How will you meet the new EU’s requirements of risk management?

In the first edition of the EU Drinking Water Directive, preventive safety planning and risk-based approaches were only considered to a limited extend. Later, the WHO’s Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality paved the way for a more detailed action plan to ensure safe drinking water.

EU is requiring a risk-based approach 

It is important to be prepared for any unexpected incidents when managing vital infrastructure such as the water supply system. Article 7 in the updated Drinking Water Directive obligates Member States to implement risk-based approaches for the entire supply system:

“Member States shall ensure that the supply, treatment and distribution of water intended for human consumption is subject to a risk-based approach that covers the whole supply chain.” Intelligent devices integrated on main valves are an essential part of a risk-based approach because it provides: “[…] a possibility for the water supplier to adapt monitoring to the main risk and take the necessary measure to manage the risks identified in the supply chain from the abstraction, treatment, storage and distribution of water.”

The deadline for having the first risk assessment and risk management plans established is by 2026 for all Member States.

Monitoring valves – an essential part of risk management

Water is a one of our most scarce resources which is why we must ensure that the supply is not contaminated, tampered with or wasted. There are certain risks related to treatment and distribution of water as main valves and e.g. hydrants are placed in public places. 

Main valves in the water catchment area and the supply system are key to ensuring efficient and safe drinking water. Unintentional (or even intentional) wrongly positioned valves can have a huge impact on network efficiency and water quality. Thus, the positioning of valves poses a significant risk to the quality of the drinking water.

Controlling and managing pressure 

Not only is pressure a comfort parameter, but it is also a major factor in risk assessment. Especially in areas where topology or long supply lines result in pressure variation, you should consider extensive pressure management as part of the overall risk management.

If insufficient pressure control results in a general higher pressure than required, it will significantly increase the wear and tear of assets and thereby the risk of bursts and supply outages. On the contrary, the consequences of periods with low pressure can also pose a risk as low pressure will lead to intrusion of contaminated water through leak points.

By having your supply area sectioned in manageable pressure zones and being able to control the pressure accurately, you will decrease overall risks related the continuity of your supply. At the same time, you will be able to ensure a safer supply of drinking water for your consumers.

AVK Smart Water technology supports the risk-based approach 

Emerging technology makes it very simple and cost-effective to monitor pressure and main valves in the water system. IoT devices such as the VIDI Positioner along with the VIDI Pressure sensor from the AVK Smart Water portfolio are key devices in any risk management plan as the devices ensure that the utility always has the right information about the valve positions and the pressure in the system.