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The way forward in smart water treatment

We will republish our esteemed and much used Water Handbook, an ABC of water treatment for students, water treatment professionals, researchers and other partners later in 2020. This is your opportunity to download a sneak preview to one of the featured chapters of this updated guide. This chapter discusses the history and future of smart process management in water treatment, also known as Advanced Water Treatment.

The way forward in smart water treatment

Today, all industries are undergoing major changes with regards to data and how to capitalize on it. Most regulated agencies and industries collect large amounts of process and operational data. Advances in sensor technologies provide further opportunities for process optimization and compliance monitoring. Field-measurement devices are becoming more accurate and capable of measuring a wide range of phenomena.

The water treatment chemical industry and the public utilities and private industries it serves share the goal of process optimization and improved overall productivity. The need to implement smart process management can be driven by factors such as budget constraints, new environmental regulations, sustainability, increased occurrence of severe weather events, digitalization, efficiency enhancements, or a desire to increase yields.

Water treatment chemistry plays an essential role in most water treatment processes. Traditionally, the selection of suitable chemistry has been achieved with laboratory and full-scale tests. Thanks to advances in the interpretation and use of real-time data it is now possible to see how continuous adjustments (even minute ones) can pay off in the form of improved process efficiency and major cost savings. Smart process management allows this optimization to be automated.

This chapter discusses smart process management in the following applications:

  • odor and corrosion control
  • treatment of stormwater overflow
  • chemically enhanced primary treatment
  • phosphorus treatment
  • COD and suspended solids removal in secondary or tertiary treatment,
  • enhanced sludge dewatering, and
  • wastewater disinfection.
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