A £100 MILLION investment by Scottish Water over the next five years in Internet of Things (IoT) technology will enable it to predict problems in its waste water infrastructure before they impact customers and help the company achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

The IoT technology, which is being trialled in flood-prone Erskine, Inverness, Lossiemouth and East Calder, uses sensors that detect blockages, and having already averted flooding in customers’ premises, Scottish Water will extend the technology to other areas that have similar issues.

Chris Toop, Scottish Water’s general manager, digital, said: “We are very encouraged by the early results from our pilot works.

“The innovative use of sensors and analytics represents a much bigger shift towards predicting and preventing issues before they impact on our customers and environment.”

IoT technology will also benefit 17 wastewater treatment works, the first being at Laighpark in Paisley, by giving real-time data on water treatment and critical machinery, making maintenance more responsive while saving energy, extending the equipment’s working life and reducing site visits.

Joyce Gray, Scottish Water's wastewater business manager, said: “This is a complex programme of works and a critical part of our digital transformation which will allow us to make better operational decisions and be more efficient, particularly in relation to energy consumption.”

Wastewater treatment is highly energy-intensive, contributing 71% to Scottish Water’s carbon footprint, and Atos and Capgemini are Scottish Water’s digital partners in the project.

Neil Holland, Atos client partner, said: “Atos is delighted to be working with Scottish Water,” while Paul Haggerty, UK head of energy and utilities at Capgemini, said: “We are proud to support Scottish Water to drive change in performance and carbon reduction in wastewater treatment.”