TasWater is using centralised data to collect information to help predict when blockages are most likely to occur in sewerage pumping stations.

The Shellfish Futures conference held in Hobart heard how centralised data already being collected is being used in a new way to protect shellfish areas in Tasmania.

Alexander Jovcic, Department Manager of Service Optimisation at TasWater presented an innovative program at TasWater where data that is automatically received in a central control centre is being used to predict when blockages are most likely to occur in sewerage pump stations.

This allows TasWater to respond more rapidly and investigate possible sewerage spills faster than ever before.

“This is the first time this data has been used this way in Tasmania and we are excited to be running this trial at the moment just east of Hobart at Midway Point,” said Mr Jovcic.

The new methodology involves monitoring how fast sewage pump stations fill, then comparing this with historic data at each site and looking at rainfall data in the area. If the tanks are filling at a slower rate than they should be, a potential blockage could be occurring in the system and technicians can quickly investigate.

If a spill does occur, its potential impact can quickly be assessed and both the Environmental Protection Authority and Oysters Tasmania can be notified to mitigate the risks associated with the incident.

TasWater worked closely with the Environmental Protection Authority in developing a new response plan to more efficiently gauge any sewerage spill and provide the best response.

“TasWater is investing significantly in the upgrade of sewerage infrastructure around the state as part of the 10-year capital works plan. Depending on how the trial goes, we’re hopeful this program can be used wherever our assets are in high risk areas and significantly reduce the impact of spills and help TasWater work more responsively with shellfish growers for better outcomes,” said Mr Jovcic.

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