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Vodafone and South East Water trial NB-IoT to combat water leaks

Paul Lipscombe
July 25, 2019

South East Water provides 2.2 million people with water in Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire

Vodafone has partnered up with South East Water to trial its narrowband IoT solution in a bid to reduce water leaks. 

The pilot aims at revolutionising how the water industry detects and prevents leaks as water shortages are expected to threaten England in the next 25 years.

This has led to the water regulatory body Ofwat, to challenge all water companies to reduce water leakage by 15 per cent by 2025. 

The trial sees Kent become the first area in the UK to test Vodafone’s NB-IoT as part of a smart water network. 

The partnership sees Vodafone developing and connecting specialist digital water meters, sensors and acoustic loggers on underground mains water pipes via the Vodafone NB-IoT network. 

Data is collected and transmitted across the system, with data monitored to alert South East Water in the event of a leak, as the acoustic loggers listen out for any sign of escaping water. 

Vodafone Business director Anne Sheehan has hailed the project as exciting and one that has the “power to transform the utilities sector”. 

Sheehan said: “It provides a more accurate way of identifying and preventing leaks, helping companies like South East Water meet important regulatory and environmental standards. 

“It is a perfect example of how technology can be used to create a more sustainable future and manage what is an increasingly precious commodity.” 

South East Water’s operations director Dr Simon Earl added: “The solution has the potential to alert us to the smallest leak – in either our or our customers’ pipes – as soon as it occurs; and could even enable us to predict and prevent pipeline failure before it happens.” 

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