Digitalization of process in water industry

Included in the activities of our company is the digitization of processes in the utility environment, which refers to replacement of paper processes by their electronic version.

Main advantages of digitization of the processes

  • Reduction of error rate when entering and rewriting data
  • Possible use of new type of data
  • Automation of routine activities
  • Time and money saving
  • Feature for creating photo evidence
  • All subject to GDPR conditions

Digitization of the process of reading using the walk-by system or remote reading system via an IoT network, and associated replacement of paper reading sheets or reading journals is only one of portions of the digitization we can provide. The other digitized processes include for example the installation process or the inspection process.

Installation and replacement of water meters

A standard procedure of water industry companies for installation or replacement of the water meters lies in printing out paper installation sheets. Each sheet includes instructions and information for the fitter for said work instruction, including data on location of point of supply where the fitter should travel to, or customer contacts. While working in the field, being often associated with entry to shafts and working with gloves put on, the fitter must enter newly acquired data to paper using a pencil or ball pen. The values the fitter needs to acquire in this way is not only a few – they include e.g., numbers of newly installed water meters, reading of (removed) water mater, or other changes to location of the point of metering.

Upon completion of the installation, the fitter retains the filled in installation sheet in a folder and sets out to another point of supply. When the fitter finishes the arranged number of installations, he/she must arrive to warehouse of the water company in order to return the removed water meters to the store and hand over the filled in paper installation sheets. They are then forwarded to an office to staff for manual retyping of such data to the ZIS (ZIS is-USYS®.net) in order to keep proper records of all installed devices.

As a part of the solution for digitization of work processes, we have developed the EML – Electronic Installation Sheet mobile app to streamline, accelerate, and cheapen said rather lengthy process to the water companies and fitters.

Now, the fitter just needs to log in the application in the morning before the work where an updated list of grid events assigned to him/her is shown. The events have been prepared in the Customer information system (ZIS is-USYS®.net) and exported automatically to the SMG Server and to the mobile application.

Upon arrival to the place of work, the application guides the fitter with basic steps such as creating of photo evidence, reading of the original (removed) water meter, or check of seals. While installing a new water mater, the fitter may select from a list of devices available in his/her car (owing to connection with the ZIS warehouse management) and does not have to enter the device numbers manually (thanks to the QR code and OCR readers). Prior to finishing the grid event, s/he is prompted to finally check completion of all data needed. A customer who may be called directly from the app with contact details included, signs the event performed directly in the phone and receives a small installation sheet generated by the EML and printed out using a mobile Bluetooth printer as a confirmation.

Upon final confirmation, signature, and printing the event is saved and sent to the SMG Server and from there automatically to the ZIS as well and therefore, it is not necessary to manually retype the paper installation sheets, which substantially reduces error rate of data entered.

Therefore, the Electronic Installation Sheet mobile app successfully removes the need of use of paper installation sheets, and expands the options for acquiring data in the field, and success registration of the grid events as well as current status if the installation in the grid.


Similarly to the process of installation and replacement of the water meters, working on “inspections” is a paper-based burden task for the water companies which needs to be conducted by the inspector on site. The tasks carried out by the inspectors are of various type, e.g., there is a need to check for suspicion for illegal consumption, or a customer’s request for placement of secondary dressing water meter needs to be reviewed. A task paper assigned to the inspector includes description of the problem and its location (e.g., address of the point of supply). Under the effort of digitization and simplification of work of the inspectors, we have developed EZzP (Electronic Inspection Report) application that can replace not only the task paper but allows the inspector to, in addition to performing the task, effectively produce photo evidence, or notify the customer information system’s administrator on changes to the customer or the point of supply.

Upon logging in the application, the inspector works with a clearly arranged list of tasks to be performed. The tasks were created by a water company staff based on current needs in the customer information system (ZIS is-USYS®.net)

and sent to the SMG Server and to the mobile application. When the inspector opens the task, s/he will see a basic summary of attributes including detail description of the activity.

In addition to the attributes, each task has received auxiliary files, e.g., indication of exact location of the entity being inspected on a map (from a GIS system) or a PDF file of contract with a customer. Upon starting of the inspection, the inspector may check validity of data currently saved in the customer information system

and edit it, if needed, depending on reality. In addition, it is possible to create new tasks in the ZIS and maintain the register of supply and metering points in line with reality based on this new piece of information.

While working, the inspector may refer to “Details” tab to find out a full listing of all available information about the supply point or customer associated with current task. Photo evidence may be easily created in the application as well. The EZZP mobile application allows the user to create drawings or place specific symbols associated to water grid into the photos taken or appendices received using a special drawing tool being adapted specially for use on mobile phones.

While working, the inspector may use “Inspection report” field to enter the results of his/her work with respect to the task assigned.At the end of the work and final completion of the active tasks, the mobile app sends data acquired, photos, and modified appendices to SGM Server.This data is then automatically sent to the ZIS is-USYS®.net system for processing based on configuration, or other more specific tasks are created based on the inspection results.

Indeed, the EZzP mobile app fully replaces the use of paper tasks and in addition it eases simple working with appendices, photos, and provides long-term and correct registration of attributes of the points of supply and other data in the ZIS system.


For users

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