Water Resource Management How to Intelligently Network Measurement Values ...

Author / Editor: Martin Müller and Kay Miller / Dr. Jörg Kempf

... and so to provide an overview at all times into the aggregated wastewater treatment facility. A single intelligent solution for completely networking sensor-based measuring systems makes it possible.

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Quite a smart head: the PFC200 controller from Wago.
Quite a smart head: the PFC200 controller from Wago.
(Source: ©Wago, ©agsandrew, ©mimacz, ©dmitrimaruta, ©Matthias Buehner, ©petersen123 - stock.adobe.com; [M]-Grimm)

Using the right measurements — it always goes back to that when you are optimizing processes. It often sounds so easy, but it is usually anything but. Using the right measurements means: determining the data that are actually relevant for the process analysis, evaluating the data using suitable mathematical models, and bringing it into a targeted context. If this succeeds, then measures can be derived in the end that have the potential to sustainably increase the efficiency of the process.

In wastewater treatment, data is primarily recorded in the sanitary sewer network or at wastewater treatment plants. Nivus from Eppingen/Germany is among the market leaders in this sector due to their measurement sensors. Together with Wago, the company developed a solution that links data from geographically distant stations into a network in a comparatively easy way.


Wastewater treatment facilities are sensitive systems that require constant conditions to maintain their microorganisms. In this context, a harmonized supply of wastewater is an essential prerequisite — particularly when considering the volume, concentration and composition of the waste load. This can be implemented by combining the through flow measurements from the wastewater in the sanitary sewers with hydraulic engineering systems, for example, a throttle point.

If the individual measuring stations of the hydraulic engineering systems are networked within a sewer system, then the data, that are obtained here, are available in real time at the control center of the wastewater treatment plant. By using the target-actual performance comparison of the process data from the wastewater treatment facility, the optimal supply of wastewater can be determined using mathematical calculations and the plant can be operated in the most optimal state.

When calculating the necessary measures, the time delay must also be considered that exists between setting the changes, and the point when the effects of said changes are generated. Controlling the process is thus carried out long before the load arrives at the wastewater treatment plant or even its peripheral areas. At the same time, an important contribution to surface water management can be achieved by the targeted control of throttle points and other hydraulic engineering systems. In this context, Nivus discusses an integrated process control system which forms the basis for developments in the direction of water 4.0.

Optimally Controlled Processes

Buffer storage points, for example, underground stormwater retaining basins in the sanitary sewer network for the water management area, must also be efficiently regulated. They can fill completely during heavy rain events and, as the rain tapers off, can provide a quantity of water with a low contamination load that is optimal for biological processes at the treatment facility.

For this purpose, the discharge vents of these reservoirs can be adjusted, as needed, based on the intelligent aggregated system. This is used to create harmonized purification processes that lead to good discharge values at increased energy efficiency.

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