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Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to use artificial intelligence to monitor the quality of drinking water

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water uses artificial intelligence (AI) systems created by Aberystwyth University to monitor the effectiveness of water treatment processes.

The water passes through the banks of filters and other treatment processes before it is safe to drink. At each stage, it is measured in terms of the amount of solid, acidity, flow rate, chlorine, and its clarity.

The filters are equipped with sensors to alert operators if any problems arise or maintenance is needed. Information from these sensors currently serves as an alarm rather than giving early warnings about problems or identifying the cause of the problem.

However, the information from the sensors can be used to tell Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water more about its processing operations. The AI ​​system created by Dr Amanda Clare, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Aberystwyth University, will warn engineers of any emerging problems, making Wales’ water infrastructure more efficient and reliable.

The AI ​​model will be based on 15 years of data from the filtration system, and will also be used to identify upstream risks of drinking water, again allowing any issues to be dealt with proactively. This technology will also be used to predict the likes of anomalies, deterioration of filtration systems and the effects of seasonal weather on infrastructure.

The work is funded by an industrial fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Amanda Clare said: “This is an excellent demonstration of how universities and industry can collaborate on high-tech engineering ideas. By applying data science and AI technology to these water treatment plants and their vast amounts of real-time data, we can make a real difference in the reliability of our water quality.”

The advantage of technologies such as data science and artificial intelligence is their ability to detect patterns and exceptions to those patterns. Projects like the one we are doing with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is just one example of how effective automated use of continuous data can make decisions and lead to timely maintenance.”

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water supplies more than three million customers throughout Wales and parts of England with over 800 million liters of drinking water per day.

Dr. Catherine Martin, Water Quality Risk Manager at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and an alumna of Aberystwyth University, said: “At Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, providing a first-class water supply at all times is a priority for us. Our long-term vision for continuous improvement and innovation includes greater control and analysis. Data-driven. We aspire to be able to use AI to work more efficiently and to identify risks to water quality earlier.”

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