Danish technology to improve the aquatic environment and save society millions


Every year, society invests billions in the maintenance, replacement and expansion of our technical water systems to better handle the challenges we face – e.g. in connection with cloudbursts. The problem is that it is currently too expensive and difficult to monitor every sewer overflow in the country.

The utility companies know that sewage will spill into nature from the sewer drainage systems when it rains heavily. Yet they do not know where the situation is most severe, or where limiting it would be most beneficial. New digital tools from Aalborg University will soon help in that respect.

Researchers from BUILD, among others, are developing smart sensors and advanced data processing that can help the authorities determine how best to prevent overflow. Improved efficiency of even a few percent in the maintenance efforts could result in annual economic gains of several hundred million kroner. Not least, it would greatly benefit the aquatic environment.

By combining the most recent knowledge about hydraulic modelling with very powerful computers, it is possible to get an insight into the movement of water that has not been available before. At the same time, thousands of sensors around the city combined with artificial intelligence will provide an “X-ray” of the water in the city and give water companies better opportunities to make the right decisions.

The project is supported by Innovation Fund Denmark.

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