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What is Water Network Monitoring?

Water Network Monitoring is based on real-time analysis of existing data from water network sensors and meters. This data is used to detect and alert upon network problems and inefficiencies. Utilities using Water Network Monitoring receive automated real-time alerts on various types of events, from water loss and operational malfunctions to faulty meters and transmission problems.

The Water Network Monitoring approach takes raw data about the network (sensor and meter readings) and transforms it into knowledge (a leak is detected, a network breach, a faulty meter etc). Knowledge is then used for insight (where is my network most vulnerable? Why do certain network events occur?) and action (repair and maintenance decisions).

TaKaDuís Software-as-a-Service requires no capital expenditures and is simple to use.

What exactly can the system detect?

TaKaDu alerts on all types of problems and inefficiencies in a water distribution network: water loss, operational inefficiencies, service and quality issues, equipment failures, metering inconsistencies, and more.

Some of the events detected by TaKaDu are:

  • Leaks
  • Bursts
  • Flow anomalies
  • Zonal breaches
  • Consumption anomalies (e.g. water theft)
  • Service-affecting pressure drops and increases
  • Repairs
  • Meter faults (transmission, reading errors, flips)
  • Reservoir level anomalies

On top of events detected, TaKaDu provides real-time alerts as well as managerial tools and interfaces for utility executives.

What can Water Network Monitoring do today that existing methods cannot?

Despite living in the age of information, water utilities often get little insight from their current data. Water network data is noisy and difficult to analyze. Many utilities have very few points of measurement within the network.

Water Network Monitoring takes the existing data from distribution elements, even sparse and noisy data, and analyzes it to create real time actionable alerts that utilities can immediately use.  It uses the data that is typically available in distribution networks: flow, pressure, reservoir level and, sometimes, quality measurements.

The main difference between current methods and the Water Network Monitoring approach can be summarized as follows:
Before TaKaDu With TaKaDu
Proactive Reactive: Customer calls utility to report visible leak or service disruption Earlier automatic detection of issues based on network knowledge
Automatic Manual: Issues are detected based on analyst work or based on Active Leak Detection  More issues are discovered earlier:analysts view alerts rather than combing through data for problems. Graphs and reports are analyzed to provide knowledge.
Multiple sources of information for better accuracy One source of information - night-line analysis is used to detect issues. In many cases the problem with the network cannot be detected using the night-line alone. Advanced statistical modeling techniques, which consider the whole network and the historical data. 

Does TaKaDu replace human analysis?

No, TaKaDu cannot replace analysts, but it can make their work more efficient and effective by doing the following:

  • TaKaDu increases the efficiency of human analysts by providing quick and accurate alerts. This way, analysts can focus their efforts on issues that matter and can deal with more issues since there are less workload and time constraints.

  • TaKaDu provides analysts with many more reports, views, comparisons and data points than nightline analysis.

  • Using geo-location, TaKaDu lets analysts guide repair and detection teams to where issues are likely to be.

  • Using TaKaDu, analysts spend less time on low-value, labor intensive work and are free to create higher level insights on network performance, resource consumption and hydraulics.

  • Analysts also use TaKaDu to verify repairs have actually occurred as planned by maintenance teams.

If the utility does not have analysis resources (or has very few), TaKaDu enables detection and alert levels that were previously impossible, without requiring additional personnel.

How much money does TaKaDu save?

TaKaDu is being used by utilities worldwide to drive down costs and increase efficiencies. Using TaKaDu, network problems can be detected and resolved much earlier than through conventional methods, leading to a reduction in water loss and an increase in detection efficiency. This leads to reduced detection costs and a significant increase in staff productivity. Return on investment studies conducted by our customers show a 250-400% return, taking into account only measureable direct benefits, such as water or labor saved. Accounting for additional benefits, such as efficiency, better maintenance, meeting regulatory targets etc. would show an even higher rate of return.

In addition, reducing water loss also means a reduction in energy costs to transport and produce water, less risk of damage from unexpected events and a lower rate of contamination and quality issues.

Can TaKaDu reduce water network costs?

TaKaDu can definitely reduce the costs associated with the water network, by reducing water loss and making operations more efficient. Some examples are:

        Water Savings: One of the key benefits of water network monitoring is the reduction of water loss. After being produced, treated, pressurized and transported into the network, the value of the water lost in the distribution network is at its highest.  Each cubic meter of saved water carries a cost-saving associated with the costs to produce it.

        Reducing repair and detection costs: Early and focused alerts on leaks and other inefficiencies make detection and repair teams work better. For instance, in one of TaKaDuís deployments, providing efficient alerts with geo-location resulted in a 10% reduction in projected annual detection costs, by focusing detection crew efforts on the right parts of the network.

 ∑        Prioritizing detection and repair work: The ability to schedule detection or repairs based on prioritization of alerts can preempt large bursts and the damages associated with them. Another frequently overlooked fact is that earlier alerts on leaks mean cheaper repairs and maintenance (as repair cost increases with the magnitude of problem).

 ∑         Maintaining a higher degree of service availability: With less dramatic water loss events and repair times, a higher degree of service availability to the utilityís customers is achieved, since there is less network downtime.

