Sensors for Measuring High Water Flows

A new type of measurement equipment can make it easier for water companies to detect vents in the sewers and reduce environmental impact when extremely high water flows cause overload of the sewage system. Mid Sweden University and the local water company MittSverige Vatten och Avfall have developed a meter with sensors that transmit real-time wireless data at broadcasting.

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 This Spring there were extremely high water flows after a snowy winter. High currents often result in and temporary discharges of wastewater into adjacent streams. At the beginning of April, a measurement equipment were installed in one of the 40 wastewater wells in Sundsvall.

- With the new sensor technology, we can more accurately measure how much wastewater we actually release from the wells at high water flows. Based on the collected information we can plan measures on the sewer system to reduce the floods and thereby the environmental impact. Today, our staff collects the data manually from the wells, says Anna Stenlund, Environmental and Laboratory Manager at MittSverige Vatten och Avfall (MSVA).

Temporary overflows are necessary so that the wastewater does not go backwards in the conduits and cause flooding of, for example, basements and streets. At an overflow, the new sensor equipment send the values wirelessly through a long-range network directly to MSVA. The network is set up by researchers at Mid Sweden University to be used for the development of smart communities.

- MittSverige Vatten och Avfall have measurement points along the entire coast down to Hudiksvall. In order to use the new technology there we are in need of better range. In the next step, we will therefore test a new network that Telia will start up using the existing mobile network, says Rikard Hamrin, Research Engineer at the Research Center Sensible Things that Communicate (STC) at Mid Sweden University.

The development of the measurement equipment is part of the collaboration agreement that the university has with Sundsvall municipality. When the meter has been tested against the new network it should be evaluated. The goal is to find a company that can commercialize the meter for an installation on a larger scale.

The ongoing development is a part of the research project SMART - smart systems and services - at Mid Sweden University, a three-year research project. The project, which has a budget of 63 million SEK, is funded by the EU Regional Development Fund, the county of Västernorrland, the municipality of Sundsvall, the KK Foundation, the Mid Sweden University and 25 large and small companies in the regions Västern

orrland and Jämtland. The aim is to strengthen the innovation and competitiveness of the region's companies and organizations by increasing their knowledge and stimulated thinking to innovative use and creation of smart systems and services (Internet of Things).