16 Jul 2018

Safeswim wins top honours at Smart Cities Awards for Auckland Council

DHI New Zealand played an integral role in providing up-to-date information on beach conditions to benefit the public

Auckland Council has beat out regional competitions to emerge the winner in the Smart Water Category of the Smart Cities Asia Pacific Awards by IDC.

The Safeswim Programme, which helped Auckland Council take home the top prize, provides forecasts of water quality and up-to-date information of risks to public health and safety at 84 beaches and eight freshwater locations around Auckland. 

Digital signage at Mission Bay Beach. © DHI

DHI New Zealand made this possible by combining real-time wastewater and stormwater network data with predictive models. DHI's solution is based on a system that has been launched successfully in Copenhagen since 2002 with similar operations in locations around the world.

Take an inside look at how it works:

After a heavy rain, water can get into the wastewater network. In certain areas, septic tanks in need of an overhaul can cause chronic seepage, resulting in sewage overflowing into Auckland’s rivers and harbours. This video shows the predicted changes in bacteria concentration in the water arising from a typical rain event in Auckland, May 2017 - demonstrating how hourly rainfall affects contamination levels in the harbour. These predictions are then presented on the Safeswim website in an easy-to-understand manner for the public.

Check before you swim

Information provided by Safeswim is helping the public plan ahead for a better beach experience. With the user-friendly website and digital signage platforms at selected locations, Aucklanders can now make informed decisions about when and where to swim.

Safeswim is a joint initiative between Auckland Council, Watercare, Surf Lifesaving Northern Region and the Auckland Regional Public Health Service.

Congratulations Auckland Council and DHI New Zealand!