Detection of oil spill in storm water through online measurement (prestudy)

The purpose of this study is to establish a measurement point for continuous reading of oil spill in storm water drains. It would provide information on what level of pollutions that occur in a specific ground drain. The result can be used to explore the possibility of developing a low-cost sensor that makes it economically possible to have multiple measuring points in a complete storm water system to detect oil spill on an early stage.

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Over the past 40 years various actions have been done to prevent systematic pollutions into the watercourses.  Actions have been made to reduce spill, adding cleaning steps at the source of the spill and building safe sanitation solutions. Unfortunately, there are still point sources of pollutions and it is difficult to systematically detect and fix these different sources. Usually the spill isn’t discovered until the end of the grid – when the pipe reaches the treatment plant, or as with storm water, in the watercourse. By developing sensor technology with remote reading that makes the data available online and with real time alarm technology, oil spill probably will be more easily located and actions can be done at an early stage.

Today sensors are very expensive which limits the possibility to measure on many different points which is required to be able to trace the source of the spill. This project is a first step to develop a low-cost solution.


The goal of the project is to reliably measure the presence of oil in a storm water drains and remotely read data continuously for 6 months.


Research group


Project leader
Bengt Oelmann
+46 60-14 87 92
+46 70-357 87 27

Sebastian Bader
Matthias Krämer

Project period



Mittsverige Vatten
Miljökontoret, Sundsvall Kommun

Logotyp Sundsvalls kommun.