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CSO Compliance: A Catalyst for Positive Change


In recent years, water quality degradation has become a pressing issue across the UK, with Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) and illegal discharges frequently making headlines. Public concern is understandable, as CSOs contribute to pollution and environmental harm. The narrative often places undue blame on utilities, ignoring the potential for transformative change.

The approach that AquaWatch takes turns compliance data into a strategic asset.


At AquaWatch, we believe that CSO compliance can serve as a catalyst for positive environmental management, turning challenges into opportunities through innovative approaches.



The problem is clear: CSOs, which occur when heavy rainfall overwhelms sewer systems, release untreated sewage and stormwater into water bodies. This results in water contamination, harming ecosystems and posing risks to public health.


Utilities are under intense pressure to address these issues, yet they face significant logistical and financial hurdles.


Traditional methods of monitoring and managing CSOs are reactive, often only addressing problems after they have occurred. This reactive stance leaves little room for proactive measures that could prevent such incidents in the first place.


The solution lies in leveraging advanced technologies to shift from reactive to proactive management. At AquaWatch, we can use satellite imagery to create indicators of water quality across extensive areas. These maps highlight critical indicators such as turbidity and chlorophyll levels, allowing us to pinpoint pollution sources and trends.


By integrating overland flow monitoring, which predicts water movement across landscapes, with asset mapping, we can identify areas prone to runoff and potential contamination. This comprehensive approach informs the strategic placement of continuous water quality sensors and AI-driven cameras at key discharge points.


Our point of difference in this approach is our ability to transform compliance data into actionable insights through predictive analytics. By analysing historical and real-time data, we can forecast water quality trends and identify potential issues before they escalate. This predictive capability is crucial for planning and prioritizing infrastructure investments, allowing utilities to measure the return on investment (ROI) of remediation efforts accurately.


For instance, comparing the cost of upgrading a treatment plant against the predicted reduction in contamination events provides a clear financial justification for necessary improvements.


The approach that AquaWatch takes turns compliance data into a strategic asset.


Utilities can use this data to make better business decisions, enhancing operational efficiency and building public trust. By demonstrating a commitment to proactive environmental stewardship, utilities can shift public perception, showing that they are not just meeting regulatory requirements but leading the way in sustainable water management.


CSO compliance presents a unique opportunity to lead the world in fact-based environmental management. By adopting a practical and pragmatic approach, utilities can turn regulatory challenges into opportunities for positive change.


This proactive stance not only addresses the immediate issues of water quality degradation but also sets a global standard for responsible environmental stewardship. We can transform today's challenges into tomorrow's opportunities, making sure that our grandchildren have the same opportunities to enjoy freshwater that our grandparents did.

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