How to optimise water recycling with sensors

Climate change often presents itself as an issue of water availability, putting the water industry at the heart of many climate change challenges. An increasing frequency of extreme weather events leads to more frequent periods of water stress and scarcity.

Reusing water reduces the pressure on water resources and recycled water forms a sustainable source of freshwater.

The required quality of recycled water depends on its intended purpose, e.g. watering parks in urban areas, irrigation of food crops or direct potable reuse. The key to safe water reuse is a flexible and reliable sensor-based monitoring system which can match supply and demand, in terms of both water quantity and water quality.

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Water scarcity affects almost one fifth of the EU territory and at least 11% of the EU population: 56 million people (European Commission).

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In the Mediterranean area, 20% of the population lives under constant water stress and, in summer, over 50% of the population is affected by water stress (European Commission).

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By 2030, water stress and scarcity will affect 50% of Europe’s river basins (European Commission).

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By 2027, the volume of recycled water produced in the United States is projected to increase 37% to 6.6 billion gallons per day (WateReuse, USA).

Case study

Treatment of secondary effluent to drinking water standards at Beenyup Wastewater Treatment Plant

Water Corporation Western Australia describes how online monitoring plays a vital role in the treatment of secondary WWTP effluent to drinking water quality standards in order to replenish groundwater sources for water reuse purposes.

The key benefit obtained from online sensors is the capacity to provide the utility, regulators and government with confidence that the treatment process always performs to the required standards.

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NEWater wastewater reclamation to overcome water shortages

NEWater is a used water reclamation scheme, mainly for non-potable industrial or indirect potable reuse. This frees up potable water for domestic consumption. During dry periods, NEWater is added to PUB’s reservoirs to blend with raw water for the production of drinking water. This showcase describes how sophisticated online TOC monitoring is used to assess RO membrane integrity and ensure continuous high quality of the produced water.

Today, NEWater meets 40% of Singapore’s total water demand. By 2060, NEWater is projected to meet 55% of Singapore’s future water demand. Thus, NEWater forms a sustainable and renewable water source for Singapore, making it less susceptible to changing weather and rainfall patterns.

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