South East Water continues to drive innovation at scale and was last night the recipient of two prestigious awards for its groundbreaking digital transformation program building a sophisticated digital and customer network across Melbourne’s south-east.  

IoT Alliance Australia granted the IoT Smart Places & Infrastructure Award to South East Water for its innovative use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to reduce customer bills, prevent water wastage, monitor sewer spills and manage water pressure and pump controls. 

South East Water was also the recipient of the prestigious Interoperability Award. This award recognises a system or product’s capability to communicate, share data and work with other systems or products.

As organisations cannot nominate for this award, the judging panel put forward outstanding entries from other categories in recognition of their achievements in this key area. 

South East Water General Manager Digital Utility, Andrew Forster-Knight said the accolades reflected the water organisation’s innovation and demonstrate the exciting work happening in the water industry. 

“We’re honoured to see our digital utility projects recognised for the work we’re doing to transform our business and protect our water supply for generations to come. The water industry is embarking upon a significant period of transformation as we digitise our network and see the benefits of a connected network.” 

South East Water’s IoT network of sensors uses cloud-based storage technology, with close to 5 million data points being collected each day and used for insights, workflows and process automation. 

The IoT technology has already produced tangible results in the digital metering program, saving an estimated $3m in customer charges and 0.5 GL of water. So far, almost 100,000 end points have been established, serving a wide range of business needs. 

Andrew said the revolutionary program is already bringing many benefits to the customers, community and the environment. 

“We know water scarcity and climate change impacts are increasing the need to manage and use water efficiently. At the same time customers and communities can expect to be kept informed of their real-time water usage."  
“Our technology provides an opportunity to help address these challenges, so we can continue to provide the best possible customer experience while saving money.”
South East Water General Manager, Digital Utility - Andrew Forster-Knight

South East Water was also a finalist in the ‘IoT for Good’ category, meaning that nominated projects had to fulfil at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which South East Water continues to proudly support. 

While many elements of the digital transformation program undoubtedly improve customer experience, South East Water remains committed to minimising waste and reducing its footprint to help ease pressure on precious drinking water supplies.  

South East Water’s leak detection program, which is part of the digital transformation initiative, was recognised by the Australian Water Association at the Ozwater’23 conference. 

Image L-R: Frank Zeichner, CEO IoT Alliance Australia; and Jonathan Crook, South East Water Group Manager Analytics and Performance.

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