Cutting-edge Smart Water Management System for safe Arisu
The “Arisu Integrated Information Center” monitors and analyzes all the necessary information from water intake, purification, storage, distribution, and faucet quality management, contributing to producing and delivering stable, clean water to Seoulites.
Established as one of the major mid- to long-term projects of Seoul’s “Ordinance on Water Supply and Waterworks Installation 2020,” the center integrates science into current water production and supply management, thereby enhancing the operation efficiency of facilities. To make the most of the Center, we have applied cutting-edge ICT to our current water.
Overview of the Policy
Production control, supply control, remote control, video-enabled control, and quality control all at once
<< Production control system: The scientific demand-forecasting model enables planned production and efficient pump use, cutting down energy consumption.
<< Supply control system: Block management and online pipe analysis detect leaks and analyze the revenue water ratio.
<< Remote control system: capable of collecting and analyzing the operational information of the entire water supply system on a real-time basis (6 purification stations and 8 reservoirs)
<< Video-enabled control system: double control system for both purification centers and branch offices
<< Water quality control system: The quality of water throughout the water supply process is monitored and made public.
Enhancing work efficiency required an integrated water supply management system
Previously, the management of each facility (purification stations, reservoir, pressurizing stations, etc.) was done separately by unit. Such fragmented system hampered efficiency in water supply management, a problem that called for a new system that would integrate all units. Furthermore, instead of relying solely on experience or intuition in making decisions, a formulaic algorithm needed to be the basis of any decision making.
The answer lay in using an ICT-enabled automated system in the entire water supply process to integrate all management-related tasks and analyze the collected data in a scientific, logical way.
An integrated control system needed to be in place to prepare for any sudden change
Internally, our Office has seen frequent organizational changes and gradual reduction of workforce. Therefore, to prepare for any personnel change, an automatic system that can analyze and manage all the data regarding water production and supply was of paramount importance. Externally, climate change and subsequent abnormal weather patterns have emerged as serious issues. Against this backdrop, there was a need for an integrated monitoring system (CP) that can see, monitor, and check all information including water flow, hydraulic pressure, etc.
Process of Policy Implementation
Setting up a plan to create the Arisu Integrated Information Center
Seoul’s “Ordinance on Water Supply and Waterworks Installation 2020” lays the blueprint for establishing the basic functions and the required system for the “Arisu Integrated Information Center,” whose details were included in the working drawings. In particular, during this stage, extensive research and information collection were done on hardware, software, and existing system, to be used as the basis for more concrete implementation plans.
Developing the Arisu Integrated Information System
It took about 2 years and 6 months (from June 2009 to December 2011) to create the system. At an early stage, project managers visited other well-known, similar sites (Japan, K-Water, Busan City, etc.) to benchmark best practices so as to minimize trial and error and reduce the time required for system creation.
Launching a task force and constructing the Center
In September 2011, which is before the completion of the center, a task force team that took charge of the 3-month pilot run of the system was launched. After the pilot run, we added an important feature, which is the automatic report printing module.
We also ran a consistency test for the video-enabled control system and remote control system. Through the pilot run, on December 18, 2011, the Center was finally completed, and the system was up and running. Running the Center and the System together helped us achieve our stated goal of controlling and reproducing the information needed to operate the water supply system in the most stable, efficient way.
The System also integrated the automatic water quality control system that was previously taken care of by the Water Supply Research Institute, linking the water quality data with the production/supply/remote control systems.
Details of the Policy
Production Control System
This system is equipped with a scientific demand-forecasting model that enables finding out how much water should be produced at the purification centers and when to operate the pump. Previously, such decisions were made only on the basis of water level at the purification stations & reservoirs along with the experience of staff; with the new System, however, we have a more scientific approach that utilizes water distribution patterns by time period, previous operation data analysis, seasonal information, and meteorological information, among others. Based on these data, each purification center forms its production plan every 24, 48, and 72 hours and operates pumps accordingly. Such new practice leads to an optimal level of production, saves energy, and cuts down the tap water production cost.
Supply Control & Management System
This system monitors major data (water volume, hydraulic pressure, water quality, etc.) to prevent any accident and to allow evidence-based, fast decision making for recovery in case of emergencies or accidents (leak, water contamination). For this system, we developed a mathematical pipe analysis program that accurately calculates pressure and water flow in each water pipe throughout Seoul.
This pipe analysis program uses real-time water volume and pipe size, length, height, and pump features. It has proven to be effective in analyzing the revenue water ratio and in addressing water interruptions.
Remote Control System
This system is capable of collecting and analyzing the operational information of the entire water supply system on a real-time basis (6 purification stations and 8 branch offices), all of which used to be managed separately.
With the remote control system, any information related to operation in 82,500 facilities (including all production, supply, and distribution facilities in Seoul) such as water quality, water level, pressure, pump operation, and electricity use are all transferred to this system and collected in its integrated database. The database enables performing comparative analysis on such extensive information, which could not be done when they were handled separately by each purification center. The system has improved our decision-making process, leading to higher efficiency.
To assist better in the monitoring practices on a real-time basis, a 67-inch DLP Cube (with 18 screens) is installed along with sound alarm in case of emergency within the facility.
Video-enabled Control System
For purification centers and branch offices, a dual control system that can check the situation of all facilities is in place with 690 surveillance screens. Conference call system is available in case any urgent meeting needs to be held prior to decision making.
