A new system for monitoring effluent and the movement of effluent tankers is providing enormous benefits to the customers and operators of treatment plants all over the UK. Increasing centralisation of effluent
treatment has resulted in an expansion of the controlled collection and distribution of sludge and effluents by tankers. Historically, effluent quality and quantity have been estimated, with no accurate mechanism in place for monitoring the volume or strength of incoming waste for treatment. The precise billing of services was often difficult, as was the efficient operation of a treatment process with inaccurate feed information. In line with Ofwat requests for the fair and just costing of effluent treatment, water companies are now moving towards a more accurate, tiered system – charging for weak, medium
or thick wastes dependent
on their loading. The new
costing system is closely linked with the accurate determination of the strength and volume of an effluent.

A new monitoring system has been developed by IEA of Cardiff and is built upon a powerful datalogger/controller, the V5. It is designed to provide an ideal solution for the monitoring of tanker movements, coupled with an accurate recording of the quality and quantity of waste delivered by each individual tanker.

The V5 also stores transaction information that can be remotely downloaded from a central management point. The system is user-friendly and easy to operate. Each vehicle has a smart card that enables the driver to log onto the V5 system. At the waste reception station, the driver couples up his tanker to the inlet point and, once logged on, the actuator valve automatically opens to allow waste to flow into the treatment inlet system. When a tanker has been emptied the system closes the actuator valve ready for the next delivery and all data captured in this transaction (volume delivered, strength of waste, vehicle identity, date and time) is stored within the V5 system logger as an individual transaction file until downloaded via the on-board modem to a central management point for recording and billing purposes.

An online solution

TidoN, an integrated web-based solution, is available for clients with multiple sites, providing an integrated method of monitoring and billing. IEA’s TidoN can also enable a company to efficiently manage its assets, identify waste deliveries by time and quantity, and efficiently bill contractors.

TidoN can combine the logging of information on all tanker movements with data management, reporting and infrastructure administration to provide clients with a complete e-commerce solution. IEA hosts and manages secure websites on behalf of many water companies posting transaction reports on the site the next working day. To simplify the billing process, certain levels of information can be made available to tanker operators and contractors to raise an awareness of the costs identified. Commenting on his experience with the system, Richard Yates of Yorkshire Water explains: “IEA TidoN has enabled Yorkshire Water to fulfil its obligations under the Duty of Care Regulations, enforced by the Environment Agency (EA). TidoN has more than delivered to expectations and we are extending its application.” The measurement of suspended solids in effluent necessitates the use of a robust probe, capable of taking accurate measurements across a wide range of effluent strengths. So, following a recommendation from a major water authority, IEA has deployed the Lange Solitax probe in the V5 system. The Solitax probe provides suspended solids data through turbidity measurement with a patented double diffuse infra-red light measurement method.

The parallel evaluation of different diffuse light signals ensures results are accurate irrespective of effluent colour and its proven self-cleaning system ensures it can be used in a wide variety of environments. The Solitax probe is ideal for turbidity measurements in applications varying from clean water to thick sludge. Solitax can be connected to a multi-functional display unit, the Multi Unit Plus, from which the continuously measured and logged value is available. In line with its policy of technical innovation and process simplification, IEA has recently launched a new monitoring system for discharge monitoring, the V6. It has been designed to provide the water industry with an online consent parameter monitoring
system, utilising the Lange Solitax process probe, as an integral part of the sensing technology. V6 will provide flow and discharge consent information from trade flow discharges, which, coupled with an early warning system, can minimise the risk of damage to a treatment process.

Additional parameters such as pH can also be added to the system. The data from IEA’s V6 unit is downloadable to a central information point where it can be used for billing and to provide valuable management reports. The V6 logger can be individually configured with consent parameters for a specific trade discharge and information can be recorded from sensors and analysers at a predetermined frequency, in line with individual site conditions. This new system is providing treatment plant operators and their customers with a more accurate and fair method for billing, while providing water company executives with far greater process visibility and access to operational data

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