- Water technology company Xylem installed North America's first "intelligent" wastewater pumping system in Washington, D.C. last month, according to a company press release.
- The system, named the Flygt Concertor, can sense the operating conditions of its environment and change its performance in real time as well as provide feedback to pumping station operators. Xylem also notes the system can produce energy savings of up to 70% compared to conventional pumping systems.
- In addition to the installation, Xylem and the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on future innovations.
DC Water already runs an advanced wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of 384 million gallons per day and a peak capacity of more than 1 billion gallons per day. The treatment plant has the world's largest thermal hydrolysis facility and anaerobic digesters that, along with the onsite combined heat and power plant, provide one-third of the plant's energy needs. DC Water is also in the process of constructing projects that would help to eliminate untreated combined sewer overflows.
There are many investments put toward making water systems work better. In 2012, South Bend, IN became the first city in the world to put its sewer system in the cloud. The Hoosier city was going to have to spend an estimated $100 million on new pipes until a $6 million investment in sensors improved the sewer system to the point upgrades were no longer needed, all while preventing polluted water from going into local waterways.
More work like South Bend’s could help save money as the country’s aging water infrastructure is upgraded. Over $105 billion is needed for wastewater funding, according to the 2017 American Society of Civil Engineer infrastructure report card.