Sydney Water trials nuron’s “sewer nervous system”

Media release

29 October

Sydney Water and nuron from the UK have entered into a collaboration as part of a world’s first implementation project of nuron’s sewer monitoring technology.

nuron’s distributed, in-pipe fibre sensing technology, which measures multiple parameters along the entire length of a sewer, will provide an opportunity to transform wastewater operations by improving services and value to customers.

Claire Fenwick, nuron’s Managing Director said ‘Sydney Water is an innovative company, always exploring new ways to do things better, ensuring resilient and sustainable wastewater infrastructure for customers and the generations to come.

‘Sydney Water is engaged with nuron and its partners. This is an exciting relationship as we share a vision for transforming sewer network operations enabling significant social and environmental benefits.

’Paul Higham, Head Service Planning and Asset Strategy at Sydney Water said ‘Sydney Water is always seeking innovative ways to better manage our water and wastewater systems to provide better services to customers.

‘This project, is an opportunity for Sydney Water to gain real time, sewer data to improve its services.

‘Working with nuron and their collaborative partners will help us to see better ways to monitor and manage the performance of our wastewater systems.’

nuron’s technology acts like a nervous system. It extends through the sewers and measures flow, depth, temperature and structural integrity every 5 metres along the sewer pipe.

It delivers real-time monitoring and capacity management that enables utilities to remotely identify and locate issues before they become a pollution incident or other serious incident, and make better use of their existing sewer capacity.  
The nuron technology is based on distributed acoustic sensing. This is not new, it is currently used in oil and gas, however nuron has used significant innovation and enhancements to ensure it works in open flows (ie not pressurised systems).

Laser pulses shine down the fibre and as the light travels through, some is backscattered by imperfections in the fibre.  This backscatter is translated into operational parameters and time of flight gives location.