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Keeping it clean - measuring slude levels in sewage treatment plants

Company:

With nearly $11 billion revenues in 2012, Jacobs Engineering Group is a diverse provider of professional technical services, offering support across market sectors from aerospace, defence, automotive, through to pharmaceutical, oil and gas and water quality services.

Issue:

As part of supplying water for 2.6 million properties in the east of England, Anglian Water must carry out the safe treatment of waste water. The treatment of sewage is the process of removing toxins and pollutants from waste water (including drain-captured rainwater), household sewage and industrial effluent to produce products safe for disposal or reuse.

The primary filtration process involves separating the solid contaminants from the waste water sewage, using a biological technique. Once this process has taken place the environmentally safe treated water is discharged into rivers or seas while the settled ‘sludge’ is run off into a tank installation for further treatment and eventual use in the production of fertilisers and methane gas.

To ensure safe secondary processing, the monitoring of sludge blanket levels is critical to avoid any pollution incidents from overspill that can cause damage to the environment. With its waste water treatment plant located in an isolated area in Stowmarket, Suffolk, Anglian Water was looking to monitor sludge blanket levels from a central point up to one kilometre away. With cabling infrastructure to prohibitive and costly, the utility company turned to Jacobs Engineering Group to develop a suitable and alternative waste water monitoring system.

Opting for a wireless transmission technology to link the central control with the remote surveillance location, Jacobs Engineering Group then approached Wood & Douglas to provide the reliable radio telemetry units and network.

Solution:

Forming the central hub of this telemetry system is the OpenNET 6000. Able to accept and handle more than 250 connections, the 6000 radio unit linked with 300T transceivers located one kilometre away at the sludge tank. With both digital and analogue inputs, this flexible assembly connected to depth sensors for monitoring sludge levels. Over a reliable and secure radio network it constantly transmitted critical status data and blanket levels to the OpenNET 6000.

With a battery life of more than five years, the 300T is designed for low-level maintenance in remote locations. However, as part of the depth level data transmission, battery status is always relayed back to the master OpenNET 6000 so battery charge can be closely scrutinised and replaced when running low, ensuring reliable and stable operation. The adaptable OpenNET set-up also allows simple system extensions as site configuration changes over time.

Wood & Douglas deployment of its OpenNET 6000 and 300T radio telemetry equipment allowed Anglian Water to remotely and closely measure and manage sludge levels from a central hub, preventing any long lasting environmental damage. The wireless radio system also eliminates large infrastructure costs associated with cabling networks and expensive and regular maintenance checks.

  • Critical, rapid and reliable wireless transmission of sludge level data over a long distance for continuous monitoring
  • Flexible 300T transceiver accommodate connections to depth sensors via its analogue or digital inputs

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