Congratulations to Manhole Metrics, joint-winner of Get It Made’s Under 30’s grant application. Consisting of a young team of students from Imperial University, Manhole Metrics aims to offer early identification and targeted intervention for sewage flooding, due to its far-reaching and wide environmental and societal benefits.
We are delighted to be able to offer this grant to this exciting organisation, and we are very excited to see the progress they make with the resources of our grant at their disposal. Read below to find out more about their organisation, what it is they’re trying to achieve, and how they intend on utilising the resources provided by this grant to take their business to the next level.
What is your organisation’s goal?
At ManholeMetrics we are on a mission to end flooding and bring wastewater into the 21st Century. In the Thames Water catchment area alone, 13,000 homes suffered from internal sewer flooding last year. Scaling this across the country and factoring in the highways, rail and drainage sectors, millions within the UK and countless more globally are affected annually.
We are developing ultra-low cost, long life and easy to install sensors which are mounted in manholes to monitor wastewater levels. The innovation consists of the unique integration of hardware and software features. With data and analytics we can issue live and weather forecast based warnings to empower wastewater providers to be proactive to prevent flooding rather than reactive. They can tackle issues before major detrimental societal and environmental effects occur.
Current sensing technology is extremely limited. There has been a lack of innovation and adequate technology available on the market. What exists is too expensive, unreliable and challenging to install. We are set to disrupt the wastewater sensing space, a sector largely overlooked in the IoT and big data revolution. The market need for our product has been successfully examined and tested; our endorsement from Thames Water, Yorkshire Water, and National Highways evidence this.
What will you use this grant for?
Funds from the Under 30s Manufacturing Grant would be used for the manufacture of devices for our field trials and any associated deployment costs. This grant would enable us to take our CAD bracket designs to manufacture, and to draw upon the expertise of the Get It Made engineers to assist with optimising its design.
What positive environmental impact can your organisation create?
Our product can substantially reduce the number of wastewater floods, from sewage backing up into homes, or worse, spilling into the street, highway floods carrying microplastics from tyres, oils and petrol into neighbouring fields and habitats, or even direct discharges to watercourses. The harmful effects of sewage itself are well documented including the pathogens it contains and the bacteria that thrive in the nutrient rich environment. Once a blockage occurs, the lack of access to waste facilities and the presence of pathogens poisons and displaces inhabitants and disrupts the local environment until it is cleaned and cleared, which for significant blockages, can take weeks if not months.
Operators can make data driven decisions, from clearing blockages before flooding occurs, preparing for flooding such as shutting down road or rail segments, emptying storage tanks, diverting sewage flows, optimising personnel scheduling, prioritising routine maintenance, mapping source and destination of problems, and anticipating areas where additional capacity and resources are required. Our sensor and the data it generates will protect the environment through preventing damage to both the built and natural environment in the immediate, medium and long term.
If you are interested in applying to one of the many other grants on offer here at Get It Made, ranging from aerospace to subsea, visit our grants page here and see if you are eligible to apply today!