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Yorkshire Water hosts Hackathon

Yorkshire Water gathered the finest minds in data for its first solveIT hackathon event as the firm ramps up its plans to proactively prevent flooding and pollution incidents.

The firm is looking to discover technology led and data driven opportunities which could have a substantial impact on operational performance in predicting potential problems such as internal flooding, in the network.

With help from organisers Add+ Strategy, the firm attracted 53 attendees from 13 companies at the Digital Catapult Centre in Bradford and tasked them with identifying relationships in the available data sets. This would allow Yorkshire Water to prioritise alarms in the control room and to provide information which will enable it to make the right intervention, in the right place, at the right time.

There were three different competitions across the two days, with Mott McDonald claiming the prize for refinement and validation of a logic model for prioritising event alarms. The team from 1Spartial Ltd produced the best entry for ‘demonstrated new approach to integrated alarms', while Invenio Systems Ltd won the bonus challenge for producing the highest calibre model for practical definition of ‘best’ location of sensors.

Yorkshire Water Project Manager, Claire Green, said: “We have been very clear that we have a company goal to reduce internal sewer flooding by 70% and reducing pollution incidents by 40%.

“Proactive alarms play a key role in this which is why we are working with the best minds in the business to help us with this.

“The event was a huge success and we will arrange follow up discussions with a number of the attendees, not just the prize winners, to discuss their ideas and analytical tools in more detail and to determine which, if any we want to take to a Proof of Concept stage.”

To help reach the target of sewer flooding reduction by 70%, Yorkshire Water has begun a targeted campaign to build awareness of the dangers of flushing wet wipes down the toilet.