The Benefits of Automated Treatment Plant Monitoring for Sector Compliance
Effective wastewater treatment plant monitoring is necessary to maintain the health and sanitation of a community. Sewage contains chemical and biological impurities that will disrupt the local ecosystem if left in a concentrated form. Wastewater treatment plants need advanced tools to ensure that the effluent they discharge has a minimal impact on local water sources. Advances in automation are the next step in improving the capacity and safety of these facilities.
Benefits of Wastewater Treatment Monitoring
When residents flush toilets or run faucets, they send concentrated impurities into the water system. Residential sewage contains high levels of bacteria, nitrogen, and chemicals. If rainwater also flows into the wastewater system, it brings petroleum residues and animal waste. Agricultural runoff contains insecticides, fertilizers, and phosphorus.
When these substances return to the water cycle, they can harm all life forms in the area. For example, high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus lead to algae blooms in lakes and ponds that choke out aquatic life.
Wastewater treatment plant monitoring aims to help facilities remove impurities by employing a series of treatment processes like filtration, sedimentation, and disinfection. The effluent from the plant should be clean enough to enter the local water cycle without harm.
Advanced Wastewater Compliance Systems
Population growth and climate change are bringing new stresses to the wastewater industry. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to create new safety standards for effluent. The financial penalties for non-compliance can strain the tight budgets of municipal water systems. Automated compliance solutions like system control and data acquisition (SCADA) technology will prove invaluable to the next generation of wastewater treatment.
Automated Data Acquisition Benefits
Water automation solutions fall into two groups: data acquisition and control. Installing sensors throughout a treatment facility provides valuable data with several practical benefits.
By tracking the wastewater management process from influent to effluent, the facility gains a better sense of the volume it can safely treat. Additionally, real-time data lets the plant streamline processes to increase capacity. These benefits come without the expense of expanding the facility.
Sensors provide performance data on assets throughout the plant. Maintenance crews can observe small changes in performance over time. This knowledge means they will replace or service equipment as it needs attention rather than on a fixed schedule, preventing unexpected shutdowns.
Historical data will inform the municipality as it plans for sustainable growth. They can make better predictions about an expansion timeline, allowing them to set aside funds or increase consumer prices at a reasonable rate.
Automated Treatment Control System Benefits
An automated compliance solution will also include the ability to address changing conditions without human intervention. Instead, managers can program the system to take specific steps under certain circumstances. This immediate approach has several advantages.
Combining real-time data with automated system controls can increase efficiency by speeding reaction times. The system becomes more responsive to changing conditions leading to decreased energy usage and cost savings.
Better Use of Human Resources
When SCADA water systems adjust automatically, human employees can handle other projects. They can decrease the time spent on direct oversight and concentrate on process improvement and preventive maintenance.
Decreased Chemical Usage
The increased efficiency that saves electricity will also minimize the amount of chemicals necessary for water treatment. The automated compliance measure will add the necessary amount to meet clean water standards for the volume treated.
Faster Emergency Response
Intense rainfall is one of the consequences of climate change. Precipitation from atmospheric rivers can overwhelm the capacity of wastewater plants. An automated response will immediately reroute the flow to prevent unsanitary backflows and plant damage.
Addressing Effluent Compliance Issues
Meeting EPA clean effluent standards is the responsibility of every wastewater treatment facility. Employing wastewater compliance systems in a plant will go a long way in meeting the requirements. Automated solutions in the water treatment industry result in clean effluent with minimal environmental impact.
Cloud-Based SCADA as an Automated Compliance Solution
Cloud-based SCADA technology is at the cutting edge of water automation. Sensors throughout the system generate and store data on factors such as water pressure, quality, and flow rate. Sending data to cloud servers allows employees to access essential information from any location with a networked device. They will also receive alerts about performance issues and, in many cases, can respond remotely.
Automated Treatment Solutions from SCADA Experts
High Tide Technologies designs, implements and supports cloud-based SCADA water systems for municipal water collection distribution facilities, as well as for lift station and wastewater treatment plant monitoring. Our team can provide networked resources to keep wastewater treatment facilities compliant with effluent standards. Contact High Tide Technologies today to learn more about how SCADA can benefit your system.