Water is an essential resource. With the earth’s growing population and changing climate, the availability of safe drinking water is even more critical. The use of IIoT at wastewater treatment plants can significantly improve water conservation and cut costs through predictive maintenance and increased plant efficiency.
Reinventing Water Pressure Checks
Traditionally, a plant employee checks water pressure by hand, examining each meter on a routinely scheduled inspection. In this way, a water leak can go undetected for hours and lead to significant damage and losses in revenue. Additionally, a leak of untreated water spreads pollution into oceans, rivers and groundwater. With IoT sensors, operators can be alerted of potential leaks as soon as any drop in pressure is detected. IoT can also provide remote shutoff capabilities, so a leak can be stopped before a technician is able to arrive on site.
Last year, Le-ax Water District in southeastern Ohio installed industrial IoT SeaConnect 370 devices to monitor pressure at valve stations throughout the district. Previously, the district was usually unaware of an issue until a homeowner or business called. SeaConnect 370 devices allow for remote monitoring of each station and the ability for the facility to react quickly and oftentimes proactively to any issues.
IIoT for Water Treatment & Delivery
Beyond pressure changes, IIoT can assist in the more efficient treatment of water by instantly measuring properties such as temperature, pH, chlorine and the levels of other chemicals. More consistent water purity has huge benefits not just for consumers but many other industries reliant on water use, such as farming, food, healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
IIoT can assist not only in water treatment but also in other water delivery systems. Smart irrigation for farming or city parks measures the soil moisture and the current weather to determine if and when water is needed. This reduces waste but also increases the retention of crops by preventing over or under-watering. Sewer management can also be alerted to and proactively plan for potential flooding due to overflow, especially due to stormy weather.
On a consumer level, IoT meters installed in homes allow consumers to see their water usage in real time and give them the power to make informed choices about personal water conservation or to alert them of an outage or system repair.
When it comes to water management and conservation, IIoT is a technology with wide-reaching effects.