be a pivotal concern.

Our structures are ruled through records category frameworks and stringent authorities’ cyber safety policies, mainly for structures that can be inside Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) installations.

In our digitization tasks to date, we’ve used distinct networks for one kind of purpose.

We have depended on Narrow Band Internet-of-Things (NB-IoT) networks for door positioning, and Bluetooth beacons and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) gateways for indoor positioning.

At the Integrated Validation Plant (IVP) positioned in Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant, we constructed a BLE community for asset conditioning tracking due to its low cost, ease of deployment and cap potential to facilitate real-time tracking of belongings for predictive and preventive upkeep.

We additionally built a LoRa community to help the monitoring of workforce and contractor places through smartwatches because the community gives coarse positioning primarily based totally on sign electricity at a fairly decrease cost.

PUB additionally set up a Wireless Process and Environmental Sensing community to screen pipe corrosion, hydrogen-supplied fuel line and the extent and goes with the drift of streams in sewerage networks as it affords dependable conversation with radio frequency mesh routing capability, and overcomes interference problems in plant environments with dense infrastructure.

In a few instances, we’ve grown to become hybrid solutions.

Networks might not be capable of acquiring complete insurance inside treatment plant life, particularly in a few indoor regions and basement levels.

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These might also additionally turn out to be useless zones, stopping gadgets inside them from transmitting facts.

As an instance of ways PUB overcame this problem, we used NB-IoT for outside positioning and a BLE-primarily based answer for indoor positioning, each incorporated into the equal wearable tag used for employee monitoring, further growing the variety of repeaters and gateways.

We also are searching in advance to assume our Wi-Fi communications wishes and opportunities.

From 2020 onwards, we can set up Wi-Fi networks in our water treatment plant life to prepare them for cap potential IoT programs including smart wearable gadgets, device sensors for asset control and robotics Surveillance.

We also are figuring out bandwidth-extensive programs, including digital and three-D augmented truth programs, drone surveillance and management operations at reservoirs, and real-time video streaming analytics that might enjoy the 5G community this is anticipated to be rolled out throughout Singapore beginning in 2020.

Harvesting data

With technological improvements in current years, water utilities also are now spoilt for preference about statistics series gadgets.

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PUB has tried, examined, and used a lot of them, and is trialing many extra, which includes the vibration sensors to display and is expecting the situation of pump units included within side the preceding chapter.

PUB has mounted a smart water grid device known as Water Wise.

The improvement and implementation of the close-to real-time machine turned into initiated in 2013.

Today, there are 346 sensor stations island-huge to the song in real-time the stress and excellent of water, such as pH value, conductivity and turbidity, within side the potable water community.

By the give-up of 2020, we can explore any other hundred thirty sensors and extend the insurance to our NE Water and business water networks.

By maintaining an eye fixed on the stress within side the community in real-time, the sensors have removed the labor-extensive paintings of putting in transient strain loggers, preempted issues including ability leaks and detected pipe bursts, which generate stress transients.

By 2025, we can combine the sensor information with records from the approaching smart water meters community, to create digital district meter regions for higher leak detection.

These can even resource within side the dynamic forecasting of community activities.

We also are investigating different forms of statistics series gadgets.

Currently, we ship personnel out on small vessels to patrol reservoirs.

This is labor-extensive and offers the simplest restricted spatial insurance.

Furthermore, water exceptional tracking at reservoirs is performed thru desk-bound profilers and the guide series of water samples for laboratory tests, however, each technique provides the most effective data approximately the water in the sampling places.

On the opposite hand, drones may be used to perform aerial surveillance operations.

They can display big water in our bodies quickly and examine pix to flag anomalies which include algal blooms.

They also can fly over pipelines to identify leaks and check out restricted areas along with sewer tunnels.

Drones ready with cameras to seize illicit activities, hyperspectral cameras to screen water fines, and thermal cameras to figure out water leaks ought to hold watch over a lot of large regions with a long way greater efficiency.

