How to boost treatment efficiency with sensors

Wastewater treatment requires considerable amounts of energy. The installation and operation of water quality sensors at wastewater treatment plants can significantly improve water quality and the stability of treatment processes, while at the same time cutting costs by reducing the consumption of energy and chemicals.

Cost savings of 20% or more can be achieved with the help of suitable sensor technologies, proving that carbon footprint reduction and cost-savings go hand in hand.

The best way to reduce both the costs and carbon footprint of a wastewater treatment system is to reduce energy demand without compromising on water quality and services. Smart use of sensor technologies helps achieve exactly this.


A wastewater utility can reduce its energy use by more than 20% by optimising active sludge process, resulting in annual cost savings of 215 k€/year for an average Dutch Water Management Board.


The anticipated investment costs of approx. 100-150 k€ can be recovered in less than 9 months.


The implementation of sensor technologies for active sludge treatment leads to a 25% reduction of the formation of methane and laughing gas, both potent greenhouse gases.

Case study

Development and implementation of QA/QC procedures for online sensors enabling their use in real-time control for drinking water

The Dutch utility Waternet uses two different treatment plants to produce drinking water for the city of Amsterdam, NL. The raw water is continuously monitored using an array of sensors, including both physical-chemical technologies as well as effect-based biomonitors. The intake can be stopped when water quality is compromised. This showcase describes why and how all sensors used at the intake and during treatment were optimised. The utility’s online sensors are now operated under certified ISO 17025 conditions and support remote control of the various locations of their treatment plants and pumping stations.

The Dutch drinking water utility Waternet has optimised its QA/QC procedures for online water quality sensors, and has saved 30% on monitoring costs while significantly improving the operationality of their online instrumentation and the reliability of monitoring results.

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Wastewater Process Control – a UK case study

The drive within the water industry to save energy, reduce costs and minimise carbon footprint has led to a focus on the optimisation of wastewater treatment processes, specifically the activated sludge process (ASP), which can consume up to 70% of energy used at a wastewater treatment plant.

Advanced Process Control (APC) using sensors for dissolved oxygen (DO), ammonia and nitrate offers a reduction of up to 20% in energy costs, depending on plant loading characteristics, plant configuration and level of instrumentation.

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Free expert advice

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