Silo AI and HSY: One third of sewage pipe blockages could be prevented with artificial intelligence

Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY and Silo AI have co-developed an artificial intelligence solution, with which up to a third of blockages on an annual level in HSY’s sewage network could possibly be prevented.

HSY’s sewage network spans over 100 000 pipes, forming an over 3 000 kilometer long network. Currently there are over 300 objects that are subject to continuous maintenance. In the worst case, sewage pipe blockages could lead to damage to both the property and the environment.

The solution was piloted in the capital region in early 2020. The intelligent solution, which is based on historical data, managed to proactively indicate 1 000 drain ranges in HSY’s sewer network which were most prone to blockages. The next phase of the machine learning-based solution includes variable, dynamic sewer line data, which enables continuous system development and reaction capability.

Supported by artificial intelligence technology, HSY is able to maintain their sewer network more efficiently in the future. Sewer cleaning can be targeted on blockage-prone drain ranges suggested by the artificial intelligence solution. These drain ranges make up about one percent of the sewage network. Spot-cleaning of drain ranges spanning only 36 kilometers helps prevent up to a third of sewer blockages.

– The results from the pilot phase are promising. The artificial intelligence solution is able to predict possible blockages efficiently. It seems that with a very small increase in sewer network maintenance, we could avoid up to a third of blockages, comments Kia Aksela, Network Head of Department at HSY.

During the pilot, HSY was also able to improve their data, and identify properties in the sewage network which have a seemingly strong effect on blockage build-up. With this knowledge HSY is able to select pipe sizes and materials which likely lead to less blockages.

– In two months time we developed a functional predictive model which supports sewage network maintenance. The results of the solution co-developed with HSY are promising, and encourage the use of artificial intelligence in similar predictive solutions based on historical data, says Peter Sarlin, CEO of Silo AI.

Currently HSY prevents blockages with regular interval cleaning with suction vehicles. In addition to this, blockages are prevented with robot camera inspections and regional sewer cleaning. Despite the large-scale maintenance, there are annually around 60 blockages which could have been predicted and prevented.



Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY is a municipal body, which produces waste management and water services, as well as providing information on the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and environment. The member cities of the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY are Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen and Vantaa. HSY supplies high-quality drinking water for over one million inhabitants throughout the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, efficiently treats wastewater generated by households and industry as well as builds and repairs the water pipe and sewer network​.

Kia Aksela, Head of Department, HSY Network
+358400 514 219

Silo AI

Silo AI is the largest AI solution and service provider in the Nordics that solves the most strenuous challenges in machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing. Silo AI aims at being a trusted partner that brings AI into product development and delivers AI-driven solutions and products. The company serves clients across several industries on four continents. Some Silo AI solutions include a tool for the Finnish airline Finnair to improve situational awareness and a tool to improve water quality at water treatment facilities for the global leading engineering company Ramboll.

Peter Sarlin, CEO, Silo AI
+358 405727670

Picture: HSY.


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