Vitens is the largest water management company in the Netherlands, supplying top-quality drinking water to more than 5.6 milion individuals and organizations. In their pursuit to become more data-driven, in 2015 Vitens sent out an open challenge to data analysts and experts to see who can come up with the best solution for their goals.

The Open Data Challenge (article in Dutch), was launched to select a company that could help Vitens make the next step and Anchormen was chosen out of 30 contenders to develop and implement the project.


The Open Data initiative aimed at solving several challenges Vitens was facing. First and foremost, being able to accurately detect events in their pipeline network; thus, preventing impurities in the water supply and stopping water leaks.

Next to the that, Anchormen set up a data hub for streamlining their data flows and assisted the organization in their quest for data activation by providing them with data scientists trained by our High Potential Program.

Currently we are also working on integrating the Anchormen A.I. Chatbot technology with the purpose of automating business processes and improving customer interaction.

Outline of main client challenges:

  • Show the customer that leak-detection within the network is a reactive process that depends on information processing by experienced specialist.
  • Analysis of data about pressure, flow, level and water quality sensors in the drinking water supply system.
  • Streamlining their data flows, so they would be able to accurately detect events in their pipeline network; thus, preventing impurities in the water supply and stop water leaks.
  • Looking into the possibilities of the available data, the abnormalities that this data showed, and the opportunities that this offers to the business operations to improve and speed up communication to customers.
  • Assisting the organization in their quest for data activation, to build up knowledge and experience around data & analytics.
  • Defining next steps with data to get an intelligent drinking water supply system.


Vitens’ ambition was to improve the quality of their water supply system using data-driven solutions. With that goal in mind, Anchormen has created algorithms able to analyze the quality of drinking water in real-time across the 9,000 km sensor-equipped pipeline in the province of Friesland. The sensors are able to detect leaks in the valves within the network. 

On the other hand, the A.I. Chatbot technology aids Vitens in accelerating communication with customers therefore improving their business operations. These solutions together with our graduate trainees that remained in the company made sure that their data needs are met and the project is an ongoing success.

Key results and solutions:

  • Accurately identify events in the network, thus allowing the customer to detect leaks in the network.
  • A reduction of the time between a leak and its detection- and repair action- improves the quality of service.
  • A data hub that can receive, process and store streaming and batch data, creating new insights.
  • Provided and trained data scientists which are currently employed at the customer.
  • Defined next steps in data & analytics for example, the use of chatbots and smart meters.

Read our (free) whitepaper on Predictive Maintenance to learn more about the technology and methods used to complete the project.

Visiting Sjoerd and Roland at Vitens