Tuesday, 03 April 2018 11:50

Three firms join for 'smart drains' solution

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Integrated services provider Downer, Japanese ICT vendor Fujitsu and Melbourne software developer EYEfi have collaborated to create a "smart drains" solution that has been taken up by the Yarra Ranges Council.

A statement from the three companies said a network of sonar and camera sensors was used to track the water level in drains in real-time and this information was used to deploy response and maintenance teams in advance of any flooding.

Networked smart sensors, cloud technology and software developed by EYEfi are used to provide alerts for rising water every 15 minutes. A dashboard view of input from all sensors enables management with a clear view of drain infrastructure to identify areas of focus.

The Yarra Ranges Council has local flood management and drainage challenges, with more than 4900 properties at risk of flooding from waterways or underground drains.

Additionally, there are long-term future pressures on existing drainage systems associated with urban consolidation and an increase in rainfall intensity. Approximately 7% of properties are prone to flooding.

smart drainsYarra Ranges mayor Len Cox (seen at right near one of the drains) said: “Many of our storm water pits, especially those in flood prone areas could be checked daily or several times per day. This technology informs us quickly that there is a blockage so we can send someone there immediately and have it removed and cleaned before further flooding and complications arise.

"We are proud to be trialling this in the Yarra Ranges as an Australian first and, if the results are positive, we hope it can be adopted throughout the municipality.”

Simon Langdon, founder and chief executive of of EYEfi, said “We are proud to be collaborating with Fujitsu and Downer to offer this world-first, end-to-end remote monitoring and intelligence gathering solution. This is an exciting adaptation of our Industrial IoT technology, as it solves several critical problems for end users which is imperative when considering investing in technology solutions.

"We’re looking forward to the further deployment of the solution with Downer and Fujitsu’s customers.”

Jeff Sharp, group manager Technology and Innovation at Downer, said: “We had a concept that we believed would add value to our customers and provide a better service to their customers. We were excited to partner with EYEFi, Fujitsu and the Yarra Ranges Council to make this a reality.

"Downer is investing heavily in IoT solutions that we believe will drive better value for our customers and improve services, creating smarter cities.”

Mike Foster, chief executive, Fujitsu Australia, said: “This is an excellent example of how co-creation combines the best thinking from different disciplines to solve a real-world problem and create a better outcome for the community.

"It is great to see that our investment in this collaboration with Downer and EYEfi has the potential to reduce the risk of flood damage as we explore opportunities to deploy the technology across Australia.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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