Ovarro launches fully managed fixed network leakage service

A new end-to-end leakage reduction service has been launched by technology company Ovarro, as the water sector moves forward with wider implementation of as-a-service models to improve efficiency.

LeakNavigator is the UK’s first fully managed, fixed network leakage service. The leak-locating model comprises advanced acoustic data loggers, cutting-edge cloud-based software and Ovarro’s inhouse leakage expertise.

With all elements combined, the service can accurately identify points of interest (POIs) on behalf of water companies

The service can also alert field technicians directly, so they can head straight to site with high confidence that a leak will be found, thereby reducing the need for inhouse data analysis.

LeakNavigator has undergone successful trials with UK water companies, recording a combined performance increase of 20-25% in total leaks found, plus a 30% reduction in lost field time through false positives and a POI-to-leak conversion rate of over 85%.

As-a-service models are subscription-based applications, with infrastructure that is entirely managed and maintained by an external supplier. These services allow companies to focus on their core responsibility of water system management and leave the data analysis to external specialists.

Matthew Hawkridge, Ovarro’s CTO, will be presenting LeakNavigator at world water-tech innovation summit in London, UK, on 21-22 Feb 2023.

Ovarro’s CTO, Matthew Hawkridge

He said, “Regulators and customers are continuing to push water companies to cut leakage and their expectations will only increase. While acoustic fixed networks — which are permanently in place to pinpoint leaks by monitoring the sound of water escaping from pipes — are bringing major improvements, the sector has at times struggled with the correct placement of acoustic loggers.

“For remote loggers to achieve the best possible results, they need to be placed in optimum locations across a network. But establishing precisely where these spots are is no easy task and requires specialist expertise.

“If loggers are not placed appropriately, location data could be compromised and water company analysts have an even harder job of pinpointing leaks. This means leak detection teams could be spending valuable time and money trying to identify leaks in the wrong place.”

Ben Crabtree, Ovarro’s product line director for analytics, added, “LeakNavigator solves this challenge by taking complete ownership of the data analysis and leak detection process, working in collaboration with water companies, with results-driven accountability.

“This consultative approach is already enhancing performance of acoustic fixed networks, including high accuracy POIs, high operability and good conversion rates. These outcomes are allowing leakage teams to focus their attentions on fixing, not monitoring, the problem, which will help them achieve their leakage targets and ultimately secure future water supplies.”

The LeakNavigator package uses acoustic loggers from the Enigma range, which are installed following an assessment of a water company’s district metered area (DMA), undertaken by Ovarro’s leakage analysts. This process establishes suitable equipment to install, the unit numbers required and the locations for optimum efficiency.

The service can also apply to existing Enigma logger fleets already installed

Once the loggers are in operation, Ovarro’s teams undertake ongoing data analysis, sending POIs directly to water company field technicians via a mobile app. The captured data, which also supports maintenance targeting, is processed and presented to customers in a dashboard.

Smart approaches to leakage detection are expected by regulator Ofwat, which said in its price review 2024 (PR24) final methodology, published 13 Dec 2022: “Innovation will be key. On leakage, for example, companies will be rewarded if they can set and deliver aggressive reductions. We expect companies to embrace the opportunities to improve performance through smart technology and better use of data.”

Hawkridge said: “As-a-service models are now being embraced by the water sector, with companies finally moving away from legacy systems. Allowing specialists to take the lead enables water companies to focus attentions on their customer, shareholders and regulator commitments far more effectively.”