Beyond sensors and drones, robots can acquire statistics too.

Apart from the patrol and surveillance robotics featured within side the preceding chapter, we also are utilizing remotely operated motors for underwater inspections and robots for the inspection and restoration of large sewers.

Breaking down silos

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Collecting facts, however, is simply the primary step.

As in different complicated organizations, departments in water utilities may also harvest information for their very own use and fail to percentage it with different departments.

Breaking down such Information silos is critical as information collected with the aid of using one branch can be beneficial to others, and consolidating all the statistics should cause new correlations and workable ideas.

PUB’s ongoing venture to improve our Intelligent Water Management System (IWMS) is a top instance of this.

Currently, the device integrates a little information from key operations structures and is specially used for rudimentary operation tracking and reporting.

The stepped-forward IWMS will combine each operation and non-operation structure to examine records from throughout the water loop to beautify our provider and engineering operations.

This will permit the IWMS to function as the underpinning device for operations at our Joint Operations Centre (JOC), that’s the nerve Centre for all real-time and on-call important operational decisions.

The IWMS can even have new features that show the opportunities that get up from aggregating information.

For instance, the IWMS’s new incident reporting characteristic will update the present e-mail reviews submitted via way of means of our officials.

It will permit officials to document incidents and the next updates thru their cell gadgets.

Our officials could be capable of pin places, connecting files and seizing snapshots at the same time as coping with the state of affairs on the incident web website online.

We may also have computerized approval workflows to streamline incident record submissions.

With this new characteristic, our officials could be capable of song incidents correctly from preliminary reporting to escalation to closure.

Information captured within side the module can also be mechanical to be had for evaluation and evaluation within side the After-Action Review Portal.

During every incident, all the statistics important to manipulate it will likely be consolidated and provided on an unmarried Operations Dashboard for the ease of the officials in charge, the JOC, and our senior control.

Our officials dealing with the incident web website online might be capable of percentage real-time repute updates to the dashboard through cellular gadgets.

If there’s potable water delivery disruption, for instance, data together with the applicable pipeline stress sensor information, indicative leak area, wide variety of affected clients, PUB sources on the incident web website online, and real-time updates from the reaction groups could be displayed at the dashboard.

In the meantime, a Customer Response characteristic will mechanically assign assets to incidents primarily based totally on the character of the incident, the officials’ knowledge and the area.

The JOC ought not to manually install assets, ensuing in extra green assignments.

PUB officials responding to clients could be higher prepared inside formation together with the clients’ profiles, aid sources’ area and time of arrival, comparable instances within side the place and tick list for research and different records thru their cell gadgets.

This will empower them to higher serve the affected clients.

After incidents occur, the After-Action Review Portal will permit the assessment audit of operations, in addition, to seizing findings, song open objects, and reminding departments to follow up.

It will even facilitate additional evaluation, including insights into the frequency of particular sorts of incidents.


[1] Daniell, K. A., & Daniell, T. M. (2019). What’s next for Australia’s water management? Australasian Journal of Water Resources, 23(2), 69-77.‏

[2] Howard, G. (2021). The future of water and sanitation: global challenges and the need for greater ambition. AQUA—Water Infrastructure, Ecosystems and Society, 70(4), 438-448.‏

[3]  Johnson, L. E. (2016). Geographic information systems in water resources engineering. CRC Press.‏

[4] Arceivala, S. J., & Asolekar, S. R. (2006). Wastewater treatment for pollution control and reuse. Tata McGraw-Hill Education.‏

[5] Banerjee, S., Chakraborty, C., & Das, D. (2020). An approach towards GIS application in smart city urban planning. In the Internet of Things and Secure Smart Environments (pp. 71-110). Chapman and Hall/CRC.‏

[6] Miloudi, L., & Rezeg, K. (2018, October). Leveraging the power of integrated solutions of IoT and GIS. In 2018 3rd International Conference on Pattern Analysis and Intelligent Systems (PAIS) (pp. 1-7). IEEE.‏

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