About this good practice
Waste-water treatment (WWT) plays a tremendous role for environmental health and quality of life. WWT installations are organized into geographically distributed technological units or complete WWT plants that are connected by means of communication technologies to a regional or central control center to deliver a holistic approach of real-time control and monitoring actions upon the special technological processes. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) are specialized control system architectures dedicated for performing this job. They comprise computers, networks for data communication, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) that interface sensors and actuators with process supervisory management units, and other control units to interface processes with installations and equipment. The key feature of a SCADA system is the capacity to perform a supervisory operation over a variety of other proprietary devices, using standard communication protocols. In this project we propose a solution for optimizing SCADA systems from a lifecycle perspective for the specific case of waste-water treatment units. Tests we have run on the proposed cloud-based SCADA system indicated a proper behavior. We investigated here disruptive technologies, which are at their primary stages of evolution on the S-curve. Thus, we recommend this SCADA architecture for non-critical WWT installations, not for the premium ones.
60000 €; 5 experts involved, 30 rural communities and IoT, automation, cloud computing technology
Evidence of success
This practice was tested on several WWT plants in pilot projects. In this respect, a strong collaboration with a company that installs SCADA systems for WWT plants such us, SC PEHART TECH SA - Petrești, WWTP Alba Iulia, WWTP Beclean and WWTP Salva and have been implemented in rural areas in more than 30 communities.
Potential for learning or transfer
The development of smart networks of WWT is important for environmental protection, for increasing the resilience of the plants to various incidents, including natural disasters, as well as for ensuring provision of big data for analysis to third parties in an easy way. Besides the necessary technological innovations that are focused on cost-effective and quality-effective purification of waste-water before releasing in rivers or directing to secondary use (e.g., in agriculture or other industrial sectors), continuous monitoring and control of treatment installations to keep within nominal working parameters, as well as to act preventively or proactively against failures, is of the same relevance. We recommend this SCADA architecture for non-critical WWT installations, not for the premium one. New businesses will emerge to provide user-friendly interfaces on web for SCADA applications.