A new sensor-driven wastewater monitoring system is being trialled by Unitywater in collaboration with Israeli wastewater management solution provider Kando.

The smart sensors are placed in sewer manholes and can detect changes in sewage quality, to give early warning of events in the sewer, such as odour. As soon as they sense a change in conditions, the units send a signal to network controllers who can then respond accordingly.

The units are set up to remotely extract sewage samples and track the source of the pollution as soon as they detect it. This could prevent a major pollution event from causing damage to a sewage treatment plant downstream.

The system’s smart cloud-based algorithms provide a 360-degree view of the sewerage network, meaning that Unitywater is now able to gain a complete picture of what is happening in the network at any given moment.

“For the first time ever, we will be able to see precisely what’s going on inside our sewer pipes as well as closely monitor the condition of those very pipes, and inform our sewage treatment plants so as to optimise their operation,” Unitywater Executive Manager Customer Delivery, Rob Dowling, said.

“That is significant from a customer care perspective primarily, because it enables us to minimise one of the unfortunate, unpleasant realities of sewerage services – namely, odour.”

Unitywater will place a total of seven units in its network as part of the eight-month trial.

Five of the units will be placed in high trade waste discharge areas, and two will be placed in locations known to experience odour complaints and sea water infiltration. 

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