Waterboard De Dommel makes proactive security choices thanks to the smart service Connect

Waterschap De Dommel (the Dutch Water Board) had always depended on employees to detect failures in the security installations at their water treatment plants. The water authority was looking for a solution that would allow them to continuously and remotely monitor the gates and barriers at each location.

With the smart service Connect from Heras, Waterschap De Dommel has full insight into the status of their gates and barriers at all times and from anywhere. This allows the water board and Heras to detect malfunctions faster and act more proactively.

Picture: Waterschap De Dommel

The challenge

Waterboard De Dommel ensures sufficient and clean water in Midden-Brabant. It also protects residents from flooding. The De Dommel water board has eight water treatment plants. This is where sewage flows in and clean water flows back into nature. The water board also has a location where it filters sludge. Karin Geels is Facility Management Consultant at Waterschap De Dommel. She is part of the Facility Management process and together they are responsible for the the physical security of the locations of the water board. “At every location, we want to know exactly who is present at what time,” she says. “Visitors are never allowed to walk around on their own. We are very strict about that. At our sites, we have to comply with all kinds of rules and legislation regarding safety. The gates and barriers from Heras are our first barrier against unwanted people. ”

The water board wanted to get a better idea of faults and defects in the security installations. “We were always dependent on reports from our employees. Then it could take a long time before failures came to light. Those were risks we wanted to exclude. It’s also very frustrating for employees when they arrive at a location and the gate doesn’t work. Heras offered a solution that would enable us to respond more quickly and proactively to any malfunctions. ”

The approach

The water board has had a service contract with Heras since 2013, but in 2017 the relationship intensified. “After a tender process, we then jointly raised the physical security of all our sites to a higher level,” explains Geels. “The next step was to maintain and accurately resolve faults.” During a conversation between the two parties, the topic soon came up of Connect, Heras’ smart online platform that remotely monitors vital components of all security installations 24/7. “That was music to our ears. What we also found interesting was that Connect comes with Access as standard. This would allow us to open and close our gates and barriers remotely. That could be a nice addition in the future. ”

Then Heras and the water board could get down to work. “Heras planned when they would be at which of the water board’s locations,” she says. “We made sure there was someone there to guide them at those times. We don’t have the most recent gates with Connect already installed. But fortunately, the installation of Connect required little effort. All Heras had to do was fit some hardware to the security installations. “

“We have more insight, expect to experience more control and therefore make more focused choices about solving problems.

– Karin Geels, Facility Management Consultant, De Dommel Water Board

The solution

Waterboard De Dommel has had full access to Connect since the end of 2021. “Via a web-based application and a mobile app, we can monitor the status of all our gates and barriers,” says Geels. “When we logged in for the first time, we were positively surprised at all the information we could access. We can even see remotely when something is wrong with a barrier or gate. And also when maintenance was last carried out. ”

All that information can be a bit overwhelming. “But we didn’t need intensive training,” she says. “Heras explained everything to us in an hour and a half and helped us set up notifications. We haven’t had any malfunctions since then, but if they do occur, Connect notifies us. Heras does that too, by the way. It’s a great idea that they also monitor everything and contact us immediately if they detect any abnormalities. ”

That is a big difference from the past. “We have gone from receiving e-mails from employees about malfunctions to acting proactively, because we can see for ourselves where things are going wrong. We now have more insight, expect to experience more control and therefore make more focused choices about solving problems. Because Connect shows us exactly what the failure is, we can determine whether a repair is urgent or not. We hope to save costs in this way. And ultimately, we can even take the step towards predictive maintenance, so that we can prevent faults. Connect is bound to deliver us a lot. “

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