 ∑         Burst prevention and damage reduction: when large and acute bursts are prevented, the damages associated with them are averted, resulting in additional cost savings.

 ∑         Reducing costs associated with inefficient operations: late detection of inefficient operations, such as excessive pumping due to a meter fault or a zonal breach, typically results in an increase in operational costs. Water network monitoring can detect such inefficiencies and save the related costs.

Can TaKaDu improve network operations?

TaKaDu turns raw network data into actionable alerts, but it does not stop there. Through advanced managerial interfaces, TaKaDu acts as a network management and planning platform, turning each stakeholder into a better-informed manager.

Operating the network properly requires having accurate and consistent data and being able to act upon it. TaKaDu identifies meter and sensor availability problems very early, using advanced data-cleaning and extrapolation algorithms. Results from utilities worldwide show a 20-40% improvement in network operability as compared with pre-TaKaDu practices.

For executives, TaKaDu increases your ability to control your network through a convenient managerial dashboard and mapping interface.

What are the operations efficiency gains associated with Water Network Monitoring?

Some concrete examples of the efficiencies that result from Water Network Monitoring are:

         Accelerated problem resolution (earlier alerts, higher accuracy) and automated recognition of issues; anomalies are corrected earlier, preventing potential damages and costs.

         Action before problems escalates: in some cases, a small leak can develop into a larger leak or a burst requiring disruptive and costly fixes or that causes significant damages.

         Better return on existing investment in meters, sensors and network division.

         Better monitoring of availability increases network availability and operability.

         Less time wasted on false alarms: the data is cleansed within the TaKaDu system, and the use of sophisticated algorithms creates almost no false alarms. As a result, there is no time spent chasing the ďwrongĒ events.

         Higher return on analyst and field crew work as staff is made aware of problems earlier and with a clear sense of priority.

         Better returns on the investment in Active Leak Detection

Can TaKaDu point me to the location of my problem?

After detecting a leak, a burst, a zone breach or any other problem, the TaKaDu system presents its likely location within the network. TaKaDu alerts always provide information about the location of network issues, at least at the zone (DMA) level or sensor/meter level. However, TaKaDu can also be used to further localize network events to portions of zones. The localization is based on the eventís effect on the neighboring flow and pressure meters, and uses novel patent-pending techniques. It relies on both hydraulic considerations and analysis of the effect of past leaks on each of those meters. Naturally, the localization resolution increases when more meters are installed - two or more per area.  Localization saves considerable time for acoustic detection teams, and also enables a faster response in case bursts start at night, when no one reports them.

How accurate is TaKaDu's detection?

TaKaDu has been proven to be extremely accurate. Our design goal and operational target is to have zero false alarms. Geo-location accuracy depends on the density of existing meters and sensors Ė the more data points, the higher the accuracy. In some cases, TaKaDu can narrow down the detection area by over 80%.

TaKaDuís use of multiple algorithms to determine a network anomaly reduces the amount of false alarms to almost zero.

Do I need to install Automated Meter Reading to use TaKaDu? Do you collect data from household meters?

TaKaDu uses the data from existing sensors and meters within the network, and does not require data from the consumer side. Therefore, there is no need for AMR installation. But since the system is powerful and can make use of external data sources, data coming from AMR can prove useful.

Does TaKaDu sell sensors or network meters?

No. TaKaDu uses existing data that utilities collect, and not data from TaKaDu-related sensors or meters. As a result, a deployment of TaKaDuís Software-as-a-Service solution does not require any capital expenditure.

What are Smart Water Networks?

The goal of Smart Water Networks is to make water distribution more efficient and reliable. It is realized by making many elements of the network work together, based on the digital information they generate. Building smart water networks means adding data analysis and collection to the current water distribution system. With an overlay of smart data analysis, the network will be operated more efficiently and reliably. Much like computers and routers manage the flow of bits on the Internet, smart-grid technologies will eventually use information to optimize the way water flows and is treated within the distribution network.

Is TaKaDu's Water Network Monitoring the same as Smart Water Networks?

Water Network Monitoring is a component of Smart Water Networks. Smart Water Networks is a generic term that describes all the elements that together use monitoring and management techniques to reduce the loss of water and prevent inefficiencies. In very general terms, it can be said that Smart Water Networks are made of a monitoring element and a management element. Water Network Monitoring, as its name implies, provides the monitoring element within smart water networks.
 

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Ultimately, our customers will benefit from this leading edge technology, because being more efficient means we can keep bills as low as possibleĒ

George Theo, CEO, Unitywater

 
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TaKaDu is the global leader in Water Network Monitoring, providing a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for water utilities. TaKaDu's solution detects, classifies, alerts and provides real-time insight on leaks, bursts, DMA breaches and other network inefficiencies. The solution is based on complex statistical algorithms which analyze existing online data from meters within the network (flow, pressure, etc) and external data (weather, holidays, etc).TaKaDuís patented technology is easy to deploy, requiring no network changes, no additional devices and no capital expenditure. The service is in use by leading water utilities worldwide. TaKaDuís team is comprised of top-notch mathematicians and computer scientists with many years of applied data analytics experience, alongside seasoned executives from global software technologies leaders. TaKaDu is the winner of several industry awards, including the prestigious Technology Pioneer 2011 award from the World Economic Forum.