Satellite technology detects water leaks in hard-to-reach places in Sofia

Satellite technology detects water leaks in hard-to-reach places in Sofia

SatGeo and Sofiyska Voda, operated by Veolia, deployed a new powerful tool in the fight to reduce water losses


02.11.2022

On the average, six failures a month are detected by SatGeo and Sofiyska Voda with the innovative monitoring system using satellite images. The goal of the two companies is to use the new technology to locate leaks in hard-to-reach places near Sofia and hidden leaks on the network in order to reduce water losses.

"For more than a year, SatGeo has detected numerous failures on the water network, some of them reaching 20 liters per second.  As a total result for the period, we note a reduction of water losses by 1.5 million m3, which is a significant support towards the goals of Sofiyska Voda!" This is what the founder of SatGeo - Bilyana Nikolova said. The young company won the support of Sofiyska Voda, operated by Veolia, during the Innovation Starter initiative to discover and motivate new startup innovators in various fields.

How does the new satellite technology actually work?
Every month, the two companies exchange information and jointly survey large strategic water mains in out-of-town, hard-to-reach places where water passes on its way from Rila to the capital. Sofiyska Voda provides coordinates for sections of the network for the SatGeo team to survey, and they return suggestions of potential leaks from analysis of satellite images. Depending on the result of their analysis, an operation team of Sofiyska Voda specialists checks on site and, in case there is indeed a leak, repair works are organized to eliminate it.
"We discovered the first leaks almost immediately after starting the tests and validating the methodology. There were three leaks in close proximity to each other. One was visible, the water was already on the surface, and the other two were hidden. Thanks to the precise work of the specialists of Sofiyska Voda in the field, the hidden leaks that we had located were also discovered and removed," says Bilyana Nikolova from SatGeo.
About SatGeo
SatGeo is a startup, which won in 2021 the first place in Innovation Starter Accelerator, whose partner is Sofiyska Voda, operated by Veolia. The role of the WSS operator is exactly to validate the working innovations which have the real chance to be implemented in the business, as well as to provide an opportunity and an area for some of the startups to realize their idea.  
“Like most innovations, the idea was born by chance. Following the crisis with the Studena Dam, I wrote a project proposal to the European Space Agency (ESA) on the development of a system for monitoring the water levels in the dams in Bulgaria by using satellite images.  The project was very much appreciated by the ESA’s experts and that encouraged me to seek also other applications of the satellite technologies in the water sector. My idea was initially to develop a solution for surveillance and monitoring of the irrigated areas, which is a much easier task in comparison with the leak detection one. A friend of mine from Sofiyska Voda – Ani Manyarova, drew my attention to the started at that time call of Innovation Starter as a possible option to present the idea of leak detection on the water network before the Sofia WSS operator. With the tremendous support provided by Sofiyska Voda, the idea was turned into a reality and already for a year and a half we have been working together”, Nikolova shared.


What is our way forward?
SatGeo will continue to develop and they plan a pilot project in other countries where Veolia Group operates with the idea of joining the common goal of the companies for protecting the natural resources and their effective management.  


 

More news
Innovative ideas for sustainable future gathered speakers from CEE region in Sofia

Innovative ideas for sustainable future gathered speakers from CEE region in Sofia

Possibilities to support pilot projects for sustainable development were...

How does Veolia and other Corporates And VCs Work Together To Accelerate Green Innovation?

How does Veolia and other Corporates And VCs Work Together To Accelerate Green Innovation?

The impact of green technologies on the environment is best achieved if done at...

Podcast Na Х 2 vodi: The Sofia water in reports

Lyubomir Filipov, Strategic Partnerships and Regulation Director, answers the questions

92% satisfied customers with the WSS services in Sofia in 2022

92% satisfied customers with the WSS services in Sofia in 2022

The sociological survey of Alpha Research agency has indicated a significant increase in the confidence in drinking water quality and use of the digital services of Sofiyska Voda, operated by Veolia