Tackling Wastewater Infiltration: A Collaborative Pilot Program Examining gHost SaaS Efficacy

A Collaborative Pilot Program Examining gHost SaaS Efficacy

A common challenge experienced among local governments is wastewater network infiltration, which presents both a financial risk to utilities, and a health risk to surrounding communities. In response to unexpected inflows of groundwater and stormwater into the network, utilities are required to repair, replace and revamp their assets and infrastructure to rectify the damage caused. Without a good system in place, the consequences of infiltration can quickly extend to affect a council’s public health level, causing a higher risk of odour generation and exposure to untreated wastewater.

In an effort to address this common issue, GTS Group and its Solutions as a Service (SaaS) company, gHost, teamed up with Oberon Council, Mid-Western Regional Council and Orange City Council to gain a common understanding of infiltration as a challenge, and to test how it can be mitigated through a pilot program utilising gHost’s Rainfall-Derived Inflow and Infiltration (RDII) solution. The final pilot review meeting, hosted in Mudgee, saw the conclusion of the program and took time to consider how well gHost’s solutions supported all three councils’ wastewater management. The closing review invited participation from additional councils across NSW and QLD who all shared the same challenges – to analyse and quantify infiltration in their catchments and networks.

It's possible to quantify the volume and effects of infiltration in near real-time.
Tom Hughes
Subscription Services Manager

The immediate benefits of the gHost infiltration SaaS noted by Council stakeholders were:

  • Validating and building confidence in their sewer hydraulic model.
  • Highlighting catchment areas of the network which warrant further investigation, and helping to rank those catchments, leading to data-driven decision making.
  • The strategic capability to measure the level (reduction, increase and quantified change) of infiltration over the long-term, and the impact capital works are having on that change – e.g., sewer relining, and manhole rehabilitation.
  • Automated reporting supports compliance with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. Time that was once used to manually generate reports can now be better applied elsewhere.
  • Security and Governance over Control Systems such as SCADA.

The benefits of integrating gHost solutions into Control System data were further expressed by Melanie Slimming, from Forbes Shire Council. Separate to the Infiltration pilot, Forbes Shire Council has been running a gHost pilot of their own, focused on sewerage pump station operations. Their pilot has successfully provided clear visibility over the health of Forbes’ sewer pumps, with automated daily reports providing a view of current asset health, complemented by dashboards displaying performance and operations metrics in real-time.

Using gHost’s SaaS, asset managers no longer need to dig through SCADA or purchase niche solutions in order to gain visibility over asset health, performance and operation. At gHost, it’s our goal to deliver value by utilising real-time data as its own asset. It has been a pleasure to work with this group of councils who look to the future and work to better leverage existing data and systems. By embracing an enterprise architecture and platform, we hope to drive better outcomes for communities.

With dashboards, you can see trends that you might not look for in spreadsheets. It can help asset managers avoid tunnel vision.
Melanie Slimmings
Water and Sewer Manager

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