When we turn on the tap and fill up a glass, go for a dip in the ocean or fry up a freshly caught fish from the local lake, most of us take it for granted that these are all safe actions. The reality is that behind the scenes, scientists work tirelessly to ensure that the quality of the world’s most valuable resource is as high as possible. From lakes and streams to coastal waters and estuaries, water quality monitoring is a critical practice carried out in countries across the globe.
What is Monitored ?
Before looking at how water quality monitoring data is used, it’s important to understand what sort of information is being collected. Different projects will look at different indicators however in general, these are some of the key factors that are considered:
- Water temperature
- Dissolved oxygen
- pH levels
- Faecal contamination
- The presence of undesirable elements in marine life
- Chemical content of crops
So why is monitoring the quality of water so important? With the World Water Assessment Programmed reporting that every day a staggering two million tons of human waste is disposed into water courses, keeping tabs on quality is critical! At its core, the practice serves five major purposes.
- Results are used to pinpoint any changes or trends that appear in water bodies over a period of time. These can be short of long term developments.
- Regularly monitoring water quality is a crucial part of identifying any existing problems, or any issues that could emerge in the future. For example, data has been used to reveal that over the past few years, increases in fertilisers used for food production had increased global nitrogen pollution in rivers by up to 20%.
- When designing and developing pollution prevention and management strategies data collected from water quality monitoring efforts is hugely helpful. With 70% of untreated industrial waste dumped straight into water systems, pollution management is a must.
- Today governments, communities and businesses are required to meet a range of water quality goals. Monitoring data is used to determine whether or not pollution regulations are being complied with.
From oil spills and radiation leaks to floods and mass erosion, water quality monitoring data is a must when developing emergency strategies.
SNG is Working towards a healthier planet
The main purpose of collecting water quality monitoring data is to enhance the health of the natural environment. There is a primary focus on pollution, however other factors are also considered. In turn, this creates a healthier world for humans, plants and animals to live in. Below are some of the key ways data is used:
- Identify current problems in water bodies
- Pinpoint any existing or emerging trends
- Develop pollution management strategies
- Monitor progress and measure results
- Respond to aquatic emergencies such as oil spills and mass erosion
- Ensure standards are being complied with
- Plan for the future
- Various applications of water need different quality of water & accordingly different parameters need to be checked and maintained on regular basis. i.e.-
- Human needs-Drinking, Kitchen, washing,
- Other Usages– Gardening, Flushing, cooling tower, etc
- Process needs– Industrial cooling process, Steam generation, other industrial uses etc
- (applicable parameters-Ph, hardness, TDS, presence of bacteria, metals, undesirable salts etc.)
- 2.Waste Water-Sewage or Effluent water – Depending upon the disposal standards applicable in the region various parameters i.e. BOD, COD, TSS, Oil & Grease, Ph etc. need to be checked and maintained. If water is reused, then more parameters as per use.
With the use of Water Tech (Electronics/IOT based) products & systems it is possible to install quality testing instruments at strategic locations and to continuously monitoring the same. With the state of the art IOT based monitors these details could be accessed from anywhere in the world through web hosting.