Data management for wastewater treatment

Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) must handle large amounts of data from different sources and of varied quality, making it difficult for operators to identify the plant's status. An EU initiative addressed this problem by enabling all available data to be successfully managed.

The EU-funded DIAMOND (Advanced data management and informatics for the optimum operation and control of wastewater treatment plants) project was established to enhance the operation of WWTPs. This was achieved through the efficient, intelligent and continuous management of available plant data, as well as process performance monitoring and automatic control strategies.

Currently, a number of software tools are used to aid decision making in the day-to-day running of WWTPs and help maintain them at an optimum level. The information used comes from a range of sources, including online sensors and analysers, laboratory tests, meteorology data and manually collected data.

Complex decisions must therefore be based on a large number of variables, which come in different formats. Successful operation depends on the reliability and completeness of collected data, together with the quality of the information extracted and its accessibility.

The DIAMOND project involved the standard centralisation of heterogeneous data acquired from different sources, plus effective data processing to detect faulty sensor data. The resulting information was used in tools focused on operational optimisation of the plant.

Project partners developed the advanced data management platform (ADAM tool) to ensure the provision of high-quality data. This tool facilitated the straightforward connection and implementation of advanced process monitoring and control tools, enabling the optimisation of WWTP operations around the world.

The ADAM tool includes additional modules that calculate estimated values for unmeasured parameters and calculate and monitor plant-wide key performance indicators, indicating WWTP status. Researchers also examined the design, development and implementation of two advanced plant operation systems based on information provided by the ADAM tool.

The first system was an advanced monitoring system of plant-wide key performance indicators. The second system was an advanced control system based on plant-wide control algorithms, which optimises plant operation according to economic and environmental criteria.

DIAMOND outcomes will enable WWTPs to improve their operations, minimise waste (thereby protecting water quality) and reduce energy consumption. Moreover, the knowledge gained will help Europe become a leader in sustainable wastewater treatment processes.

Potential customers for DIAMOND include public bodies and environmental engineering, automation engineering and sensor manufacturing companies.

last modification: 2015-10-19 15:17:51

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