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Wastewater treatment plant improvement by smart sensors and computational intelligence (WAPSCIENCE)

Final Report Summary - WAPSCIENCE (Wastewater treatment plant improvement by smart sensors and computational intelligence)

The WAPSCIENCE project aimed to develop an integrated solution to improve the efficiency of municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) at comparatively small costs.

The proposed system included the development, testing and assessment of a robust, smart, low cost online sensor for the measurement of nitrate and ammonia concentrations in WWTPs, as well as the development of a self-adaptive system to identify abnormal situations, predict critical states of the process and generate warnings about malfunctions of sensors and control circuits. The online sensor was based on ion selective electrodes (ISEs), while the self-adaptive system relied on computational intelligence methods such as artificial neural networks (ANNs), self organising neural networks (SONNs), fuzzy logic and statistical techniques.

Due to initial problems with the sensor production that were caused by the change of supplier the project was delayed and a time extension was requested and accepted by the European Commission. An additional delay was caused by internal problems of the project consortium and resulted in a further prolongation of the available time and a rescheduling of the activities' timetable.

Nevertheless, the finalised sensor design was of improved quality at reduced costs. Sensors were successfully installed and tested to various WWTPs in three different European countries. In addition, laboratory tests and evaluation using artificial wastewater were performed. On the other hand, the software system was adapted to the requirements of the project tasks and the accuracy of the predictions was extensively analysed and improved. The software was assessed using data gained from sensor field tests and was also implemented in an in situ installation on a WWTP. Documentation on the finalised system prototype was subsequently prepared as a result of the close cooperation of all involved parties.

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