Water Quality Control System (Seoul Water Now = SWN)
This system analyzes water-related data (pH, turbidity, residual chlorine, etc.) coming from automatic readers installed throughout the water production and supply system. The system issues alert or warning depending on how far the current situation exceeds or falls short of the permissible level. It also sends text messages to the staff in charge so that immediate response measures can be taken.
Besides the analysis and alert functions of the system, it also stores all the information in the form of database that can readily be analyzed scientifically. Most importantly, the system lets citizens access up-to-date information on the quality of water. Thus, it won the 2009 UN Public Service Awards for upholding citizens’ right to know.
※ Required Budget for the System: 18.3 billion won (7.3 billion won for the Arisu Integrated Information Center & System; 11 billion won for the Automatic Water Quality Control System)
Know-how & Insights
Production Control System
One problem we faced was the ±10% margin of error in our demand prediction due to the inaccuracy in some of the data (previous water volume, meteorological data, etc.) To address the margin of error, we corrected the water volume data for the past 5 years, inspected the sites ourselves to compare the accuracy, and specified the weather information of KMA into 12 types. Such efforts eventually paid off, and the margin of error was reduced to ±3%.
Supply Control System
Mathematical, real-time water pipe monitoring and analysis require highly accurate data on pipe size, length, height, valve properties, and other data from GIS. Note, however, that accuracy is compromised during pipe repair and maintenance works; this in turn affects the supply control system‘s ability to make precise analysis. To resolve this issue, we developed another program that automatically reflects the changes in GIS on the supply control system.
Remote Control System
The best way to deal with various tag values for the remote control system is to standardize them all together. Since this measure requires significant time and budget, however, we decided to add a set prefix before every tag value so that we can achieve a level of standardization without having to change everything that has been in use before.
Video-enabled Control System
Given the big size of video data, we needed proper bandwidth for the data to be transmitted. We resolved this issue by setting 10G, NIS-certified exclusive line for this system and renting some line from telecommunications companies.
Water Quality Control System
Real-time water quality monitoring and public disclosure of the information require accurate measuring devices, efficient operation of the devices, and stable transmission of the data. To ensure accuracy, we had companies specializing in manufacturing such devices provide technical support including maintenance of devices on a regular basis. We also monitored the data transmission status regularly and took countermeasures immediately should any issue arise.
In addition, we provided high-level training programs for system operators and held workshops to share best practices and know-how on system and device management.
Thanks to the “Arisu Integrated Information System,” the operation budget for water production and supply was cut; thus improving the management efficiency to a great extent. In particular, the production control system, which makes a close prediction of water demand and pump usage, helped cut down electricity cost by 2 billion in 2013 alone. This is equivalent to 270 tons of greenhouse gas emission cutting effect.
The supply control system enables mathematical pipe analysis that allows the early detection of potential leaks and reduction of repair time, which in turn improves the revenue water ratio. The water quality control system helped prevent water-related accidents, thereby achieving our goal of “zero accident” in Seoul.
Instead of relying solely on the experience of our staff, decision making is now complemented by the scientific analysis of data and automatic analysis. This helped streamline the work process in the most innovative way.
Previously, a call had to be placed to report an accident, which will then be handled. Today, the Arisu Integrated Information System centrally controls and responds to any issue automatically. The same is true for water quality management; instead of each branch office doing its own monitoring and site inspection, the central system performs control and analysis, and all facilities are linked by the integrated system.
The success of the Arisu Integrated Information Center can be attributed to the following three factors:
First, success was enabled by thorough and exhaustive research on the existing operating system as well as case studies of information systems in Korea and abroad. The Office of Waterworks performed complete enumeration survey and exhaustive research on the existing systems. We went a step further and analyzed the strengths & weaknesses of other water information centers in K-Water, Busan Metropolitan City Government, Tokyo, Fukuoka, and Paris; such information was used to identify the best hardware and software for Seoul.
Second, the Center became more competitive thanks to the software and algorithm that were newly developed for the Center. The integration was not limited to the physical integration of systems that were previously operated separately; it also included the new development of software to link data organically among all the systems. In particular, this system links various sets of data such as meteorological data, water consumption patterns of citizens, pipes properties, etc. This is one of the most distinguishing aspects of Seoul’s Arisu Integrated Information Center.
Third, continuous efforts for the maintenance and upgrade of the system played a big part in the overall success. A task force team, which was launched before system development was completed, identified the areas of improvements and took measures accordingly. In 2011, we assigned a group of staff tasked with upgrading the accuracy of the system continuously by comparing the result value taken from the system with the value taken on the spot.
Applicability of the Policy
This next-generation, cutting-edge, IT-based water supply management system can be applied to Southeast Asian nations, Latin American countries, and other developing nations to upgrade their own water supply management system.
From 2011 to 2013, 353 people from 37 domestic organizations and 184 people from 16 different countries have visited the “Arisu Integrated Information Center” for learning and benchmarking.
What does the future of the “Arisu Integrated Information Center” look like?
From the beginning, we set 3 stages for the Center.
In the first stage, the goal is to create the basic and most necessary system to manage production & supply operation and which integrates data and video. This particular goal was achieved in 2011.
In the second stage, the goal is to add the newly developed advanced purification process to the system and to build the block management system in order to ensure overall precision of the system. This stage is set to be completed by 2016.
In the third stage, the goal is creating a system wherein decision making can be remotely controlled and made. The entire process of water supply in Seoul is integrated into the system and can be perfectly managed by the least manpower necessary. This system is also linked to the Data Warehouse in Seoul so that the information can be served to the public when necessary.