SIWAtec: IoT in Worldwide Use for Clean Drinking Water

01.09.2022 by Annalena Rauen
Crane lifts water treatment container from a truck


 

SIWAtec water specialists have developed a container solution for the treatment of drinking water on site. The Internet of Things enables the solution to be monitored remotely.

SIWAtec is a water specialist – from desalinating sea water for the world’s largest sulfuric acid production facility in Saudi Arabia, membrane degassing of water for hydrogen production in petrochemicals and treating boiler feed water with ion exchangers for a refinery’s energy supply to producing drinking water from sea or river water.

An area in which the Butzbach, Hesse, headquartered medium-sized company specializes is the production of pure water for industrial customers and of drinking water for local water suppliers such as waterworks. SIWAtec Wassertechnik GmbH develops and installs water treatment facilities that produce drinking water all over the world from sea water, well or surface water like lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. For local use the company has developed a modular mobile container solution, the SIWAbox. SIWAtec specialists deliver the container by truck and connect it to the raw water, wastewater and drinking water mains and to the electricity supply as available. The facility can also be run autonomously and on solar power. Container solutions can be tested beforehand at the manufacturer’s premises. The on-site installation takes only a short time.

Drinking Water Facts & Figures

  • More than 6,000 water suppliers all over Germany ensure the quality of drinking water.

  • Around 70% of drinking water in Germany is produced from ground and well water and around 30% from surface water.

  • In 2021 German households, small businesses, industry, and other consumers used nearly 4.7 billion cubic meters of drinking water.

  • The pH value of drinking water is between 7.0 and 8.5, or neutral to slightly alkaline.

  • Only 0.3% of the world’s water reserves is available as drinking water.

  • The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends a daily liquid consumption of 1.5 liters.

  • About 2.2 billion people around the world have no regular access to clean water and nearly 800 million do not even have a basic supply of drinking water.


(Sources: Umweltbundesamt, BDEW, UNICEF)

The container solution’s greatest advantage is its mobility. It can supply drinking water from a direct connection to a water source or be installed at the consumer’s site. The system is also suitable for use in disaster areas where the infrastructure has been destroyed and drinking water treatment is problematic. The short distance from water treatment to the consumer has many advantages. Suppliers no longer need to lay miles and miles of pipes and install additional pumps, which reduces setup costs enormously. No water is lost in transit, thereby conserving a valuable resource. And the facility is on site for only as long as it is required. If, say, the pre-disaster supply is restored, the container is simply unhitched and taken away by truck.

Advantages of Mobile Container Solution for Water Treatment


  • Assembly costs are reduced to a minimum
  • Commissioning and trial run possible at the manufacturer’s
  • No additional space required
  • Individually configurable
  • Safe from high water and flooding

In the past a SIWAtec technician had to visit the site at regular intervals to check the facility and the quality of drinking water produced. The company was looking for a way to connect the mobile drinking water containers and thereby achieve two objectives: to operate and service SIWAbox containers more efficiently – i.e. remotely – and to read the data remotely and make it available to its customers.

IoT Makes it Possible

The solution is provided by the Internet of Things (IoT). An IoT gateway from Telekom hardware partner HMS Networks collects measurement data such as pH value, flow rate, and temperature at the drinking water treatment facility’s different sensors and sends it directly via the LTE network to Telekom's IoT Cloud. SIWAtec Wassertechnik and the water suppliers then have access to the processed and visualized data on a Web portal.

What the Cloud of Things Delivers


  • Constant access to all assets

  • Easy device management

  • Overview of all locations

  • Monitoring of operating states

  • Definition of alarms and rules

  • Assignment of roles and rights

  • OTA software update installation

If a measurement deviates from the defined limit, SIWAtec is notified automatically by the cloud portal. SIWAtec technicians can then access the facility remotely and change a setting by, for instance, opening or shutting a valve. Remote access makes regular callout services unnecessary, which saves time, personnel input, and fuel. It also reduces the CO2 emissions of vehicles that the service provider can put to demand-oriented and more efficient use.


 

„Water provision is one of the challenges of our time that we can solve jointly.“

– Frank Schlichtherle, CEO and founder of SIWAtec


 

A further advantage of data processing in real time is that if the processed water meets the required quality standard, which in Germany, for example,  is specified in the official drinking water regulations, it can be fed straight into the drinking water mains. It would otherwise have to be stored until it was checked manually. SIWAtec can also offer customers more efficient services such as continuous on-screen access to the quality and quantity of water treated. Service recommendations and predictive maintenance are further benefits. So connecting containers on the Internet of Things helps ensure a sustainable local water supply.

The first connected containers are already in use in Brandenburg, Spain and the UK.


 

Global IoT Connectivity


Global IoT Connectivity

Around the world there are application areas for the Internet of Things – and T IoT now has a tariff that makes connectivity simpler everywhere. One provider, one pricing, one international connectivity solution.

More about T IoT

Around the world there are application areas for the Internet of Things – and T IoT now has a tariff that makes connectivity simpler everywhere. One provider, one pricing, one international connectivity solution.

More about T IoT

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Annalena Rauen
Annalena Rauen

Marketing Managerin IoT

Back in 2016, Anna worked on IoT topics at Deutsche Telekom for the first time. Since then, she has been supporting customer best practices in a wide range of industries – always focusing on the benefits that the Internet of Things can provide. Her IoT blogposts describe real use cases and the value these innovations add to market players, their business models, and even entire industries.