The Sun newspaper reported that it was the coldest day ever in March. “Big thaw leaves thousands without water in parts of UK” said the BBC.
More extreme weather events is one of 6 big challenges that i2O’s clients have to deal with, alongside increasing population size and urbanisation, ageing network infrastructure, an ageing workforce, customers becoming more demanding, and difficulty in increasing revenue or accessing capital.
The UK water regulator Ofwat is tweeting its displeasure at water companies’ failure to plan for issues. But it would do well also to encourage them to deploy technologies that mitigate the risks inherent in these extreme weather conditions.
We have talked often in this blog about drought and the role that Advanced Pressure Management can play in mitigating the risks and issues associated with water scarcity. But Advanced Pressure Management can also mitigate the risks associated with freezing and thawing.
Temporarily reducing pressure in the network when thawing occurs can reduce the likelihood of bursts. Temporary reduced pressure to customers is much better than no pressure at all. Zero or negative pipe pressure presents a risk of resultant water quality issues.
Pressure reductions can be achieved simply and easily with i2O’s Advanced Pressure Management solution oNet. Return to normal pressure levels can be scheduled to ensure a smooth transition that does not further damage the network.
i2O is also reviewing whether it can integrate actual and predicted temperatures into its platform to recommend pressure reductions or automate these reductions when certain weather conditions pertain.