Emerging Technologies In The Wastewater Industry

Sanjeev Sirsi, Associate Vice President - Water Utility, Grundfos IndiaGrundfo India offers challengingcareer opportunities for professionals, students and graduates. Together they create great products and solutions their energy efficient pumps provide comfort, deliver drinking water, remove wastewater, or help farmers water their crops all over the world.

During the recent Union Budget announcement, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman strengthened the commitment towards making India ‘Open Defecation Free’ and wanted to ensure 100 percent disposal of all liquid waste. A significant portion of the INR 12,300 crores allocated to Swachh Bharat Mission this year will be used to roll out initiatives that will aid in the disposal and treatment of wastewater.

According to a report by IndiaSpend, 61,754 million liters per day(MLD)sewage is generated in urban areas while the country has the capacity to treat only 22,963 MLD. This means that approximately 70 percent of the wastewater generated remains untreated. Given the current water scenario in India, this becomes a critical factor to mitigate the water scarcity. In water efficient cities, such as Frankfurt, water is recycled eight times before it reaches the ocean.

Emerging Technologies
Technology is expected to drive India’s shift towards water efficiency and improved wastewater treatment considering the country’s ongoing water crisis, academicians, startups and corporates have stepped in and shared their innovative solutions to alleviate the stress on the resource. The government is also working closely with countries, such as Israel to leverage their knowledge and innovation in these areas.

1.Internet of Things(IoT) in Waste water Processes
Internet of Things has a growing influence on the water industry and is being increasingly used in wastewater processes. IoT sensors are used to collect data on water quality, temperature changes, pressure fluctuations, water, and chemical leakage. Sensors act as a communication device that sends data for analyzing the inputs, which then can be used to improve the process efficiency. The information can be shared with engineers,technicians and other management officials to give them actionable insights they might not otherwise have access to.

Grundfos IOT for Wastewater Networks is a cloud-based solution to optimize the operation and ease expansion or repair of your wastewater network. It can identify infiltration water by monitoring actual flow in sewers and do predictive maintenance to save energy and labor before a breakdown occurs. We are perfectly placed to deliver an optimization module for wastewater collection systems that improve knowledge of what is going on in the network, save hours in operations and increases efficiency.

Grundfos brings a depth of application and solutions knowledge
which means our digital water management products truly add value. We are perfectly placed to deliver an optimization module for wastewater collection systems that improve knowledge of what is going on in the network, save hours in operations and increases efficiency.

2.Big Data in Wastewater Treatment
Wastewater treatment facilities use a lot of data daily from every day reports and include details of its flow, pressure statistics, maintenance systems, safety checks, airflow, and many more. If this data is collected on a regular basis, it should be able to help technicians understand if there are any patterns or insights. It also improves the overall reliability and resilience of a wastewater treatment plant.

IoT sensors are used to collect data on water quality, temperature changes, pressure fluctuations, water, and chemical leakage

Unfortunately, data management is still quite fragmented in the wastewater industry. While the computers are filled with redundant, historical data, a mechanism does not exist to correlate and derive a meaningful insight into these data. Big data tools can clean the data, calibrate and validate it for the user. This can help the operators to understand, manage and use this data to streamline processes, make informed decisions and improve the overall result.

A smart water management system will complement IoT with big data as a data driven approach will significantly improve its chances of getting the best possible outcome. Companies providing wastewater solutions must demonstrate the benefits around data to demystify the technology and improve large scale adoption.

3. Predictive Maintenance and Remote Monitoring
Downtime in a critical process, such as wastewater treatment has a negative impact on all the stakeholders and ancillary segments. The right kind of monitoring will be able to reduce these implications and minimize downtime to a large extent. In the span of two decades, the idea of monitoring has shifted from simply logging data to a more strategic and predictive approach to prevent issues before they even happen.

Predictive maintenance or monitoring is one of the major benefits of big data. It relies on current plus historical data and trends to detect upcoming failures. A simple measurable change in conditions should be able to help identify the imminent failure of a process or equipment. Predictive maintenance allows advance planning and maintenance without major operational impact or production losses. Simultaneously, it also urges technicians and operators to improve processes, quality and efficiency.

With sensors collecting data every second remote monitoring has become a real possibility in wastewater treatment and the processes require minimal manual intervention. These sensors can check water levels, quality, pH levels, flow, temperature, pressure and leakage, and instantly inform a technician sitting even 1,000 km away if there is an issue or emergency.

4.Intelligent Pumping Solution
Pumps act as catalysts in any wastewater treatment process. Efficient pumps can improve productivity and conserve energy. Additionally treatment processes that involve hard effluents consume a lot of energy increase wear and tear and add a significant burden to the wastewater treatment process.

Intelligent, digitally connected pumps are integral to every part of the wastewater process from intake to the final stage of distribution. Pumps with mixing, dosing, and aeration systems are designed to work with each other seamlessly through each stage. They are durable and equipped to deal with large or fluctuating flow requirements and can also boost the pressure, if necessary.

Today’s leading pumps are also embedded with sensors and a variable frequency drive. This allows them to manage flow and pressure based on requirements and share actionable insights with the facilitators and engineers.

These emerging technologies are becoming integrated processes, augmented by their individual benefits. In the future, the cost of adoption is expected to become exponentially more affordable for businesses and municipalities. The world is leaning towards such smart water management processes to improve the infrastructure and create efficient water management systems.