Gutermann AG, a Switzerland-based global leader in advanced leak detection technologies, has been awarded by Acquedotto Pugliese (AQP) a contract worth nearly EUR 15 million for the supply of leak detection and monitoring technology for the Regions of Apulia and Basilicata in southern Italy. As part of the contract, Gutermann will provide more than 20,000 ZONESCAN NB-IoT correlating noise loggers using the highly efficient cellular narrow-band-IoT communication technology. Apart from Gutermann the winning consortium includes Gutermann’s Italian distribution and leak detection operation and maintenance partners Hydroskop and T.A.E. as well as the civil works corporation Simeone.
Gutermann’s flagship leak monitoring product was selected among a range of competitive products after an intensive testing period by AQP with the plan to deploy this technology within less than three years in about 200 towns and cities across the entire water distribution system of AQP. This deployment will be by far the largest of its kind in continental Europe so far.
This milestone leak detection project is supported by the funding from EU’s comprehensive National Recovery and Resiliency Package (PNRR) and is only the first of a range of large-scale infrastructure upgrading initiatives that will be implemented across Europe in the coming years. Global Water Intelligence (GWI) estimates that €1.3 billion alone will finance innovative water loss mitigation initiatives in Italy, with a particular focus on the south of the country where deteriorating network infrastructure has pushed leakage rates above the national average of 40%. The PNRR was devised and funded on the back of the European Drinking Water Directive 2020/2184 which came into force in January 2021. Under this directive, the European Commission will have adopted a threshold on leakage rates by early 2028. Member States exceeding the threshold will have two years from that date to present an action plan.
The pressure to achieve fast and tangible results from these investments is therefore the highest in the south of the country, and AQP is making a significant commitment to sustainable leakage reduction with the roll-out of ZONESCAN NB-IoT throughout its network. Uri Gutermann, CEO of Gutermann says: “We are proud to play an important role in Europe’s massive infrastructure and leakage reduction initiative.”
The selection criteria for this project included strict requirements for device size, communication efficiency and reliability, installation and maintenance efficiency, leak pinpointing accuracy and reliability, and the availability of elaborate cloud analytics and reporting. Gutermann was able to score high thanks to ZONESCAN NB-IoT’s main advantageous features and benefits:
- It is the smallest correlating leak noise logger in the world, small enough fit into all of AQP’s sometimes extremely narrow and shallow main valve chambers.
- It is a fully automatic correlating noise logger with NB-IoT technology, and Gutermann’s proprietary time synchronization method makes it the most accurately pinpointing leak monitoring system with the highest data availability rates on the market.
- Its batteries last typically more than five years and are field-replaceable, making it very low on maintenance and therefore reduces its full cost of ownership significantly.
AQP with headquarters in Bari is serving a population of over 4 million in 246 municipalities within the Apulia and Basilicata regions. Its supply network stretches over 20,000 km, serving over one million customers. AQP has a strategy for sustainability and resilience to manage the increasing water stress and to reduce the high levels Non-Revenue Water (NRW) – which are main drivers for this project. “It is important not to take water for granted and to manage it in the best possible way. Permanent active leak detection using permanent acoustic sensor technology combined with advanced cloud software analytics and functionality is the most effective tool against water leakage and we see an increasing market interest for our solutions on a global level” says Simon Fechter, Head of EMEA Sales at Gutermann.