“We arrived at a house where the garage was flooding at 4am, before the owners even realised what was happening. They were still asleep”. That graphic description of what could have become an emergency was given by Fulgencio Díaz, the manager of Hidralia on the western Costa del Sol and director of its Dinapsis centre, presenting a new digital system which enables the water company to detect leaks in real time. “We can locate in one day a leak that would previously have taken us months to find,” he explained.
Hidralia calculates that since the system came into service on 14 April 2021, 937,000 cubic metres of water (937 million litres) will have been saved.
There are currently 11 Dinapsis hubs in operation; Marbella was the first in the country and is one of the most developed. The system is protected against cybersecurity attacks. The service centre also covers Torremolinos, Estepona, Benahavís, Manilva, Rincón de la Victoria and Algarrobo providing digital solutions to the management of water and sewage.
The tool not only detects leaks from the general pipeline, but also from inside homes and possible illegal occupation of properties at times when an owner does not appear to be in residence, for example in a second home. Clients can create alerts via the virtual office when their property is unoccupied, in case water is used or there is a leak during their absence. When unusual activity is detected, a team is sent to investigate and then inform the clients of their findings.
Whenever a leak is identified the system shows the type of pipe, which valves need to be closed, how much water needs to be removed, how many clients will be without water and whether they are ‘sensitive’ such as medical centres and schools. Alerts are sent out by text message, email or other system which has previously been agreed.
At present the system is working at 95% performance, which means that apart from leaks from meters (which are estimated to account for 3% to 4%), all the water in the network is being used and there are no leaks. “It is highly efficient,” Díaz said.