Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring

Sustainability of surface water

April 2024 Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring

The sustainability of surface water is critical for South Africa’s economic development, social well-being and environmental health. South Africa faces water scarcity driven by our semi-arid climate, increasing population and degradation of water resources by pollution. These challenges can be addressed with effective water management policies, adoption of smart technologies and the involvement of communities.

Environmental and economic risks

Sewage carries harmful pathogens and pollutants, including an oversupply of nutrients that lead to an increase of harmful algae and other aquatic plants. This can lead to a decrease in oxygen levels in water, resulting in the destruction of fish and other aquatic life.

Water quality parameters

Changes in the following parameters can be indicative of some sort of pollution upstream, and can be early warnings for unsafe water conditions that can limit the water’s suitability for use and warn of possible ecological disasters:

pH: Monitoring pH is important as high or low pH levels can cause skin and eye irritation in humans and be harmful to aquatic life.

Dissolved oxygen: Measuring dissolved oxygen levels is critical as low levels can cause fish and other aquatic organisms to die and can also cause toxic algae blooms that can be harmful to humans.

Turbidity: This measures the clarity of the water. High turbidity can be indicative of suspended solids, bacteria or other solid pollutants.

Conductivity: This measures the ability of water to conduct an electrical current, which can indicate the presence of dissolved salts, metals or other pollutants.

Nitrate and phosphate: These nutrients can promote the growth of harmful algae blooms, which can be toxic to humans and animals.

Temperature: Monitoring temperature is important as high temperature levels can reduce oxygen levels and increase the growth of harmful bacteria.

Monitoring solution

The safe limits for the parameters to be monitored to ensure water bodies are safe for use are governed by the specific regulations and guidelines set by local and national authorities. By monitoring these parameters with precise and reliable inline liquid analysis instrumentation, it is possible to gain insight into the safety of the water body and have early detection and proactive warning of potential environmental challenges.

Endress+Hauser has a full range of liquid analysis sensors and transmitters to measure these parameters, and has an excellent global track record in water and wastewater process plants and various surface and industrial water monitoring sites. The self-diagnostic tools of these advanced digital sensors and transmitters ensure the reliability of your instrumentation, which in turn ensures the reliability and accuracy of your data.

These sensors, transmitters and associated components can be precisely fitted on backplanes or conveniently into panels at the Endress+Hauser factory, and are then delivered to site. This ensures all sensors are installed as intended, resulting in accurate measurement and reduced commissioning time.

Endress+Hauser’s Netilion ready edge devices enable cloud access to all measurement and asset health data. The company’s Netilion desktop and mobile apps provide secure remote access to your sensors from anywhere. All measurement data, health data and availability of sensors are on the Netilion desktop or mobile apps, wherever you are. The user will receive immediate warnings as soon as water quality limits are breached, and also when sensor or transmitter health conditions change. This ensures you can have confidence in your water quality measurements at all times. Where multiple sites are present, water quality parameters can be easily consolidated into a complete river system overview.

Track water data

Netilion Value is a digital service that remotely collects the data from your field devices and displays them on your PC, smartphone or any other smart device of your choice. Besides being able to check data whenever you need, even for distant locations, you can also receive alerts when thresholds are exceeded.

Seamless water quality workflows with digital documentation

Beside documenting your water values, you might also have to document instrument information. Whenever you need to send calibration protocols or view configuration reports, Netilion Library helps you find them quickly and with ease. You will have all asset files attached to the digital twin of each field device, which saves time on creating and organising files so that you can focus on running your installation.

Increase the reliability of your water measurement

To meet water management regulations, you need accurate measurements, which means your instrumentation needs to stay in good shape. Most field devices are already intelligent enough to send self-diagnostic information. Netilion Health gives you digital access to such valuable insights. Knowing the health status of your equipment allows you to detect defects and resolve them quickly so you can keep your water quality high.


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