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Catchment Management

Big data intelligence to drive forward customer service

Yorkshire Water is embarking on a data-led “internet of things” approach that will enable it to obtain real-time information and understand trends about its water and sewerage operations.

Intelligence on the condition of the firms water pipes will enable the company to adopt a predict and prevent approach to maintenance of its 31,000km of water mains.

To help predict where and when things are going to happen on its network, 15,000 ‘acoustic ear’ devices will be installed into the pipes capable of listening to the noise flowing water makes.

Data generated by this technology will then be analysed by a new team of data scientists, based at the company’s Bradford based control room.

It is expected by the firm that this data rich intelligence will make early interventions possible to ensure customers’ water supplies are disrupted as little as possible.

Steve Mallinson, Networks & Grid Optimiser at Yorkshire Water said: “We’ve created a bespoke system that allows us to really understand the water patterns in our pipes throughout Yorkshire. It will give us a vast amount of intelligent data that can be analysed to help control the flow of water and prevent bursts and leaks happening. It will also help us to try and repair any issues within just three hours, rather than the current average of three days.”

Yorkshire Water will also be installing 8,000 similar devices into its sewers to better understand how its waste water network operates, with triggers and alarms fitted to help protect the environment and customers from sewer flooding.

In what is believed to be a first in the water industry, Yorkshire Water is considering adopting an “open data” approach, allowing the growing Yorkshire based community of independent data scientists secure access to its data streams. This will enable the company to work closely with the growing Yorkshire community of digital developers to help find new and innovative solutions to pollution and leakage problems.

The work forms part of a wider multi-million pound package announced last week by Yorkshire Water that will create 300 new jobs to help the firm become a top performer in the water sector.

Open Data releases

We are challenging our industry to be more open about the data that we hold and publish, as part of our promise to be more transparent about our business operations and to also encourage greater innovation within the sector. We know that sharing operational data like this empowers our business to improve the quality of the data we capture and report on and also present new opportunities to improve and enhance the way we go about our business through greater innovation.

We have partnered with the Open Data Institute (ODI Leeds) and the Datamill North as a data repository to host this data.

This is all part of a rollout of data releases we are planning to publish over the next 18months and become the first water company in the UK to be open by default.

Listed below are just some those we will be publishing;

- Pollution data

- Consumption data

- Water resource data

- Leakage data

- Bioresources data

Our latest release

Watsit report [use until report published]

The water situation (or Watsit) report is a weekly report we produce to oversee our water resources. It includes a summary of all the major sources of the water we draw on to make sure your taps stay full of water 24 hours a day. Data such as daily rainfall, regional reservoir stocks, river levels and demand is monitored and you can see our current position against historical and seasonal trends and fluctuations.

The majority of the figures are produced either as a % of total capacity (in the case of reservoir stocks) or as Ml/d which is mega litres per day. 1 mega litre is equivalent to 1 million litres.

Water situation report summary








-3.24% To 60.25%

Above critical levels



% Rainfall this month across the Yorkshire region compared to long term average

Reservoir Stocks this week vs last week

Key river levels across our region

Regional demand in megalitres a day




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