Amey has joined forces with a specialist supplier in the augmented reality field to develop a new app to address ‘unflushables’ in the sewer network.
The firm will utilise ClicksandLinks technology to show householders right before their eyes how flushing the wrong items would block their drains and sewers.
The app allows sewer operatives to ‘overlay’ a typical sewer network on a customer’s property or surrounding area on their Android mobile phone. The app then runs animations which mock-up how ‘unflushable blockages’ are formed in real time.
It will be piloted across the Severn Trent contract, which serves 4 million properties and 8 million customers across the area.
Currently, blockages are the most frequent waste issue reported to all water companies, with around 70% of sewer blockages on the network caused by unflushables, such as fats, oils, grease, wet wipes etc.
Amey is hoping that the app will be an effective way to increase customer understanding about the impact unflushables have on the water network, and help to prevent future blockages.
Speaking about the app, Ben Hawkins from Amey’s innovation team, said: “The UK water industry spends about £90m a year clearing sewer blockages. Many of these are caused by putting unflushables down the drain. This app is the first of its kind and demonstrates Amey’s commitment to using new technology, in increasingly tech-reliant times, to help our customers visualise and solve these issues.”
The app will be launched in 2020.