Severn Trent is set to begin phase two of its smart unit roll out to prevent flooding from blockages caused by wet wipes, cooking fat and other unflushables.
Over 1,500 units have already been installed in Wolverhampton and Sutton Park since the trial started in September 2020, and phase two will see another 3,000 units deployed across the Severn Trent region, including Birmingham, Derby, Stoke on Trent and Nottingham. The company plans to install a total of 40,000 units over the next five years.
The battery-powered devices use a hanging sensor to detect rising water levels with a tilt switch and communicate data back to the control room. If an alert is triggered, a team of engineers can respond to investigate and clear any blockages forming before a more serious incident occurs.
Tactical asset planning manager, Margaret Williams, said: “Following the successful installation of our first 1,500 units, we are really pleased to be able to quickly follow on with phase two. These units will be installed in blockage, flooding and pollution hotspot areas across the region where we have identified a higher than normal amount of incidents.”
Severn Trent clears thousands of blockages every year, with approximately 70% of them being caused by the wrong things being put down the sink and toilet.
Margaret added: “The units give us the opportunity to gain a much clearer understanding of what is happening in the sewers in real time and have the potential to play a key role in the early identification of blockage incidents caused by people putting the wrong things down the toilet and drain, which would be a fantastic outcome for everyone.”