Scottish Water reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions with Xylem technology

Scottish Water has reduced its energy consumption by up to 60% by deploying Xylem high-efficiency pumps and advanced digital technologies at 200 pumping stations across its network.

Carron Valley Reservoir, Scotland
Carron Valley Reservoir, Scotland - Image © Peter B13/Wirestock Creators - Adobe Stock.

Publicly owned water supplier Scottish Water provides essential water and wastewater services to more than 2.6 million homes and 150,000 business premises across Scotland. The utility’s pump stations move water across a large geography, including remote villages and islands.

Working with Xylem, Scottish Water began trialing a smart pumping solution at two pilot sites, Maple Grove and Cross Dene. The trial delivered significant cost savings, including a 99% reduction in unplanned maintenance and a 40% reduction in energy, prompting the utility to adopt the technology across its network.

“Moving and treating wastewater is incredibly energy intensive. Around 17% of transport emissions in Scotland are from the water and wastewater operations sector, so anything we can do will have a big impact for both Scottish Water and the country,” said Nathan Wield, Wastewater Operations West Manager for Scottish Water. “By deploying smart technology, we can prolong the lifetime of our equipment, prevent callouts, and reduce downtime, so there is less service disruption and reduced risk of environmental impact.”

Scottish Water combined several Xylem technologies – Avensor monitoring and Flygt Concertor intelligent pumps – to deliver the cost and energy savings. The utility now has real-time visibility and control across its network. Remote monitoring has enabled the Scottish Water team to replace weekly callouts with monthly inspections.

As a result, the utility saved more than 400,000 miles of reactive travel and 37,000 liters in diesel consumption, reducing its annual carbon output by 160 tCO2e.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the water sector presents a unique opportunity to rethink water management. New approaches and advanced technologies can help water utilities go further, faster,” said Ian Thompson, Xylem Vice President UK & Ireland. “Innovative utilities like Scottish Water are a prime example of what can be achieved by harnessing the power of digital to decrease the sector’s impact on the environment – and still deliver a resilient, cost-effective, and reliable service for communities.”

Scottish Water also deployed advanced monitoring systems to extend the life of critical assets, including a main pipeline that runs more than 10 miles from the Blairlinnans Water Treatment Works to a reservoir in West Dunbartonshire. Using Xylem’s SoundPrint Acoustic Fibre Optic System, Scottish Water carried out extensive inspections of the pipeline, allowing the utility to reduce the possibility of failure by proactively maintaining areas found to be at risk.