An innovative project which used new technology to pinpoint leaks scooped three top industry awards for South East Water.

The company’s Smart Network trial won Data Project of the Year, Most Innovative Project of the Year and Water Innovation Project of the Year at the prestigious Water Industry Awards.

It involved bringing together 15 specialist companies to test cutting edge digital water meters, sensors, advanced analytics and telecommunications channels for a year-long trial for 2,000 customers in north Kent.

South East Water, which supplies 2.2 million customers in parts of Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, was the first utility in England to combine all the elements into a Smart Network.

The aim was to test the potential to find even the smallest leaks on the company’s network and customers’ pipework and even predict and prevent pipeline failure before it happens. Data produced also allowed South East Water to have more detailed conversations with its customers about water use.

South East Water’s Chief Executive Officer, David Hinton said: “We are absolutely delighted to be recognised for our industry-leading achievements in each of these categories.

“The Smart Network project was an industry first and we are very proud to be leading the way with innovation to find solutions. We hope the Smart Network will revolutionise the way we look for and prevent leaks in the future, further reducing interruptions to supply, reducing the water we take from the environment and increasing the resilience of the service we provide to our customers.”

“The receipt of this award recognises the great expertise, dedication and experience all the teams involved brought to ensure the success of the project and I am really pleased to see their efforts rewarded.”

The water company was also a finalist in skills and workforce initiative of the year and water company of the year categories.

South East Water worked alongside 15 vendors in the Smart Water Network trial: Jacobs, ZTec, Xylem, Vodafone UK, Arqiva, Sensus - a Xylem brand, Syrinix, Visenti - a Xylem brand, Gutermann, Honeywell, Diehl, ATi, HWM, Technolog and Advizzo.

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