Digital solutions

SUEZ and ASTERRA secure contract with Portsmouth Water for Satellite Leak Detection Technology

SUEZ and ASTERRA join forces to revolutionise leak detection for Portsmouth Water using advanced satellite technology.

SUEZ, leader in circular and digital solutions in waste and water services, in collaboration with technology partner ASTERRA UK, has been selected to provide satellite leak detection services to Portsmouth Water over the next year, with initial results looking promising to extend the partnership over an additional 4 years. The solution, which scans large sections of the network twice a year, including distribution and trunk mains, helps deliver on Portsmouth Water’s commitment to reduce water leaks by half by 2040, 10 years earlier than the current government target.

The service provided to Portsmouth Water uses patented satellite-mounted Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology to detect water leaks as deep as 3 metres below ground, with a single scan covering up to 3,500, efficiently optimising repair planning. Its precise algorithms identify distinct water leakage patterns, offering geographic information system (GIS) data files, which are overlaid with the system owners’ pipe layer to create a ‘highlighted pipe’ image.

The first set of results delivered in September 2023 revealed impressive outcomes of 43 leaks detected from the first 55 Points of Interest (POIs). 

Satellite leak detection is a key component to comprehensively prevent, reduce, and efficiently detect leakages within water networks. Proved to be non-invasive, cost-effective, and scalable, the cutting-edge technology identifies more leaks daily than conventional methods, and significantly improves field crew efficiency by over 300%. So far, SUEZ and ASTERRA have helped scan over 260,000 km of drinking water pipes, saving 83M L/D (million litres per day). 

Sole providers of this technology in the UK, SUEZ, along with ASTERRA, have a long history of successful satellite leak detection service for UK water utilities and have recently expanded the service to detect exfiltration in wastewater networks.

Jim Barker, Head of Water Resources at Portsmouth Water Limited, said: “We have been really encouraged by the start that we’ve made with our investigations into the Points of Interest, and look forward to building on our early success. We have invested heavily in our Acoustic Fixed Network over the last 5 years, which monitors around 90% of our ferrous network. The focus from the satellite technology is to reduce leakage on our non-ferrous network and strategic trunk mains, where our acoustics are not as reliable, and this proactive approach has already yielded some good early results.

Connor Foxall, UK Sales Channel Manager at ASTERRA, said: "It's great to be working with Portsmouth Water, in supporting their leak detection program to allow their field crews to locate more leaks and help drive down background, hard to find leakage. ASTERRA looks forward to working closely together and building a long-term relationship.

Nick Haskins, Business Development Manager at SUEZ, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract and very much look forward to working together with Portsmouth Water. Acting as the trusted partner of our clients to support them across the waste value chain is the core mission of SUEZ. Thus, building long-term relationships with the supply chain will be key in the coming years if we are going to meet the challenging targets set by regulators. Introducing innovative solutions requires trust between supplier, the client, and the teams on the ground, which has been the key in this exciting project.

SUEZ Portsmouth