Drinking water supply of the future

In 2015 Denmark's largest development project within the drinking-water sector will make proposals for future solutions.

The drinking-water supply of the future (Future Water) is Denmark's largest development project on the subject. By the end of 2015, the project’s partners will come with a proposal for how to solve many of the future challenges facing the Danish drinking-water supply. 

VIA’s researchers together with the Ringkøbing-Skjern Water Supply and a number of other partners are involved in two projects that are based on the utility's new groundbreaking waterworks: Aquatarium. 

Waterworks seen in an acoustic perspective

In one project, VIA’s researchers are examining how vibrations and sounds can be used to monitor the operation of a waterworks. Just by listening, it is possible for a waterworks operator to identify many potential and actual failures. However, since many modern waterworks are unmanned today, that information can be lost.

Monitoring vibrations and sounds can optimise operations

VIA's researchers and collaborators will carry out recordings of vibrations and sound-signals with equipment located in different places within the waterworks as well as carry out a comprehensive treatment of signals. They will thus be able to draw a picture of various audio and vibration characteristic components and identify what types of errors are best suited for this type of monitoring. This will optimize the maintenance of the waterworks and reduce the risk of breakdowns. 

The project will also try to develop a method where the sound inside the water plant's filters is applied to finding the optimal rinsing time. Here, researchers use a sound source and associated hydrophones to measure the reflected sound with a method similar to seismic measurements normally carried out in the ground. The method is based on the density of the granules in the filter which clog up over time and that increase amplifies the speed of sound. 

Biosensors can optimize control of the water quality

In the second project, VIA’s researchers will investigate biosensors, as a new perspective for the control and optimization of the processes in the waterworks of the future. Today, water companies use a wide range of classical sensors for monitoring and controlling flow, pressure, oxygen content, etc. Similarly biosensors for monitoring and controlling the microbiological water quality are the future and they will replace the traditional spot checks, where a pollution incident can easily be overlooked. Biosensors are still in development, and it may take years before the developed biosensors are fast, sensitive, authorized and specific enough to live up to the demands a waterworks has for them as a control tool.

Rethinking the measurement strategy for waterworks

VIA's researcher are therefore rethinking the measurement strategy of waterworks by dividing the measuring task into event alarm, automated sampling and characterization of contamination. In cooperation with companies in the field, VIA’s researchers will develop, test and demonstrate various solutions and thereby build an optimal, functional biosensor system solution now.

Project partners: 

Ringkøbing-Skjern Forsyning, VIA University College, Aarhus Universitet, Minus10dB, Amphi-Bac og Alectia. 

Project funding: 

The project is funded by The Foundation for Development of Technology in the Danish Water Sector (in short called VTU-Fonden). 

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