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The distribution network monitoring sondes from Intellitect Water (UK) represent an exciting development in drinking water, according to Glyn Church of Westwater Enterprises in Australia.

The Intellitect sondes monitor the quality and flow of water in pipeline distribution networks.

Inserted directly into water pipes the Intellisondes measure a range of parameters and transmit the data back to the water company, providing real-time information on water quality at the point of delivery.

Glyn Church is in an ideal position to assess the value of the Intellitect technology.

Westwater Enterprises was founded by a group of individuals with decades of experience in water treatment.

The company operates from Perth and Queensland with customers spread all over the Asia Pacific region.

Specialising in water treatment and control, the company is able to provide engineered solutions and packaged turnkey systems to meet specific needs.

‘Our customers have been looking for a solution to monitor tap drinking water without incurring huge operational costs and the Intellitect products appear to meet that need,’ said Church.

In cooperation with a local water company, Westwater Enterprises has operated two Intellisondes for a trial period of one year.

One unit was installed at a reservoir outlet on a 1,350mm pipe and a further unit was installed on a gravity fed tank.

‘It was necessary to test the devices across a broad range of temperatures; during the summer months temperatures regularly exceed 40C, while in the winter, temperatures near Perth can drop to freezing at night time,’ explained Church.

During the period of the trial, Church reported that the Intellisondes performed extremely well, as a result of which it is anticipated that a significant number of units will be deployed in the near future.

Further trials have been initiated in other regions of Australia.

For example, a unit is being installed to monitor water re-use at a wastewater treatment plant and Church noted that an Intellisonde was recently installed just north of Sydney by water company engineers without any prior training.

While there has been a long-standing desire to monitor drinking water quality within the distribution network, Church said that there have been two important issues that have been addressed by the Intellitect development team.

First, and most importantly, the devices have incorporated solid-state chlorine sensors that are able to provide accurate data without the need for frequent recalibration or chemicals.

Second, following early discussions with Westwater Enterprises, Intellitect has built a Modbus interface into the Intellisondes, which provides speed and simplicity in the connection of the sondes with conventional Scada systems.

‘Chlorine is a vitally important parameter for drinking water; our solid-state sensor is accurate across a broad range from 0.5mg/l to 5mg/l,’ said David Vincent, inventor of the Intellisondes and Intellitect’s engineering director.

Measurement options include free chlorine, total chlorine, mono-chloramine, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH, ORP/redox, flow, pressure, temperature, turbidity and colour.

None of these require membranes or reagents and the sondes can be deployed for long periods.

‘We believe that a huge potential market exists for the Intellisondes – deployed at strategic locations throughout the network, continuous monitoring will enable efficient management of water treatment processes including disinfection,’ added Church.

Intellitect Water

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