Emerging Trends in Water Management: Northumbrian Water’s (NWL) Tech-Driven Approach to SOs and Outfalls

In the world of water management, storm overflows (SOs) might not be popular, but they’re certainly a necessity.

SOs manage both foul and surface water, directing them to treatment facilities. During heavy rainfall, they prevent flooding by directing excess rainwater into rivers and oceans. Without SOs, wastewater could force its way out of network pipes and manhole covers, flowing into homes and streets. But this unseen system is complex and requires intricate maintenance.

Unmaintained SOs can lead to unnecessary releases of wastewater, into water bodies, potentially impacting the environment. Hence, proactive preventative maintenance is critical. 

Northumbrian Water is investing heavily in strategies to reduce reliance on SOs. As a key part of this, they have partnered with Vyntelligence to streamline the SO maintenance process, ensuring that while they are in use, they operate as intended and cause minimum harm to the environment.

Vyntelligence’s platform guides technicians through the maintenance tasks required, including collecting visual evidence such as photos and short videos. This ensures both quality and adherence to operating procedures when the tasks are being completed.

Supervisors and engineers can access this data through Vyntelligence’s dashboard or a Maximo asset record. Supervisors can remotely assure the quality of the maintenance tasks completed. Engineers can remotely review the health of the asset. If the visuals indicate that remedial works are required, engineers can plan this work without having to visit the site, saving time and costs and enabling quick resolution of any issues.

Collecting consistent asset data across 1,200 SOs provides the asset team with up-to-date visual records, enabling remote review and a better understanding of the health of the estate. This empowers Northumbrian Water to not just maintain assets, but optimise them, demonstrating their commitment to quality.

Moreover, Northumbrian Water has an evidenced visual history of SO and Outfall maintenance, inspection and condition assessments, strengthening regulatory compliance and trust.

Improving the preventive maintenance of SOs, this partnership is helping protect our water resources, comply with regulatory standards, and provide visibility into critical information on assets. It’s more than maintenance – it represents Northumbrian Water’s commitment to a sustainable future.

About Northumbrian Water

NWL’s vision is to be the national leader in sustainable water and wastewater services.

It provides water and wastewater services to its customers in the North East of England, trading as Northumbrian Water (NW), and  water services only to its customers in the  south east of England, trading as Essex & Suffolk Water (ESW).

It employs over 3,000 people.

NW supplies water and wastewater services to 2.7 million people in the major population centres  of Tyneside, Wearside and Teesside as well as  the large rural areas of Northumberland and County Durham. It provides wastewater services only in Hartlepool.

ESW supplies water services to 1.6 million people in Essex and 0.3 million in Suffolk. Its Essex area is part rural  and part urban and includes the main population centres of Chelmsford, Southend and the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Havering and Redbridge. Its Suffolk area is mainly rural with the largest towns being Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

NWL operates and maintains:

•  50 water treatment works

•  388 water pumping stations

•  304 water service reservoirs

•  26,451km of water mains

•  413 sewage treatment works

•  966 sewage pumping stations

•  30,237km of sewers.

Every day NWL supplies 1.1 billion litres of water.

About Vyntelligence

Vyntelligence (Vyn) accelerates digital transformation of customer and frontline operations for faster quotes, instals and resolutions achieved with fewer resources. Vyn delivers financial and ESG value with a unique video capture, collaboration and remote assurance platform. Vyn’s AI-powered SmartVideoNotes™ automatically predicts next actions, enabling experts to remotely get more jobs done effectively and safely, improving customer experience and accelerating revenue realisation sustainably.

Headquartered in London, Vyntelligence has been delivering up to 9X ROI for global energy, telecom and

utilities customers such as Cadent Gas, Engie, EDP, Northumbrian Water, Welsh Water and Openreach.

Ranked in the top 25 in the 2021 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 UK list and declared as a winner by top 10 Global Utilities at the Free Electrons programme in 2020, Vyn has been granted US patents for Smart Data Capture, Ranking and Delivery of Insights.

Vyn SmartVideoNotes and Vyntelligence are registered trademarks of humanLearning Ltd.

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