Digital water supply is beneficial for both the population and the environment

The cars of the Waterworks are driven by biogas produced as a result of wastewater treatment

Zalavíz Zrt., which is responsible for the drinking water supply of 161 settlements and the wastewater treatment of 99 settlements in the region, has carried out a digital transformation: it has installed devices and signaling instruments that can communicate online and support the duties of the waterworks concerning control technology, maintenance and operational safety by providing real-time data and access via Telenor’s Hipernet network. 

In its region of supply, Zalavíz Zrt. provides its network with an annual drinking water amount of nearly 7.5 million m3 and manages over 7.5 million m3 of wastewater. Some years ago it was typical that the experts of the waterworks were informed of incidental losses of service or defects through notifications by citizens. Since then, following the digital transformation of the drinking water and wastewater network and the headquarters of the waterworks, owing to the real-time monitoring of the pumps, reservoirs and other important operative components, it has become possible to start the necessary troubleshooting and maintenance even before citizens notice any problems. In addition to it, major operations, e.g. maintenance works entailing partial water shortage, can also be planned better in advance. 


The online devices transmit the data to the headquarters via Telenor’s Hipernet network, which not only accelerates the control operations of the waterworks, but also makes the processes more efficient. In order to obtain the information and data required for surveillance and maintenance operations, the experts no longer have to go to the machines personally one by one, as all system information has become instantly visible and measurable online, and the upgraded system makes even remote control (intervention) from the headquarters possible. An additional benefit is that the real-time online connection with the digitalized waterworks sites also supports the safety of operational areas, e.g. by instantly sensing intrusions or illegal water draw-offs.
 
How much does the digital transformation of a water supplier cost?
The improvements affecting the water network required an investment in the volume of almost half a billion forints, however, IT developments amounted only to a minor part thereof. The operation of the system costs nearly HUF 1 million per month, which returns in the significantly higher standard and operational safety of the service, besides ensuring more cost-effective human resources management.


“It always surprises our partners how quite simple practical solutions can boost operational efficiency, often reducing costs, as well. In our view, this is the future: the excellent nationwide mobile internet coverage of Hipernet enables small and large enterprises or even public utility service providers to make their operation more effective even in the long run with the help of online instruments and suitable programs easily accessible on the market, after a single investment. It is beneficial for both the enterprises and the clients served by them,” said Head of Business Marketing and Sales of Telenor Gábor Fülöp. 


“We are active in a special field, people consider water supply as an absolutely fundamental service. Digital transformation has made it possible for us, too, to monitor virtually all our systems from a central platform, by controlling our experts we can save operational costs, while the population can enjoy a high quality of service and operational safety in the field of water usage, which they have never experienced before,” added Head of Procurement Department of Zalavíz Zrt. Gábor Hadnagy.


Biomass out of wastewater, biogas out of biomass, fuel out of biogas
A complementary positive impact of effective wastewater treatment on the environment is that it enables the recycling of wastewater, which produces biogas through a biomass recycling system. An integral part of the system producing biogas is a control and surveillance system, which is especially important because of the fact that biogas is a very dangerous substance; it is highly explosive, even the slightest leakage may cause a serious catastrophe, but in this way it can be kept under continuous control. Biogas can be used for the production of electricity, heating and as fuel for motor vehicles. All three uses can be provided by Zalavíz Zrt., and it must be stressed that the company owns 16 CNG fueled vehicles, the use of which significantly reduces the impact on the environmental, not to mention the more economical operation. 


For more information on the activities of Zalavíz Zrt, visit https://www.zalaviz.hu/.