Data Analytics in Treatment Plant Monitoring: Leveraging Big Data for Improved Decision Making

Safely treating wastewater is an essential but expensive proposition. Wastewater treatment plants must pursue every avenue to improve efficiency and lower costs. Big data analytics are empowering treatment plants as they pursue these goals.

From Water Data Collection to Water Data Analytics

The ability to collect data has grown exponentially over the past few decades. Many plants have sensors that can perform real-time wastewater analysis, providing information about water quality, impurity levels, and flow rates.

The challenge for these facilities is utilizing this data to improve operations. Sensors provide a sea of information that can be overwhelming. Fortunately, the latest water treatment plant software has machine learning and AI tools to sift through data and provide insights.

Benefits of Focusing on Data Driven Performance

Many industries are reaping the benefits of data driven performance improvements. Wastewater treatment plants can also streamline operations, increase safety, and reduce costs using analytical tools.

Higher Plant Efficiency

Small changes in operations can have a large cumulative effect on efficiency. Analytical software shows places to streamline treatment steps without compromising water quality. Taking these actions will reduce costs and prevent rate hikes for consumers.

Predictive Maintenance Plans

Real-time data collection combined with historical data analysis can help technicians see minor changes in machine performance. Water utilities depend on pumps at several stages in the distribution and treatment process. Data analysis can warn the facility when a pump is approaching failure, preventing an unexpected shutdown.

Reduced Risk with Predictive Modeling

The changing climate has produced storms that drop higher volumes of water. Using software for predictive analysis can help municipalities prepare their treatment plants for the extra volume. A well-designed contingency plan may prevent the emergency release of untreated wastewater.

Maintain Compliance

Constant wastewater analysis ensures that effluent released from the plant consistently meets standards set by state and federal authorities. Producing safe water is a primary goal for treatment plants. Well-planned data analysis empowers that effort.

Developing a Water Data Analytics Plan

Making the best use of data analysis requires planning. Treatment plants must carefully consider the data sets that further their mission and what information is simply noise.

Data Collection

The Internet of Things has provided abundant tools for data collection. Many water treatment plants use system control and data acquisition (SCADA) technology to analyze every step of their processes. However, some data sets may not provide meaningful insights. A water treatment plant will want to focus on information that impacts water quality and plant efficiency.

Analysis of Wastewater Statistics

The time involved in interpretive analysis has been a barrier to receiving insights from data collection. Many facilities may have unexamined performance data going back years. New analytical software tools sift and interpret data sets quickly. The computer can reveal hidden operating problems and unexpected correlations. Such insights will fuel informed decisions for maintenance and operations.

System Control Implementation

Implementing changes is the final step in the data analysis cycle. The plant adapts its protocols to the new information, creating automatic responses to changing conditions.

How SCADA Promotes Data Driven Performance

SCADA benefits water data analytics by providing tools and infrastructure for robust data collection and automatic system responses. A network of sensors gathers real-time data on water quality and operations and sends it to servers for storage and analysis.

Water treatment plant software will interpret the data, sending alerts about unexpected changes. Plant managers can use the SCADA system to react quickly. These digital tools will also guide long-term plant performance optimization efforts.

With data analysis insights in hand, the plant can then create automatic responses run through the SCADA network. The system can react immediately to periodic changes in flow rates and water quality, maintaining safety and compliance.

Benefiting from Cloud-Based SCADA

High Tide Technologies uses a cloud-based model for its water facility SCADA systems. Sending data to cloud-based servers makes it available to any networked computer, smartphone, or tablet. This arrangement allows managers to receive alerts and respond from any location, providing constant connection to plant operations. Contact us to learn more about the link between SCADA, data analytics, and water treatment plant efficiency.