For the next four years, the Municipality of Milan entrusts the management, maintenance and cleaning of the water in the 29 vehicular and cycle-pedestrian underpasses as well as the related pumping stations and water collection tanks in the city to MM Servizi Idrici Integrati.
This completes the assignment to MM of the entire urban drainage network which also includes waste water, purification, the water network (irrigation ditches and canals), the collection and disposal system of rainwater in the streets with also the drains, to have greater control of the whole system, a more timely intervention and greater efficiency and safety for citizens.
“The torrential and discontinuous rains are an evident reality and we must adapt the management system of these waters in the city – declares Marco Granelli, councilor for public works -. We have deepened, experimented in the last year and now decided to have a single integrated system, active 24 hours a day and internalized in a company of the Municipality of Milan that already manages the issue of water and the Seveso system. From the experimentation we have already acquired positive changes, now the overall and strategic choice that will allow us to give more security to citizens and to tackle the issue of torrential rains with greater effectiveness “.
“With this activity – declares Stefano Cetti, General Manager of MM – entrusted to us by the Municipality, the role of MM as manager of plants and infrastructures connected to Milan’s water is further expanded, adding a new fundamental element. The management of the effects of climate change requires the deployment of skills and professionalism that our company has long refined, developing the use of innovative technologies that guarantee real-time monitoring, prompt intervention and predictive maintenance of the equipment installed in the underpasses: advanced technology and many years of experience of our resources to guarantee the proper functioning of these infrastructures and the safety of citizens ”.
The rainfall trend in recent years has greatly changed, rainfall often has a stormy, violent, sudden nature, with very abundant water falls concentrated in short periods, and this constitutes a great ‘stress test’ for the 140 thousand system road drains, already managed by MM, and for the 29 lifting stations of the road underpass.
An innovative approach is therefore required to ensure citizens have safe access to these facilities.
For example, in 2020 in Milan there were 69 days of rain with an accumulated annual balance of about 950 mm (in line with previous years). But the pluviometric trend was discontinuous, characterized by months (such as January, February, April and November) during which there was very little rainfall and months (among which May, June and July stand out) much rainier than usual.
The wettest month was May which recorded about 174 mm of rain, of which over 90 mm fell between the evening of the 14th and the morning of the 15th, causing a storm that created flooding and inconvenience throughout the city of Milan. The wettest day of the year was July 24 with about 64 mm of rain, also characterized by a storm with consequent repercussions on road conditions.
MM will guarantee a real-time monitoring network of the sewer network and the aquifer as well as the Geographic Information System which already collects all the water service networks and the minor water network.
In 2020 MM has experimentally manned, with already evident results, a first batch of pumping stations, including the underpasses of via Rubicone and via Astesani, as well as for the management of Seveso, and implemented interventions on the collection network in via Fulvio Texts and via Feltre. A remote control system with cameras and sensors has been implemented, active 24 hours a day, which allows permanent monitoring of the plants to ensure timely activation of the operational teams in the event of a breakdown as well as to support the Municipal Civil Protection in the event of adverse weather conditions.
The remote control system will be extended to all the underpasses and allows the monitoring of the electrical parameters of the pumps remotely and in real time (intensity of current, voltage, power, intervention of the protections, blackouts, failed start-ups), the recording of level trends in the tank and relative percentage of useful volume in the tanks.
MM organically centralizes the control, operation and continuous maintenance of all the systems that regulate the activity of the underpasses, the electromechanical, electrical and hydraulic equipment; the verification of the cleanliness of the tank and the functionality of the pumps, of the cleaning and purging for each pumping station and, finally, of the management of the weather alerts 24 hours a day. It will coordinate with the Local Police and Civil Protection for any interventions emergency due to breakdowns or malfunctions of the pumping stations.