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Anglian Water picks Arqiva to run smartmeter network

Network supplier Arqiva is to build a fixed network in Newmarket to showcase a trial smartmeter project

Utility company Anglian Water has selected network infrastructure supplier Arqiva to build, run and monitor a trial smartmeter network for the town of Newmarket in Suffolk.

The test network will be deployed in partnership with utility technology provider Sensus, and will cover 7,500 new smart water meters in Newmarket over the four-year lifetime of the contract.

Anglian Water has designated Newmarket as its innovation and testing showcase – called the Innovation Shop Window – as it realigns itself to become a digital utility company.

This Shop Window has three core objectives: to achieve a 100% customer satisfaction rate; to ensure zero burst pipes or leakage; and to reduce water consumption to 80 litres per head per day. Anglian Water set that fixed network water smart metering would make an important contribution to these goals.

“Long-term access to secure supplies of water is one of the most pressing environmental and economic challenges the world faces today, and that challenge is particularly acute in the east of England, which is the driest region in the UK,” said Paul Glass, programme manager for Anglian Water’s smart metering initiative.

We want to lead the way in raising awareness about how essential water is to life, people and the environment, but also draw attention to the role technologies like this can have in helping address the challenges of a growing population and changing climate.”

The Sensus meters will be installed in both domestic and commercial properties, and will transmit hourly usage statistics over Arqiva’s network. Anglian Water plans to use the data to better understand how people in Newmarket are using water, and to more quickly identify changes in usage that might indicate a problem, such as a burst pipe.

It said this proactive method of identifying leaks meant it would be able to despatch its own teams to repair them sooner, although it added that if a leak was found on a smartmeter customer’s own internal pipework, it would still be up to the customer to call their own plumber.

Read more about smartmeters

The Arqiva network will also enable two-way communications to let Anglian Water remotely configure meters, for example to deliver more frequent usage readings if needed. It is hoped that customers will also eventually be able to access their consumption data online, and receive advice and guidance on how to conserve water.

“Smart metering has a key role to play in giving our customers access to information about their water use – helping them to understand how much water they are using, and therefore how to reduce their consumption and bills. In combination with our efforts on the wider network, this will help secure water supplies for the future,” said Glass.

Construction of the network began at the end of June 2016, and should be completed by Christmas, after which the trial will continue for the remaining contract length.

Read more on Internet of Things (IoT)

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