A future we must embark upon together
WBL chose Royal HaskoningDHV Digital to help implement these technologies. With 140 years of experience, in-depth domain knowledge, and a team of ICT infrastructure experts, the company had everything needed to bring the water authority’s ideas into the real world.
The project began with Royal HaskoningDHV implementing a digital twin for all the water authority's sewage pumping stations. This digital twin consists of a Big Data Platform that centrally stores data from various sources, and machine learning models that provide vital, real-time and predictive information.
The insights from this digital twin are managed in a central control room, that currently oversees 17 STPs, 5 sludge dewatering plants, 149 WBL sewage pumping stations and 800 municipal pumping stations.
“We partnered with Royal HaskoningDHV because they know a lot about the water industry, and about implementing and maintaining complex information systems,” says Léon Verhaegen.
Smarter, more efficient and future-proof
Armed with the insights from the digital twin, the WBL water authority can now detect problems in its pumping stations early enough to take proactive action — and can also clearly see if it’s meeting the purchase obligations of various municipalities.
The digital twin uses machine learning to detect at a very early stage that the functioning of pumps is beginning to deteriorate (e.g. due to wear and tear) or that pressure pipes are in danger of becoming blocked. The digital twin relays these warnings to the central control room, whereupon the operators take action to prevent the impending The digital twin uses machine learning to detect at a very early stage that the functioning of pumps is beginning to deteriorate (e.g. due to wear and tear) or that pressure pipes are in danger of becoming blocked. The digital twin relays these warnings to the central control room, whereupon the operators take action to prevent the impending failures.
“The most important thing we achieved in this project is giving our operators the tools and resources they need to improve performance,” says Verhaegen. “That hugely improves our efficiency and emergency response.”
This preventative approach to pumping station management makes operations and maintenance smarter, more efficient and more future-proof. But the scope of this project doesn’t end here — if ambitions are realised, this work could mean not just big changes for WBL, but the beginning of an industry-wide transformation.
“In the future, we want to extend this solution to 3,000 municipal water stations,” says Verhaegen. “That way we can gain real insight into how the water chain works as a whole.”