Water leaks occur throughout the water supply network in Italy and almost 48% of the water supply withdrawn at the source and fed into the system does not reach the final user (Source: Istat 2019).
Finding a solution that reduces this waste is not only necessary from an economic and efficiency point of view but is also an expression of our commitment towards our planet.
Improving the management of the integrated water system is the objective set by the Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and the Environment (ARERA). This fundamental objective encompasses two highly significant categories. One relates to the M1 macro indicator (conservation of water resources in the water pipelines) while the other indicator, M2, measures service interruptions and evaluates the quality and continuity of the water supply.
An all-day conference, which was organised by our company and held on 14 November at the company's Scandiano (RE) site, offered an important opportunity to meet other industry professionals and talk about the professionalism and know-how of Fast.
The event was a great success and was attended by over 100 guests representing the major utility companies in Italy, including: A2A Ciclo Idrico, ACEA, Iren, Gruppo HERA, Lario Reti, Ingegnerie Toscane, Montagna 2000, Viacqua, Publiacqua, Uniacque and many others who all came together to address a very pressing issue: water leaks in the water pipelines.
The need that gave rise to this conference dedicated to tackling water leaks stems from the desire to improve management of the integrated water systems. From the talks given at the conference, it emerged that smart management of water pressure is key to achieving and consolidating a substantial reduction in the leaks that plague Italian water pipelines. Developments in technical innovation mean that we now have the technology, tools and systems needed to overcome this challenge.
Of particular note among the speakers at the conference were:
Marco Fantozzi, Isle Utilities, who outlined to the guests how to define a winning policy to achieve the ARERA M1 objective.
Emilio Benati, CEO of Fast, who showed how the digitalisation of the water network can facilitate implementation of the policies, presented by ISLE, also with regard to the M2 ARERA objective. The innovative solutions designed by Fast, which are all ready for application, were presented.
Stefano Cucchi, R&D at Fast, who explained the enormous advantages and results that the utility companies could achieve by using the Aquaworks 4.0 web application, which was recently overhauled and improved in terms of performance and analytical results.
The talk given by Francesco Calza, head of the leak research department at Iren, was warmly received. He was among the first to support and invest in the division of the water network into districts years ago. Today Iren has achieved optimal results thank to the use of Aquaworks.
Silvia Meniconi from the University of Perugia, whose suggestive contribution highlighted the serious and frequently overlooked issue of pressure transients and the significant damage that these can cause.
Finally, the conference ended with an in-depth technological talk given by Mauro Massone from A2A Smart City, a large multiutility company in the North of Italy which was the first to apply CLOUD and IoT technologies to the issues faced by utility companies and communities. Massone illustrated a Case Study of pressure regulation in real time on a water supply district in Brescia. Thanks to A2A Smart City's Cloud technology combined with Fast's IoT products, the system is able to regulate pressure at critical points in an optimal manner and therefore to avoid subjecting the network to stress.
The various thematic exhibition spaces set up in different areas of the site enabled guests in the afternoon to participate in an interactive forum during which the Hardware and Software solutions offered by Fast were demonstrated and specific topics were explained further on request, such as the Real Time Critical Point or the data loggers for capturing hydraulic shock (water hammer) data.
The Aquaworks platform attracted a lot of attention. It is an application that has been developed for water network management systems and is perfect for managing the entire network.
In the margins of the conference, FAST set up a demonstration of the new LeveIX and Wave sensors dedicated to the wastewater sector.
Case studies, updates, discussion and debate form the basis for finding common ground between the needs of managers and the needs of those who, like us, are involved in creating automated and control systems for those who distribute water and energy to all our homes.