ATI Introduces its Ammonia Monitoring System

Ammonia monitoring is becoming ever more important in water treatment and especially in environmental monitoring. River inlet protection and final effluent applications are the hot topics.

With the recent introduction of new consent limits it is necessary to develop new techniques of monitoring water quality and in particular obtaining reliable measurements of ammonia.

New technology has enabled a completely new approach to simultaneous on-line monitoring of chloramines and ammonia in water which is simpler, cheaper and more stable than conventional monitoring equipment. With this technique, measurements of both ammonia and chloramine can be carried out on one instrument. These new systems provide users with a monitor which is both simple to operate and economical to purchase.

This technique has been adopted by Analytical Technology Inc, (ATi) with the development of the new Q45N Dissolved Ammonia Monitor. This system uses reaction chemistry to convert ammonia in a solution to a stable monochloramine compound, equivalent in concentration to the original ammonia level. The chloramine concentration is then measured with a unique amperometric sensor that responds linearly to chloramines while eliminating interface from excess free chlorine in solution.

Traditionally, ammonia monitoring has been undertaken by automated versions of ammonia-selective ion electrodes, but these methods are geared towards laboratory applications. These conventional systems generally use expensive, complex and labour-intensive instruments which are difficult to maintain, and often require external service contracts. When using older monitors it is often necessary to install a sanitary sewer at each treatment location to treat the reagents added during the monitoring process, which required safe removal and generated a significant cost. Due to the expense and unreliable nature of old monitoring systems, the need for reliable, safe, accurate instruments has never been higher.

The new technology is much cheaper than conventional monitors; it has the added advantage of allowing direct re-injection of the water withdrawn for monitoring purposes back into the distribution system without the need for additional sewers. Maintenance of the new monitors is simple and easily managed by local people. The new Q45N monitor can also be used with ATi's market-leading free chlorine monitor to provide measurement of free chlorine, chloramines, free ammonia and total ammonia.

Several UK water companies now use the Q45N to monitor ammonia levels in river water at the inlet to water treatment works. The Q45N has very good sensitivity at low ranges. The chemistry involved in the system means that the Q45N converts every 1ppm of ammonia to ~5ppm of mono-chloramine, this means the system is five times more sensitive than for example ISE. Most rivers run at ammonia levels less than 1ppm, this range is difficult to measure with ISE but the Q45N gives excellent results.

For more information about ATi's Q45N Dissolved Ammonia Monitor or any other ATi products please call +44 (0)1457 873318, e-mail or visit

For further information please email Analytical Technology

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