Smart stormwater drains

The Smart Drains project is a cross-sectoral collaboration with Downer, Yarra Valley Ranges Council, Fujitsu and EYEfi, which aims to provide a solution to the increasing number of local floods and drainage challenges. The “smart device” has the capacity to considerably reduce the risk of flooding caused by overflows from stormwater drains.

The Smart Drains solution incorporates a network of sonar and camera sensors, technology and software to monitor water levels and potential flow rate within roadside stormwater drains. It delivers alerts for rising water every 15 minutes to response and maintenance teams, removing the need for manual inspections. The dashboard view of input offered by all sensors allows management to have a precise view of drain infrastructure to identify areas of focus to tackle blockages and prevent inundations and complications.

The project was developed through a co-creation initiative where Downer, Fujitsu and EYEfi invested in the development of the ‘smart solution’ with a view to wider deployment to reduce the risk of flooding across Australia.

The pilot is observing the ability of Artificial Intelligence, Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) technology, cloud and security to innovate and reduce flooding events.

This solution is piloted on Downer works for the Yarra Ranges Council in Victoria, as an Australian first. If the results are positive, it will be adopted through the municipality.

The Yarra Ranges Council faces several local flood management and drainage challenges; over 4,900 properties are known to be at risk of flooding from waterways or underground drains. Also, urban consolidation and increase in rainfall intensity jeopardise seven per cent of flood-prone properties within the Yarra Ranges Council, adding long-term pressure to improve the existing drainage system.

The project relies on co-creation and innovation to contribute to end-to-end remote monitoring and intelligence gathering solution.

The Downer, EYEfi, Fujitsu investment in IoT solutions supports the creation of smarter cities. Meanwhile, the adaptation of Industrial IoT technology solves numerous significant problems for end users and opens the path for contemplating investment in technology solutions.

This initiative demonstrates Downer's contribution to achieve the following Sustainable Development Goals: