Smart wastewater systems can meet the demand for freshwater in smart cities by detecting and preventing combined sewage overflows and chemicals in wastewater with the help of IoT sensors.
Freshwater is one of the most precious natural resources that is getting scarce day by day. According to a study, nearly half of the global population, which is 3.6 billion people, live in areas that suffer water scarcity for at least one month each year. Current wastewater management systems, such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, have various limitations like complex installation, maintenance issues, and higher costs. And, due to such limitations, systems like SCADA and other such wastewater management systems cannot meet the increasing demand for freshwater. And, this is one of the many challenges that a smart city faces. Hence, to meet this demand for freshwater, water utilities have come up with more effective and smarter wastewater systems that can reduce wastage of water.
Reliable communication between wastewater management systems and administrators brings utility and cost savings together. It helps to find areas where wastage of water is likely and take quick actions to minimize water wastage.
During rains, rainwater results in an overflow of combined sewer systems in poor wastewater management systems. Monitoring the inflow of water with the help of IoT sensors can help water utilities to detect overflows in real-time and take appropriate actions to reduce water wastage. For instance, administrators can control valves and provide more water flow to areas for a specific time interval to prevent CSOs. Administrators can also automate the control of valves with the help of AI technology so that the valves adjust themselves according to the inflow of water. And also, ML algorithms can help predict the inflow of water and prevent CSOs.
IoT can play a significant role in detecting chemicals in water pipelines. With non-IoT wastewater management systems, researchers would have to detect chemical levels in water manually, which can be a time-consuming process. IoT sensors can not only easily detect the presence of chemicals, but also send alerts to a remote dashboard. Detecting traces of chemicals early will help to optimize the wastewater treatment processes and ensure the release of chemicals for treatment is within limits.
A leak in distribution pipes that distributes water regionally can result in heavy loss of water. Hence, these pipes need to be changed regularly according to necessity. IoT sensors can collect data like type of sand that pipes rest on, topography, and weather records. And then AI can help analyze these data to find patterns that offer clues to the water utilities about which pipes are at risk of leakage.
IoT-enabled sensors and AI-driven analytics in smart wastewater systems are not the only technologies that can help water utilities to improve the management and treatment of wastewater across facilities. Other technologies like big data analytics can help improve the accuracy of insights into wastewater management processes and improve their management. Governments of smart cities can play a vital role in the collaboration of such technologies. They can take initiatives to educate their citizens about the benefits of using these technologies for their mainstream adoption. Also, governments can plan and build infrastructure for the implementation of systems created with the help of these technologies.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.