System Integration & Control Systems Design

Increasing the value of automation for wastewater projects

October 2016 System Integration & Control Systems Design

In an uncertain economic environment, water and wastewater plants strive to be efficient, cost-effective and reliable. Every facility needs to maximise its performance and availability. For the economic operation of a wastewater plant, all of the various units must function together through optimally coordinated interfaces and automation systems.

Neglected or poorly performing water treatment systems can significantly reduce plant efficiency and reliability, increase chemical and energy costs, and trigger regulatory non-compliance. Too often, however, these systems suffer from a lack of adequate monitoring and control capabilities.

This white paper discusses the use of modern automation technology to support wastewater projects at industrial and municipal sites worldwide. It describes the latest innovative strategies for automating water treatment units and other equipment assets in both new and existing facilities.


Wastewater treatment is an important function that affects all of us: it is vital to keep our living environment hygienic and healthy, our watercourses clean, and our manufacturing facilities compliant with regulatory standards. Behind the scene, the wastewater treatment process combines microbiology and chemistry with mechanical engineering, instrumentation and automation techniques that offer high performance in a progressive way.

Waste treatment facilities face a number of trends that are having a broad impact on operations, maintenance and capital expenditures, including increasing labour, energy, and chemical costs. Advanced process control is a tool that can help to minimise the impact of many of these trends. Automation of wastewater plants, where facilities run unattended for some period of time, is an essential element of a cost saving strategy. However, many plants have not implemented complete automation yet for a variety of reasons.

For those responsible for water treatment operations, the old rules governing automation technology investments no longer apply. Simply buying yesterday’s solutions (often, the least expensive equipment) is not the answer to progress. New approaches to process control have seized the day. Modern automation systems make it possible to measure, calculate, estimate and monitor process efficiency, direct costs, lifetime costs, emissions – and all the interdependencies between them. They enable the plant to optimise and control its operations correspondingly.

The growing importance of automation requires project leaders to make a number of decisions. How can state-of-the-art control solutions improve the use of people and the structuring of work processes? What are the emerging technologies, and how do you lay the best foundation to support plant operations in the future while optimising processes today?

In order to ensure greater value and a lower cost-of-ownership from automation technology investments, Honeywell Process Solutions has committed to providing solutions its customers can 'start with, live with, and grow with.' This approach is particularly applicable to end users in the water/wastewater industry, who are increasingly concerned about the long-term costs of maintaining their control systems assets.

This strategy enables plant owners to make smaller, incremental automation investments while at the same time moving to a next-generation automation system. Through the company’s “continuous technology evolution” policy, it provides the flexibility to deploy updated products, features, and functions with minimal risk to existing system investments.

Readers interested in taking the long-term view of the benefits of process automation in wastewater applications, which considers the overall value from technology investments, can download the full white paper at

For more information contact John Moodie, Universal Measurement & Control, +27 (0)12 665 4156,,


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