MM Spa is a state-owned engineering company owned by the municipality of Milan. As an internationally renowned company, MM is involved in designing and modernising urban ecosystems. The company was originally founded in 1955 by the municipality of Milan to design and build the city’s first metro rail lines. Since then, it has been involved in the construction and management of Milan’s major infrastructures.
The company is thus responsible for the entire water cycle of the city. In terms of drinking water, MM manages the production plants and the water supply network for two million users. As for wastewater, the company manages the 1,500 km waterway drainage network, the wastewater collection system as well as the three wastewater purification plants in the city. Each year, 290 million cubic metres of water is discharged into the sewer system, which needs to be continuously monitored.
Due to its geographical location, Milan has a very high risk of flooding. The riverbed of the Seveso ends in the centre of the city and has to flow through underground canals. During heavy rains, a large amount of water must be drained. The city thus has to be able to rely on an efficient drainage system which is continuously monitored to prevent surface flooding and alert the water service civil protection teams. Milan is aware of the major challenges which need to be addressed and is part of the 100 Resilient Cities programme pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation.
Milan’s extensive sewer system is remotely managed by 350 SOFREL LT-US data loggers which continuously monitor the flow rates and water levels. They send alerts in the event of any serious problems in the collection system. Data is regularly sent to the SOFREL WEB LS web server which consolidates the information from all the data loggers making it possible to analyse the network’s behaviour.
We are in the process of converting all our networks, both aqueducts and sewer systems, into smart networks. They are able to perform self-diagnostics and provide operational data 24/7. Thanks to the alert systems, any potential problems can be pre-empted.
Director of Water Services
What can the data loggers deployed in your wastewater network do for you ?
The LT-US data loggers are equipped with ultrasonic level sensors. They automatically send recorded data to a remote server. This enables us to obtain real-time data about the input flow rates in the sewer system.
We can monitor the output flow rates of major contributors, such as the Sforza Castle and neighbouring users, by tracking the water levels in the canals.
The data sent to the WEB LS remote server is analysed to create a water report for the different districts in the Milan sanitation network. We can also check for abnormal flow rates, illegal discharges and other abnormal conditions.
What can we learn about your usage using the WEB LS platform ?
Using the markers on the map, we can quickly view all the data loggers. All you need to do is click on a data logger to display its information, such as the internal temperature, the flow rate, the level in the collectors and the flow rate in m3/h.
The data is recorded on the server which can then be used to create daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly reports.
Milan is part of the 100 Resilient Cities project started by the Rockefeller Foundation. Does this apply to the sewer system ?
Urban resilience also applies to the sewer system in terms of it being able to withstand stressful events such as sudden storms or fluctuations in the flow rate.
The installation of 350 measurement points through this project will render the monitoring system for the sewer’s flow rate smart and technologically advanced. This allows us to react quickly and check the flow rates heading toward the different wastewater purification plants so that alerts can be sent out in advance.