Sofiyska Voda with a record investment program and digital innovations in 2022

  • The biggest investments for the last 12 years have been planned for this year
  • Water quality and investments in the water network remain the top priority
  • The company is a pioneer in a number of digital services for its customers, such as open banking; leaks on the network will be detected using also satellite technology

In 2022, Sofiyska Voda, operated by Veolia, is planning to invest over 51 M BGN in improving the WSS infrastructure of the capital and upgrading the services for the customers. This is the biggest amount of investments realized within one calendar year for the last 12 years. By comparison, in 2021 the company invested over 40 M BGN vs. 38.9 M BGN planned.

In 2022, the WSS operator has envisaged the construction and rehabilitation of over 40 km of water mains and sewers. The major projects are for reconstruction of water mains in Mladost and Lyulin residential quarters to guarantee reliability of the water supply to over 350,000 citizens of the capital. Many problematic sections of the impounding structures to Mladost r.q. are gradually being replaced, as the value of this investment project is 1.1 M BGN. Impounding structures of 1.6 km to Moderno Predgradie reservoir supplying Lyulin r.q. are also being replaced, the project value being 4 M BGN.

A major project for the year is the development of the geographic information system (GIS), which is the “roadmap” for the WSS facilities in the city. The most advanced solutions are integrated and rapid and detailed information will now be provided in real time in the event of connection to the WSS network, rehabilitation activities; to the technical departments of the Municipality of Sofia, etc.  Also, GIS will allow customers to submit alerts and precisely designate their location only with a click.

“Digitalization remains a priority for us. Firstly, because thus we can manage the water supply systems in real time with better quality, more efficiently and faster. Secondly, because thus we provide more and more modern services and conveniences. Nearly 50% of our customers use digital services, and 200 thousand – e-invoices. This year, we are actively broadening the digital possibilities, and in many ways we are the first utility company in Bulgaria to implement innovations like open banking and other interactive services”, said Vasil Trenev, Executive Director of Sofiyska Voda, operated by Veolia.

This month, Sofiyska Voda, operated by Veolia, implemented the pay-by-click service, allowing the customers to pay their bills through their profile on the website and the mobile application and select on their own the bank account from which to order the payment directly. And very soon, an even easier and fast option will be implemented – the pay-by-link service, which will enable customers to pay their bills directly via a link from the e-invoice they receive by email. The systems are currently being prepared, so that no physical presence is required and each service, for which the customers come to the office, may be requested and provided online.

This year innovative technological solutions are also being introduced for enhancing the efficiency of the network monitored with smart devices. Trunk water mains located outside the populated areas are already being surveyed with the help of satellite images, thus leakage is detected and failures are prevented.

The company presented also the large-scale projects implemented in 2021:

  • During the past year, water quality compliance was 99.22%, which is more than the requirement under Ordinance No. 9 for large water supply systems.
  • 41 km of water mains and 3.2 km of sewers were rehabilitated and constructed.
  • With all environmental innovations, the optimization of the cogeneration process and the commissioned new digester, the company generated 85% of the electricity it consumed in 2021.
  • By a few innovative technological solutions under international research projects, digital control and better quality of the potable water and sewer network structures were achieved.
  • The company launched a long-term program to support the start-up ecosystem in Bulgaria in partnership with Innovation Starter Accelerator.
  • Together with the Clean&Circle Center of Competence with the Faculty of Biology of Sofia University, a method was developed for testing SARS - COV-2 in the wastewater, which is an additional indicator of the pandemic intensity.
  • At the end of the year, Sofia occupied the second place in Europe and the sixth place in the world according to the 2021 City Water Optimization Index developed by The Economist, coming ahead of cities such as London and Copenhagen, etc.
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