Using IoT technology to protect Dandenong Creek

10 July 2019

Along with our commercial arm Iota, we’ll be trialling seven Advanced BlokAid® devices throughout the Dandenong Creek catchment areas to monitor stormwater drains for illegal disposal.

This is a part of a five-year project called Enhancing our Dandenong Creek where we’re working in partnership with Melbourne Water, the Environment Protection Authority, Yarra Valley Water, Knox City Council, Maroondah City Council and local community groups to improve the health of the water.

Developed and tested by us and shared by Iota, the Advanced BlokAid® devices will use Internet of Things (IoT) technology to remotely monitor and report water flow patterns into Dandenong and Old Joe’s creeks with the aim of identifying anything out of ordinary like illegal disposal of industrial contaminants. Once we identify the source, we can better educate those customers on how to safely dispose waste.

“Our Advanced BlokAid® technology has already helped us detect blockages and assisted in preventing potential spills in our network. We hope to have a positive impact on Dandenong Creek and see similar results,” said our Operational Technology Manager Andrew Forster-Knight.

An innovative design

The Advanced BlokAid® device is compact and lightweight, which means we can move them quickly and easily. At this stage it’s unknown where the contaminants are coming from. The portability of the devices will help all organisations respond to changing conditions and monitor a range of sites more efficiently.

Real-time data benefits

IoT technology allows the devices to send messages from the monitoring location directly to a smartphone or alert system in real-time. This means crews can quickly respond and investigate any potential issues.

“Receiving accurate, timely information will be essential to the success of this project,” said Melbourne Water’s Senior Planning Engineer Heath Baker.

“The devices will give location-specific, up-to-the-minute data which is something we just haven’t had access to before now,” added Mr Baker.

Cost-efficient solution

With a battery life expected to be greater than 10 years, the devices are an efficient and cost-effective way to monitor water networks, and provide 24/7 visibility of underground and hard-to-access assets.

Melbourne’s waterways are home to precious aquatic wildlife and provide local communities with important, liveable spaces to gather, play and celebrate. Our rivers and creeks all eventually find their way to the ocean via Port Phillip or Western Port Bay so it’s important to ensure that our waterways are healthy, clean and free from pollutants and contamination.

“We're living up to one of our core values 'we care'. We’re proud to be a part of this project, protecting our waterways and in turn safeguarding the health of our communities and their local environments,” said Mr Forster-Knight.