A river water quality monitoring platform, developed to support utilities in meeting requirements of the Environment Act 2021, has been named best-in-class by the instrumentation sector.
Xylem Environmental Solutions UK’s YSI EXO2S water quality sonde and HydroSphere cloud-based visualisation platform were named Monitoring and Metering Product of the Year at the Instrumentation Excellence Awards in London on 19 October 2023.
The EXO2S is a multiparameter sonde which allows multiple smart sensors to be loaded into any EXO sonde. Traditional use of smart sensors requires the user to calibrate each sonde separately for parameters including temperature, pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and ammonium. For large-scale monitoring projects, this represents some of the highest ongoing costs.
As well as improving data, the multi-sensor calibration approach, unique to the industry, cuts cost of consumables and reduces the amount of time needed to calibrate sensors, along with the frequency of calibrations. It also enhances the logistics of carrying out robust water quality monitoring in hard-to-access locations.
Solar-powered telemetry outstations are installed upstream and downstream of final effluent or storm overflows, collecting water quality data from the sensors every 15 minutes. The outputs are transmitted to the HydroSphere platform, which monitors the sensors’ output, highlighting specific issues in the catchment and turning thousands of datapoints into digestible information.
The system was developed as part of Xylem UK’s storm discharge monitoring programme, and aims to support the water sector’s drive to improve water quality of rivers, estuaries and coastline, in line with requirements the Environment Act 2021. Part 5, section 82 of the Act requires water utilities to continuously monitor water quality upstream and downstream of all storm overflow and sewage disposal works, which discharge into a watercourse.
James Chapman, environmental solutions business development manager at Xylem UK, said:
“We are thrilled our EXO2S sonde and HydroSphere platform have been recognised by the Instrumentation Excellence Awards.
“The innovation of both the calibration regime and the smart alarm visualisation mapping will enable the Environment Act monitoring to be rolled-out with higher data confidence, better traceability and quickly highlight the sites and catchments that require urgent action. Having the ability to calibrate smart sensors en masse lowers the cost of consumables and labour for water companies, whilst delivering data integrity.
“As a framework supplier to the Environment Agency and a number of water companies, Xylem understands the challenges companies are facing with monitoring requirements. If adopted on a large scale, our system can provide the sector with best-in-class sensor technology with traceable and defendable data.
“Once implemented, concerns around ‘drowning in data’, and the need for teams of scientists to view and analyse thousands of sites, will be reduced. The end-goal is to digitise river catchments and better understand the impact of storm discharges to improve the quality of our waterways for future generations.”