A Smart Monitoring System for Singapore’s Drinking Water Network

Xylem teamed with a local company to develop a monitoring system that will help Singapore address – and avoid – leaks, clogs and water quality issues in its drinking water network.

As the world searches for solutions to increasingly urgent water issues, Singapore has become a “global hydro-hub.” Confronting the problems caused by flooding, water shortages and inefficient water systems, this southeast Asian island country has transformed itself into a real-world lab. New technologies are implemented on a large scale with strong government support and growing public awareness.

Xylem is involved in one of the newest projects on the island. In partnership with a local water technology provider, Visenti, we are providing a system that will enable the Public Utility Board of Singapore (PUB) – the country’s national water agency – to better monitor its island-wide network of drinking water supply pipes. The high-tech system is designed to detect problems with water flow, pressure and quality, sending wireless signals that sound early alarms that allow the water agency to address leaks, clogs, low-flow and water quality issues quickly – and avoid some of them altogether.

“Singapore has an inadequate in-country water supply and has to import water from its neighbor country, Malaysia. This is a nation that knows that value of water and the need to save every precious drop, and that’s why they are excited about this new solution,” says Robin Wong, regional marketing director, Xylem Greater Asia.

This new Xylem-Visenti Smart Water Network Monitoring System combines leading-edge technologies from two companies. Visenti already had a well-established monitoring system called WaterWise, but Xylem had recently developed sensors that were more compact, easier to install and could provide more accurate data. PUB asked our two companies to work together to create the best possible solution for its water network and received grant money from the Singapore Economic Development Board to fund the project development and installation.

More than just sensors
In addition to our sensors, Xylem brings expertise and service capabilities to the project.

Through our Analytics business, Xylem has deep monitoring and control knowledge, which can be brought to bear on the software side of the project. Currently, the new system sends alerts out via text messaging and apps, and Xylem is working with Visenti to co-develop “cloud-computing” features that will enable users to get their alerts on any device even in remote areas.

Xylem’s expertise in Singapore extends into the pumping area – making the partnership with Visenti a meaningful example of solutions that span across Xylem’s pumping, analytics and services businesses. PUB uses pumps to transport water throughout its water network, and they can turn to Xylem for advice on pump optimization and energy savings ideas.

The Xylem Singapore office also has a pump service team – with field service engineers and a fleet of vans – that PUB can leverage for this project.

“To familiarize themselves with the analytical sensors and the Visenti system, our local Xylem service staff spent days in training – assembling the systems and learning how all the parts fit and work together,” says Michael Chang, aftermarket service manager “We now have a well-trained team in place to service this new monitoring system.”

In the spring of 2013, Xylem provided nearly 150 YSI-brand sondes – the formal name for the sensors or probes – to Visenti for assembly into the new systems, which are going out under the WaterWise name for now. Eventually, the name may change and some of the assembly work could transition to Xylem’s Singapore facility.

By 2015, PUB will complete installation of these new Xylem-Visenti monitoring systems across its entire drinking water supply network. It’s an important step forward in improving the country’s water infrastructure and preserving Singapore’s invaluable water supply.
“This technical collaboration with Visenti is a big step in ‘Solving Water,’” says Allan Hendry, regional director of Xylem Greater Asia.