World’s largest network of IoT water leak detectors takes shape in North West

The world’s largest network of water leak loggers using powerful Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity is taking shape in the North West.

United Utilities will install 24,000 NB of the IoT acoustic devices as part of an ongoing £30m rollout of loggers which started in 2019.

The new loggers join a growing arsenal of innovative ideas United Utilities are using in the battle to reduce leakage, including satellite technology, AI and specially trained water sniffer dogs.

The company has pledged to reduce leakage by a fifth by 2025.

Narrow band internet of things, or NB IoT, has a great advantage over the standard 2G technology  used by most acoustic loggers because its bandwidth allows lots of data to be uploaded quickly,” explained leakage technical manager Paul Parr.

In the past, we have occasionally struggled with connectivity from loggers which are housed underground inside chambers with thick metal lids and underneath parked cars. We can lose vital time if there’s a leak, because we only receive the data once a day.

“The NB IoT loggers means we can guarantee we get the data when we need it. In early trials the technology kept our loggers 100% connected, which is a massive step change.”

The new loggers make United Utilities’ programme of logger investment world-beating for a second time. As well as having the largest estate of NB IoT loggers on the planet, by the time the programme ends in 2021 United Utilities will have installed 100,000 acoustic loggers in total – more than any other company globally.

The current phase of work to install the NB IoT loggers starts in October and is due to be completed in April.

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