Utilities benefit from rapid deployment final effluent monitors
Mar 28 2022
UK water utilities have been enthusiastically adopting a final effluent monitoring solution that enables wastewater process engineers to constantly check the outfalls from their sewage treatment works (STWs). Matt Dibbs, MD of Meteor Communications, the company which developed the ESNET final effluent monitoring systems, attributes their success to issues such as reliability, simplicity and cost, but he says: “One of the most popular features has been the speed of deployment. No pre-existing power or communications capability is necessary, and a typical kiosk-based monitoring station can be up and running, delivering cloud-based data, within 30 minutes. This provides tremendous flexibility and allows utilities to instrument much larger numbers of sites. Performance trends can then be monitored effectively, and incident response is dramatically improved.”
Following the award of a £2 million shared framework agreement by Scottish Water in 2021, Meteor Communications is currently installing a network of ESNET systems for the utility. As the number of final effluent monitors continues to grow in Scotland, Meteor has also supplied over 200 similar systems to other utilities such as Thames Water and Yorkshire Water. “In the past, the installation and maintenance requirements of final effluent monitors at smaller wastewater plants were preclusive,” Matt explains. “However, the development of ESNET systems has meant that water companies can now equip smaller, often rural, plants with a comprehensive monitoring capability.”
ESNET monitors are available as either a portable system or a kiosk-based pumped system for semi-permanent or fixed installations. Both versions contain a robust water quality monitoring sonde, which can be loaded with sensors for parameters such as dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, conductivity, turbidity, ammonium, blue green algae and chlorophyll. However, it is also possible to include other water quality parameters as well as remote cameras, water level and flow, or meteorological measurements. The systems can be purchased, or leased under Meteor’s ‘Water Quality as a Service’ (WQaaS) programme.
Data from ESNET monitors can be viewed securely using the MeteorCloud™ portal on a tablet, PC or smartphone, although, for water utilities, the Meteor Data Centre can be integrated with the company’s SCADA to enhance the visibility of real-time water quality data.
In addition to final effluent monitoring applications, ESNET systems are also used as remote river monitors by a variety of stakeholders including environmental regulators for pollution source attribution, and to monitor trends and detect pollution incidents. For these reasons, Meteor Communications was recently invited to submit evidence to the UK Environmental Audit Committee as part of its investigation into river water quality. Meteor’s Andrew Scott explained that the monitoring technology is already well-proven and said: “It was pleasing to note considerable support for continuous monitoring in the Committee’s final report.”
Summarising, Matt Dibbs says: “Water utilities invest a great deal of time and money in wastewater treatment, so, now that proven monitoring technology can be quickly and easily installed almost anywhere, risks can be greatly reduced. The effectiveness of wastewater treatment can be monitored continuously, and receiving waters can be protected.”
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