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Thames Water appoints SA analytics firm to monitor sewer headroom

Local data science consulting company Explore-AI has been appointed by Thames Water, in the UK, to help deliver data analytics solutions for the UK’s largest water utility, says Explore-AI CEO Shaun Dippnall.

The project involves building data science solutions to assist the utility in managing its water network more effectively. The utility will use this technology and information to also generate insights, determine appropriate responses and boost customer service, adds Thames Water chief digital officer John Beaumont.

The growth in low-cost sensors and devices allows for data to be collected from anywhere in the water delivery system.

“These low-cost sensors enable Thames Water to measure headroom in a sewer. Depending on the geometry of a sewer, there is a minimum headroom space required to avoid a blockage, flood or pollution. If we can detect abnormalities in the headroom levels digitally, we can deal with potential problems far [more quickly] than we could previously,” he adds.

Explore-AI will apply data analytics insights and analytical tools to this data stream, says Dippnall.

Thames Water supplies more than 15-million customers within London and the greater Thames region with 2 600 Mℓ of drinking water a day, and treats about 4 400 Mℓ of wastewater a day, says Beaumont.

Evolutions in technology enable Thames Water to digitalise its business in ways not previously possible and unprecedented in the past 50 years.

Meanwhile, it is not the first time that Explore-AI has used its data science tools to gain insight into water use. One of the first projects for learners in Explore-AI’s parent company, Explore Data Science Academy, was to analyse water demand and supply figures in Cape Town at the height of the recent drought crisis. Explore-AI is the consulting arm of the academy, says Explore Data Science Academy cofounder Aidan Helmbold.

The academy launched its accredited skills data science programme with 100 learners in 2018, in Cape Town, sponsored by information and communications technology company BCX. Since then, the Academy has opened a Gauteng campus with an additional 350 data science and data analytics learners.

The global shortage of data science and analytics skills means increased opportunities for international work for the local AI consulting firm, highlights Dippnall.

Explore-AI was also appointed by UK-based insurance group Correlation Risk Partners to apply data science and machine-learning techniques to solve some of the difficult problems across their insurance portfolio. Currently, Explore-AI is working on three projects across the group.

“We have a number of projects under way across Europe. There is a lot of work [for the application of] the latest data science tools and techniques to solve difficult business problems. These projects demonstrate our ability to compete globally and win large contracts,” Dippnall concludes.

Source Article from https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/local-company-provides-london-water-analytics-2019-07-05
Thames Water appoints SA analytics firm to monitor sewer headroom
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