Automation Development in Water and Wastewater Systems

  • Olsson, Gustaf (Department of Industrial Electrical Engineering and Automation, Lund University)
  • Published : 2007.12.31


Advanced control is getting increasingly demanded in water and wastewater treatment systems. Various case studies have shown significant savings in operating costs, including energy costs, and remarkably short payback times. It has been demonstrated that instrumentation, control and automation (ICA) may increase the capacity of biological nutrient removing wastewater treatment plants by 10-30% today. With further understanding and exploitation of the mechanisms involved in biological nutrient removal the improvements due to ICA may reach another 20-50% of the total system investments within the next 10-20 years. Disturbances are the reason for control of any system. In a wastewater treatment system they are mostly related to the load variations, but many disturbances are created also within the plant. In water supply systems some of the major disturbances are related the customer demand as well as to leakages or bursts in the pipelines or the distribution networks. Hardly any system operates in steady state but is more or less in a transient state all the time. Water and energy are closely related. The role of energy in water and wastewater operations is discussed. With increasing energy costs and the threatening climate changes this issue will grow in importance.


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