Anglian Water - Case Study

The Challenge & Opportunity

With an extensive network of over 76,000 kms of wastewater pipes, Anglian Water were seeking opportunities to leverage new market technology to gain efficiencies in their current network management process. The review of CCTV pipe inspection footage is a costly, resource-intensive, and time-consuming manual task and Anglian Water are not alone in seeking alternative solutions that can streamline this important part of managing and renewing gravity sewer pipes.

Anglian Water partnered with WaterStart, putting forward proposal for innovative solutions to help solve the challenge. VAPAR was selected in round 14 of WaterStart’s request for proposal, as the technology provider for this project.

At the core of VAPAR.Solutions platform is a powerful AI algorithm trained on over 2 million pipe defect examples. The automated condition grading of the inspection footage is aligned to regional standards and guidelines, producing results that met Anglian Water’s requirements.

Project Snapshot

  • Automated review of 10,000 metres of wastewater pipe footage with over 2,200 pipe features digitised in less than 4 hours

  • Improvements on accuracy and workflow turnaround

  • Identified opportunities to optimise pipe renewal prioritisation

About the Client

Anglian Water operates over 113,000 kms of water and sewer pipe asset, which services 6 million people across East of England. Anglian Water are one of the biggest water companies in the UK and a leader in water industry innovation.

The Solution

 A total of 10,000 metres of wastewater pipe inspections were processed with VAPAR.Solutions automatically identifying over 2,200 pipe features directly from the inspection footage using its AI engine. Anglian Water assessed the success of the trial, and suitability for broader market uptake by focusing on three distinct measures: accuracy, workflow turn-around, and asset renewal optimization.

Key findings from the pilots includes:

  • VAPAR.Solutions showed approximately 80% agreement between manual assessment and AI.
  • VAPAR.Solutions showed the potential to decrease the auditing effort required by as much as 30% compared to the current auditing workload.
  • Based on the results, there is an opportunity to optimise renewal spending by as much as 20% by deprioritizing or deferring certain inspections that do not require immediate remediation.

"It has been a great opportunity for Anglian Water to work with VAPAR, an established organisation who understand both the underground network and the A.I. technology, through the WaterStart partnership. As a this is a true digital solution we were able to complete the first trial despite the current pandemic through true global collaboration. Combined with recent technological advances in CCTV data capture/storage systems, the potential future benefits in using an A.I. system is to improve the accuracy and consistency of the data processing whilst also making it faster and cheaper. We have had some extremely promising results from the initial work and look forward with the potential expand the trials"

Anglian Water, Asset Manager

What's Next?

Building on the success of this pilot, Anglian Water is now actively investigating new opportunities with VAPAR by providing the organization options for improved supply chain engagement. Specifically, implementing the automated verification process into the workflow and software ecosystem, providing a streamlined process for Anglian Water teams and their contractors.

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