An interview with Dave Walker on how Detectronic is helping water companies achieve their ODIs

Date: 20/07/17 | In: Interviews
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Outcome Delivery Incentives, ODIs for short, are one of the many buzzwords in the UK water industry.  With set ODI targets for issues such as pollution incidents, leakage and sewer flooding, UK water companies are tasked with demonstrating how they’ve improved in the run up to the price review 2019 (PR19). Failure to meet those targets could result in heavy financial penalties.

We caught up with Detectronic’s commercial director, Dave Walker to find out how he and the Detectronic team are helping water companies achieve their ODIS…

Why are ODIs currently so important in the UK water industry?

Dave: Water companies must include ODI targets in their business plans and they are obligated, by Ofwat to demonstrate how they have actually improved on those specific ODIs.

How is Detectronic able to help a water company achieve its ODIs?

Dave: One of the key ways we’re helping UK water companies to achieve their ODIs is by delivering robust and reliable data through smart network monitoring. We understand exactly what is required for PR19 from our vast experience of PR14 and it’s all about ensuring there is highly accurate data relating to a specific wastewater network available at all times.

Are there any key areas, in relation to ODIs, that water companies should be focusing on that may benefit them in the long-term?

Dave: Yes, there are several areas with the main one being the incorporation of effective control and governance of wastewater assets. This is essential if water companies want to realise the true asset value to the organisation in relation to ODIs. We are already helping water companies to achieve this by working in partnership to enable them to fully understand and manage the risk of the asset by capturing network data through smart network monitoring.

There must be many different elements involved in reaching each individual ODI. Why is data monitoring such an important part of the ODI process?

Dave: Indeed, each ODI has several areas that need to be addressed to achieve the required result. In order to strike the desired balance of cost, risk and performance demanded by a specific ODI, it is vital that the wastewater sewer network has a functional integration. This is where key information on sewer level and flow data that our monitoring provides is so valuable.

What happens to all of the data once its collected?

Dave: Our datacentre team has 24 hour access to real-time data each monitor and logger provides and it is their task to expertly analyse all of this information, alongside other data sets including weather reports, planned and reactive cleansing programmes and CCTV footage taken inside the sewer network.

It is this functional integration that then enables the water company to realise both the effective management of the upstream network and the receiving wastewater treatment works and intermediary pumping stations to ensure the relevant ODIs are met.

So, gathering and analysing the data is clearly key but then using that data to its greatest effect is what will potentially make the difference between failing or achieving an ODI?

Dave: Absolutely! By implementing smart network monitoring and actually acting upon the valuable data it delivers and the reports our datacentre team produce, water companies will always have the necessary information required to support their ODI achievements and PR19 reporting.

And that will help to satisfy Ofwat and enable the ODIs to stand up to further examination?

Dave: Yes, that is the ultimate benefit to water companies. The data they have from smart network monitoring will enable them to provide organisations, such as Ofwat, with any calculations and subsequent answers to any questions they may have about a particular ODI. This, in turn, ensures they stand up to regulatory or industry scrutiny and prove their ODIs have been met and, potentially, exceeded.