Protecting urban communities by predicting weather chaos

Turning storm cells into predictive models to tell us which sewerage pump stations will be hit the hardest.

Queensland’s unpredictable storms can quickly inundate areas with little warning for both utilities and citizens.

Our Client


Asset value


GHD and Unitywater partnered to develop a new solution to improve the utility’s responses to future extreme weather events. An innovative application of machine learning using radar images and statistical overflow occurrence generated a ‘nowcast’ 6 hr rainfall radar model, and ‘predictive’ model to identify individual pump station impacts.

In this pioneering project, Unitywater are able to accurately forecast and prioritise areas of immediate need.

— Rapid prediction of sewer pumps stations likely to overflow

— Mobilization of operational teams to execute proactive measures

— Early communication with citizens to ensure safety

— Reduce damage and clean up costs

“We can predict sewage overflows… and avoid diverting our crews.

Sewage overflows are priority one jobs which must be responded to within one hour. We can predict sewage overflows and manage our network accordingly to avoid diverting crews and this is really beneficial for us.”

Ivan Beirne, Unitywater
Manager Asset Knowledge and Performance

Award-winning innovation

We are proud to be nominated in industry awards, as well as engineering innovation awards for our leading team members. Read more about them below.

Digital Utilities Award – Finalist of Best Use of New Technology 2019

Create Digital Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers 2020 – Jeffrey Fisher. Read more about Jeffrey and the machine learning algorithms applied in this project here.

Find out more on the published media at Utility Magazine or get a customized solution from GHD today.