IoT technology for Rome’s fountains

Una tecnologia IoT per le fontane di Roma

Onyax at the event “Rome and water: the love story continues”

An IoT (Internet of Things) technology to digitise the fountains of Rome, dedicated to the ‘smart’ management of water resources and the enhancement of the national territory.
This is the solution presented between Onyax, an Italian electronic design start-up, and the innovation sector of the ACEA group. An innovation widely described at the event “Rome and water: the love story continues”, an evening organised by Roma Capitale in the presence of the mayor Virginia Raggi and Acea CEO Giuseppe Gola.
The same evening saw the launch of “Waidy Wow”, the first app designed for water, the environment and sustainability, which can be used directly from a smartphone and allows citizens to find their way around and discover the history of Rome’s fountains, and the manager to monitor the entire water network.
The event, held at the symbolic Roman site of the Gianicolo Fountain, brought together technology and memories of Italian cinema and music to accompany the digital and cultural journey of the world’s most precious commodity: water.

“Smart” water network management

The first challenge faced by Onyax was to combine the digital management of the water network with the concept of “smart” devices, focusing on optimising space.
The next challenge was to use new IoT technologies capable of remotely monitoring the “Nasoni”, the capital’s historic public water fountains, with a view to sustainability and circular economy through maximum waste reduction.
Finally, to perform a complete diagnostic of the water network, it was necessary to manage all parameters related to water quality and consumption, real-time geolocation of the Nasoni, and monitoring of individual IoT devices with dedicated reports. Thus, through Onyax’s IoT ACE (Acquisition and Ecosystem Control) platform, the data generated by the different sensors were aggregated and processed in the cloud in a single digital ecosystem.

The low-power solution for 3000 Nasons

The use of modern telemetry solutions, based on new LPWAN communication technologies (LoRA, SIGFOX, wM-Bus) and innovations such as NB-IoT (Narrow Band – Internet of Things), enable the monitoring of water distribution networks in the city of Rome.
IoT sensors, realised through low-power design techniques, will be installed in over 3,000 Nasoni located in the most important points of the Capital. These sensors meet the requirements of size (small integrated buffer batteries that guarantee energy savings) and simplicity of installation. Each sensor is able to detect physical parameters such as temperature, pressure, flow rate, and chemical parameters such as conductivity, turbidity and fixed residues.
Paolo Quarta, CEO of Onyax, points out that “The Waidy project allows us to combine our ability to make IoT sensors useful for measuring the chemical and physical parameters of water with ACEA’s needs for digitisation” – and adds that – “we are realising the world’s first case of interaction between smart water bottles and drinking fountains, guaranteeing a more capillary monitoring of the entire water resource distribution network, in order to reduce losses and save both energy and money”.

Sustainability and an example of a Smart City

The results obtained have immediately concerned concepts such as sustainability, comprehensive management of the water network and maximum usability by every single citizen.
In fact, through the digitization of drinking water supply points, it will be possible to monitor consumption, the state of water quality and any anomalies or malfunctions of the entire water network in Rome in real time.
Thanks to technologies such as this, the Eternal City has become an example of a Smart City, with a digital solution that “has taken Rome from 15th to 4th place in the ranking of the most innovative cities in the world,” as Mayor Virginia Raggi cited in her closing speech at the event.

From manager to citizen, with Waidy Wow app and IoT sensors

“Thanks to Onyax’s contribution in the sensor and management platform part and through the use of the Waidy Wow app” – explains Marco Roncucci of ACEA’s Waidy Team“we have guaranteed Roman citizens a 360° experience, both allowing them to discover the history of each geolocated Nasone and inviting them to a responsible use of the water resource“.
The combination of IoT solutions and the vision of the ACEA group, makes it possible to make the most of a fundamental resource such as water, reducing the creation of difficult-to-biodegrade waste such as plastic bottles, raising user awareness through targeted information, and facilitating the process of water quality control with modern digitization systems, all from a sustainable perspective.

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