How remote monitoring can contribute to operational success

Embracing digital technology will have a vital role to play in the safe, efficient and effective management of wastewater. Whether it is to minimise the impact of increasingly extreme weather events, reducing health risks or simply to streamline operational expenditure – digital monitoring and remote services can provide long term value. Here, William Jeal, Business Manager – Municipal & Digital Services at Veolia Water Technologies UK discusses the benefits.
The events of the past year have highlighted the importance of having measures in place to deal with unpredictable events. This can be in the form of the extreme weather that the UK experienced during the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 or the COVID-19 pandemic that fundamentally changed both how businesses function and the way people work. Having systems in place that are flexible to meet the needs of any situation is now crucial to the success of many organisations.
There may be a number of reasons why businesses need to operate as usual but with a reduced number of people on site. For example, extreme weather events can disrupt travel or render sites inaccessible, especially where they are located in more rural areas. This can mean that key personnel are able to operate, monitor or maintain equipment.
Furthermore, at times, restricting the number of people who visit the site on health and safety grounds could be necessary, including employees or specialists from partner organisations. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, remote working has become a new way of life. However, for some businesses and facilities, such as manufacturers or industrial processing plants – remote working was simply not possible but halting operations was not an option.
Wastewater treatment systems, regardless of the size or type, play a crucial part in the operation of many different types of business. It is vital that these systems continue to operate as intended to ensure all environmental and quality standards are being met. In many cases this requires the person responsible for monitoring the system to be on site and even carry out physical checks of the plant to ensure it is running at optimum levels. An issue with the wastewater treatment system will severely impact the organisation’s ability to operate and can even result in enforcement action if the discharged water does not comply with the required standards.
Therefore, it is important to consider how operations can be adapted to ensure continuity regardless of the challenges that might be faced. Remote monitoring and digital services for wastewater treatment systems can provide a solution.
These remote monitoring systems are relatively simple to implement and scalable to suit both smaller and larger sites. Internet enabled monitoring devices are installed on all relevant equipment and the data is transmitted back to a central cloud-based platform where it is aggregated and displayed in...