With 9,000 wastewater treatment facilities providing drinking water throughout the UK¹, protecting these vulnerable sites is vital. Here, we look at how security and surveillance software can help.

1. Upgrade ageing infrastructure in your own time

Water treatment plants are typically protected by a range of legacy equipment. For example, they could have a mixture of IP and analogue cameras since the migration to full IP is only partly underway for many companies.

However, upgrading cameras in unison may not be feasible, so choosing open-architecture security and surveillance software that doesn’t tie you to certain brands or models is important. Being technology-agnostic allows operators to upgrade on their own timeline, working alongside existing technology for as long as needed.  

2. Monitor multiple sites anytime, anywhere

With so many sites across the UK, monitoring them individually can be inefficient and expensive. That’s where centralised monitoring comes in. Open-architecture security and surveillance software can centralise monitoring without taking control from local facilities.

However, remote monitoring is critical to the safety of uncrewed facilities. A central control room (or Alarm Receiving Centre) allows you to challenge intruders regardless of whether you are on site.

3. Safeguard your workers with AI and analytics

The remote nature of the sites poses a risk to lone workers within the security team or other departments. Virtual perimeters around dangerous areas or equipment can alert your security and surveillance team if someone intentionally passes the barrier.

Integrated surveillance can also incorporate other safety measures, like ‘person down’ sensors, to alert an operator offsite to a problem. More proactively, AI can be used to check that the right PPE is being worn.

4. Ensure a consistent response

Water treatment facilities are often secured by subcontractors, but the processes and procedures must be the same regardless of which organisation is carrying out the task. Integrating mapping and workflows in the security and surveillance system ensures consistency in standard operating procedures.

5. Protect high-risk areas

The drinking water processed in water treatment plants is distributed throughout the UK, so the impact of a bioterrorist attack would be catastrophic. AI can support water companies by scanning vast amounts of footage faster and more accurately than humans, identifying potential threats.

Implementing technology like ANPR ensures that deliveries or maintenance vehicles are legitimate. Processes can also be monitored with sensors that trigger alarms if the temperature exceeds a certain range.   

¹ Sewage Treatment in the UK: UK Implementation of the EC Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive

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