An intelligent monitoring system has been successfully introduced by Scottish Water across rural locations in the Highlands and Islands, using Internet of Things (IoT) technology to gather essential data that helps keep the water network in Scotland safe.

Using a device developed by CENSIS for M2M Cloud – Scotland’s innovation centre for sensing, imaging, and IoT technologies – Scottish Water can now automatically collect information on the temperature and flow of water in Scottish Water buildings as part of routine quality assurance checks. Any unusual readings could point towards a potentially harmful bacteria outbreak, including legionella. Until now, the process was carried out manually with employees travelling the country to undertake regular testing.

Working as a supplier to Scottish Water’s Digital Framework partners, Atos, M2M Cloud’s Gemini devices have so far been deployed across all Scottish Water sites in Shetland, Orkney and Islay. The next phase of the roll-out will extend the deployment to a further 300 sites, covering around half of the network. The installation of the smart water monitoring systems forms part of a wider commitment to digital transformation at Scottish Water, led by Atos.

The first of its kind device fits on to the surface of pipes to remotely take temperature readings, notifying building managers if the water system is out of specification. Readings are taken every 10 seconds, looking at minimum and maximum temperatures, as well as detecting any issues with water flow events.

This latest generation of the rechargeable battery-powered device was developed CENSIS for M2M, after receiving grant funding from Scottish Enterprise last year. The device is now capable of operating on both cellular Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT) and LoRaWAN networks, making the system easier to set up in hard-to-reach areas. The addition of Bluetooth connectivity has cut installation times by one-third.