water quality monitors

Ref. BWM IW 011

New technology for monitoring between the plant and the tap

A unique, highly innovative monitoring technology has been launched by Intellitect Water and Bob Baty, Non-Executive Director (and former South West Water CEO) firmly believes that this will revolutionise the operation of drinking water supply networks.

The new technology monitors the quality of water in pipeline distribution networks and for the first time provides reliable data to protect the integrity of the water quality, to enhance customer satisfaction and to improve operational efficiency.

The monitors (Intellisondes™) provide real-time monitoring data for water within the pipeline distribution network. They feature up to 12 sensors (including a robust, highly accurate solid-state chlorine sensor) inside a tiny sonde head that fits in the pipeline through a 1½ inch valve.

Measurement options include Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, Mono-chloramine, Dissolved Oxygen, Conductivity, pH, ORP/Redox, Flow, Pressure, Temperature, Turbidity and Colour. Importantly, none of these require membranes or reagents and the sondes can be deployed for long periods without the need for frequent recalibration or maintenance.

The probe can be fitted into large pressurised pipes (via a 3.8 or 5cm valve) as well as pipes only five centimetres in diameter, for street level monitoring.

Following initial work with eight water providers in the UK and a similar number overseas, it has been demonstrated that the Intellisondes™ are quick and easy to install by field operators with a minimal level of training.

In addition to the ability to store readings (up to 2 years of 15 minute data) Intellisonde™ is also able to output data in a wide variety of communications protocols with optional GPRS connectivity so that data can be viewed and downloaded remotely.

Deployed at strategic locations throughout the network, continuous monitoring enables efficient management of water treatment processes including disinfection. It also informs decision making in the rehabilitation process and other operational activities such as flushing and air scouring.

Historically, the normal response to any issues relating to tap water quality would be for a Water Company to dispatch a team of water samplers equipped with sample bottles and/or DPD test kits or meters. There are four main problems with this approach: firstly, such tests are by definition a ‘spot test’ and therefore only give an indication of water quality at one moment in time, which may be after the problem has passed; secondly, it is normally necessary to be able to gain access to the customers’ premises to obtain a representative sample; thirdly, the manual collection of water quality data is laborious and expensive; fourthly, the number of tests that can be undertaken in the field is limited, in terms of both the accuracy of testing and the range of tests that are possible. The Intellisondes™ resolve all four of these problems.

A clear understanding of customer needs is critical to the success of any business and to this end; Intellitect's Board includes Directors with in-depth knowledge of the UK water sector.

Commenting on his involvement with Intellitect, Bob Baty says, "I am delighted to be involved in the development of this technology because I recognise that it represents a tremendous opportunity for the industry.

"During my time in the water industry, often the first time we heard about any dissatisfaction with tap water was when a customer complained, so this technology will, for the first time, enable water providers to take a proactive approach in safeguarding quality; dealing with issues before customers experience problems."

Looking forward, Bob Baty says, "Once larger numbers of low cost monitors are installed in the network, it will become possible to accurately model Chlorine and other water quality parameters throughout the network in order to manage variations in demand and unexpected loading, whilst maintaining excellent water quality. This will enable the optimisation of Chlorine dosing for customer taste and perception.

"One of the other major benefits will be to significantly improve forward planning of pipeline operational maintenance and rehabilitation so that the number of unnecessary excavations can be reduced. Furthermore, monitoring before and after the work will instantly reveal the effectiveness of the operation."

Summarising his views on the Intellitect technology, Bob says, "This is a major development for the water industry because it will improve customer service, protect water quality and improve process efficiency."

Words: 699

Notes to editors:

Originally formed in 2005 and operating from three sites in the UK, Intellitect Water Limited (IWL) develops highly innovative water monitoring instrumentation.

The business is venture capital backed with the principal shareholders being Credit Suisse, Pemberstone Group and Management, including former Chief Executives of both Anglian Water and South West Water.

The company has combined many years of experience in the water sector with a deep understanding of monitoring technology to create unique products for the measurement of chlorine and other key water quality parameters within drinking water distribution networks.

Key features of the technology include:

  • Solid state membrane-free sensor technology
  • Tiny ‘plug-and-play’ sensors
  • No requirement for chemical reagents
  • Robust and highly accurate
  • Built in data logger
  • GPRS capability
  • Easy to use, with no special software

The major benefit of Intellitect's products is that they provide water companies with access to water quality data after it leaves the treatment plant and before it reaches the consumer.

Posted by Buttonwood Marketing - Technical Scientific Environmental Sustainability PR and Marketing Communications Experts