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Insights from data

Collecting data on the day-to-day operations of potable water networks is a core responsibility for Citycare Water as the information assists our clients with their decision-making on water assets.

Krishna Kaliappan, a data collector for the Citycare Water Pumps and Storage Team in Christchurch, explains one aspect of his job as collecting information to ensure the Christchurch City Council water network works effectively and efficiently.

There are more than 100 water pump stations around the Christchurch community which the Pumps and Storage Team data collectors monitor regularly to check the equipment is operating as it should.  

The stations are sometimes anonymous small buildings and at other times can feature in reserves and public parks alongside playgrounds. Often residents are unaware of their purpose and what lies behind the doors.

The pumps ensure there’s water when residents turn on taps in their homes by pumping water from below ground wells and above ground well heads and into the pipe network via reservoirs and suction tanks.

The stations contain meters which gather information about what is happening in the water network in the neighbourhood such as drinking water flow rates and demand.

Inside each station is a touchscreen login which the data collectors use to access the meters for a specific area. So regular visits are essential to check everything is working normally.

For instance, pump running hours data shows the demand for water within a specific vicinity. If a particular pump’s hours are outside the normal parameters, the information needs to be examined to work out if there’s a problem.

Alarms are triggered within the station in abnormal circumstances and the data collector takes care of these.

Anomalies can highlight there’s a leak somewhere or equipment is malfunctioning.

The data can also be used to pinpoint accuracy for electricity used in the station.

Citycare Water’s team use an app – Water Outlook – to enter information for the council.

Krish joined Citycare Water five years ago and worked with the River Landscaping Team before joining the Pumps Team.

“I love working with the Pumps Team, being a part of providing an essential service for our community,” Krish says.

“What we are doing is important – making sure people have water to drink and to shower. We are responsible for that. A lot of people depend upon it,” Krish says.

Residents are often curious about his work, asking questions when they meet him on the job, and he enjoys helping people understand more about the water network.

Krish grew up in Fiji and now he hosts a weekly radio show on Plains FM community radio (96.9FM) in Christchurch.

The show is called Jalsa Fiji Radio and is broadcast in Hindi at 5-6pm on Saturdays.

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