CENTAUR™ - Urban Flood Alleviation Using Local Network Storage Capacity

  • Award winning innovation to reduce urban flood risk and sewer overflows

    Intelligent, autonomous and localised system
  • Utilises existing network storage capacity

    Far less costly than capital and space intensive engineering solutions
  • Easy to deploy, maintain and operate

    Complements traditional approaches such as green infrastructure
  • CENTAUR™ - Urban Flood Alleviation Using Local Network Storage Capacity
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What is CENTAUR™ ?

CENTAUR™ is an intelligent, autonomous, localised system which utilises existing drainage network storage capacity for urban flood risk reduction and similar applications.

  • Reduce flood riskFlooding in Coimbra
  • Prevent Spills from combined sewer overflows (CSO’s)
  • Control flows to pumping stations and wastewater treatment works
  • Less costly than capital, space intensive, engineering solutions
  • Complements traditional approaches and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS)             

CENTAUR™ is self-managing, ultra-reliable and easily deployed. It is orders of magnitude less costly than capital and space intensive alternative solutions.

“The CENTAUR™ system has been successfully working in Coimbra, Portugal, managing peak flows and reducing flood risk in an important area of the city. 
Through utilising existing storage capacity within the wastewater network, volume is retained during periods of intense rainfall and only discharged once the flow has reduced downstream."
Telmo Paula, Águas de Coimbra

What are the benefits of CENTAUR™?

  1. CENTAUR™ utilises storage capacity within existing infrastructure at low cost, or in situations where space and capital are not available. This capacity is targeted at reducing flood risk, environmental impact, and/or energy consumption.

    CENTAUR diagram
  2. Short deployment times that require little planning permission, avoiding the disruption of large civil engineering schemes.

  3. CENTAUR™ is self-managing and autonomous. System operation can be observed on the web, showing live system status and integrity.

  4. The system is modular and extensible. It can be implemented gradually where several CENTAUR™ systems form an intelligent wastewater network.

  5. The CENTAUR™ system has been designed with multiple fail-safes. This results in net reduction of risk rather than transferring risk upstream.


CENTAUR™’s technical innovation is based around artificial intelligence, autonomy, and the integration of different communication technologies, power efficiency, and reliability.

Radio communications for monitoring and issuing control instructions give guaranteed signal, whilst a fuzzy logic algorithm makes decisions based on the changing situation within the network. An online dashboard gives visibility and system reconfiguration capability (however, the system operates autonomously).

Sensor redundancy gives reliable level data and the system can self-disable if it is compromised. The gate technology is easily deployed with physical fail-safes to eliminate upstream risk.

CENTAUR™ Modelling Tools

Complementary modelling tools are available to identify storage capacity in relation to flood-risk reduction targets and to model the dynamic operation of the system.

The CENTAUR™ Site Selection Tool (CENTAUR_SST) is freely available on the internet. Asset data can be imported, and the target site identified. The software will find ideal sites for CENTAUR™ based on available storage and other parameters.

The CENTAUR™ Dynamic Modelling Tool (CENTAUR_DMT) enables modelling of the real-time-control action of CENTAUR to give a detailed understanding of operation and impact.


CENTAUR™ was born out of the need to reduce flooding (or create extra network capacity) in ever more crowded urban spaces. It was also in response to the compounding effects of climate change and more peaked storms and flash flooding.

CENTAUR™ was initially developed by a consortium of universities, water companies and technology SME’s under a €3.5m EU Horizon 2020 project. It is only through the combination of this expertise and through the use of world-leading research facilities that this system has been realised.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 641931. 

Want to know more?

For more information on the project please contact Business Development Director Dr Kieran Williams or call 0114 272 2270.

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