Lahti Aqua is a regional water utility owned by the City of Lahti, Finland, located about 100 km northeast of the capital Helsinki. The utility provides water supply services for more than 140 000 inhabitants in Lahti and the neighbouring Hollola municipality.
Lahti Aqua has used Fluidit Water modeling software since 2019. Their primary user is Sauli Pihamaa, a design engineer. Sauli has put the model into practice and done many different analyses and scenarios with the software. “We chose Fluidit Water as it was the first software that enabled the guided modeling of the network correctly,” says Sauli. His colleagues use the software to check the results. “With the software, it is easier to address changes to the network, as multiple people have access to seeing what is going on, Fluidit Water allows us to have a much better understanding of our network” states Sauli.
In the past, Lahti Aqua had challenges getting enough information from the modeling on the state and changes to their network, progress was slow, and projects took much time. Lahti Aqua solely relied on reports from outside consultants but now they work with the consultants on the same network model. “You don’t get that much information out of the reports. Once the assignment is ordered from the consultants and the work is completed, it might take even a month to get a review” states Sauli as one of the key factors for starting to build modeling expertise inhouse.
“We were pleased with the software deployment process and how it was implemented to our use, everything was completed on budget and on schedule, which is not self-evident in most cases”
To utilize the benefits of modeling, organizations need to be committed to it and allocate a resource responsible for the network modeling. Model is used in customer’s situation room, where experts from different departments solve pressing issues in water distribution. It helps them understand the network flows and pressures better and answer possible customer complaints straight away based on simulation data. Customer service and network field teams ask Sauli questions regarding the network, such as potential water quality issues, low or high pressures on the customer end, and on how to implement extra chlorination if needed. “Our network is not static. As automation controls change, new pipes are built, and some are renovated or taken out of use. With so many changes happening, it is a considerable challenge to outsource the modeling. Improvement in modeling response times is one of the biggest takeaways when you are modeling inhouse” Sauli underlines.
“We were pleased with the software deployment process and how it was implemented to our use, everything was completed on budget and on schedule, which is not self-evident in most cases” Sauli celebrates. The project model of Fluidit Water implementation was imitating agile software development methods and the customer was a vital part of the implementation right from the beginning. “Our project to implement Fluidit Water started in April 2019, when Fluidit started modeling our network and training us to use the software. With the handover of the project happening at the end of 2019. Our cooperation has been smooth, and we are using the software daily” says Sauli.
“The cost side, Fluidit’s domain expertise and their visions for the future were the deciding factors as they aligned with our vision of the future.”
Developing the ways the model is used does not end when the project is implemented. Lahti Aqua is already looking forward to utilizing modeling and integrating automation into models to combine simulations and real-time data. “Digital twin is a big thing, which is somewhat already a reality but lacks the automation. It will be a big thing in the future. The model could already have real-time network data in the background” Sauli gets excited. Fluidit is eager to support Lahti Aqua in this journey towards digital twins, with the experience gathered with few other customers. “The cost side, Fluidit’s domain expertise and their visions for the future were the deciding factors as they aligned with our vision of the future.” Sauli further emphasizes collaboration with Fluidit.