A new Internet of Things solution to managing highway gully networks developed in partnership with the Government uses 'self-learning algorithms, specialist sensor technology and multiple data feeds' to predict failures.
The Smartwater system took 10 years in research and development, undertaken in partnership with the Department for Transport, Innovate UK and the University of Lancaster.
Blocked gullies are a cause of flooding
InTouch, which developed the system, predicted that it could 'typically save 30% of the cleansing budgets year-on-year and in time can be self-funding'.
In the Smart City demonstration project in Bristol it has achieved savings of 50% and reduced problem gullies from 25% to 11%, the company said.
Joe Burns, development director at InTouch Ltd said: 'The Government's National Flood Resilience Review in 2016 predicted that there will be 20-30% more downpours in the future. With restraints and budget cuts, it is imperative that councils start using technology to their advantage to cut maintenance costs and prevent flooding.
'The SmartWater system achieves this by providing risk-based evidence for maintenance and improvement of the gully asset. This approach is consistent with the most recent (2017) UKRLG Code of Practice for Well Managed Highways and is endorsed by the Department for Transport.'
The UK has more than 14 million gullies, 80% of which are clean and running when inspected.