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Automation in Wastewater Treatment

How to 'Watomate': Discover the Role of Automation in Waste–Water Treatment

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Hence, EcoAxis is offering a cloud-based remote monitoring and Big Data analytics layer that over-arches the legacy of plant control and instrument systems. On the same lines, Endress+Hauser India is offering another unique solution—Effluent Quality Monitoring Stations (EQMS). This solution is installed at manufacturing locations or factories wherein real time data is sent by the Probes or Analyzers to SPCB, CPCB. EQMS is a GPRS and cloud based solution. It helps one to monitor PH, Flow, TSS (Total Suspended Solid), BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand), COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) and Chromium. The solution generates customized reports and enables one to monitor all the effluent treatment plants on a single platform from any given place.

Achieving Real Time Monitoring

Also, the offered solutions would be as per the CPCB guidelines. The government is trying to put the EQMS proposition on a central level by getting real time monitoring to be done at the central PWD department through cloud technology. Bhor says, “Another area of increasing focus is real-time monitoring and automation. This is expected to play an important role in the years to come, considering that even more stringent regulations are likely to be put in place by the end of this decade.”

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Hurdles for Automation in Sewage Treatment

The Indian Ministry of Water Resources plans to invest $50 billion in the water sector in the coming years. This is good news for automation players in this segment; however, there are also a few challenges which they face, Lakshmikantha opines, “In India awareness about automation is less. Only 10 per cent of the treatment plants are run on automation technology.”

This is not all! Capital investments, operating costs, growing populations, environmental legislation, high expertise and brand equity are some of the other challenges in this segment. In this highly fragmented market, Goel observes, “Since investment does not result in any immediate revenue and is seen as an additional cost, allocation of funds for these projects is the biggest bottleneck.” Bhor agrees with him, he says, “For instance, SME players do not wish to invest in wastewater automation as it is a costly affair for them.”

In addition to this, major contracts for both EPC and O&M of wastewater plants in India are bid and won on an L1 basis. “This could be problematic for those encouraging players who demonstrate data-driven proven track records, as it leaves little scope for bidders to incorporate out of the box, path-breaking solutions like IoT,” mentions Vaswani. Also, for huge municipal and industrial projects, there is a pre-bidding process, and hence high expertise and prior experiences are critical factors.

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