Start Date: 02/07/2018
End Date: 31/03/2021
Total Budget: 1,503,145 €
EU Contribution: 892,067 €
Coordinating Beneficiary: T.E. Laboratories Ltd
Legal Status: PRIVATE
Address: Tullow Industrial Estate, R93 N529, Tullow, Ireland
Contact Person: Sandra Lacey
Enhanced Portable Sensor for Water Quality Monitoring, moving to genuinely integrated Water Resource Management
Following the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) in 2000, it was expected that good ecological status would be achieved for all surface, ground and coastal waters by December 2015. However, in 2015 the European Environment Agency reported that only 53% of freshwater bodies would achieve good ecological status compared with 43% in 2009. Currently more than 40% of rivers and coastal water bodies are affected by diffuse pollution from agriculture, while 20-25% are subject to point source pollution, such as from industrial facilities, sewage systems and wastewater treatment plants.
Environmental legislation driven by the WFD and other EU policy requires improvements in water quality and effluent discharged to the water environment. The need to comply with these requirements has created a demand among regulatory bodies throughout Europe for frequent monitoring, both temporally and spatially. There has been an increased global focus towards early detection of pollution incidents and the identification and mitigation of historical pollution, which not only presents a financial cost for remediation, but risks for ecosystem health and sustainability, and human health and well-being.
LIFE EcoSens Aquamonitrix will bring a new water quality monitoring solution to market, one that can cost-effectively meet the WFD’s requirements for frequent monitoring of water quality. The device can carry out near continuous analysis of water sources, monitoring the indicators of water quality including nutrients, pH, chemical oxygen demand and suspended solids.
Prototypes of the portable system will be manufactured and tested in 11 operational environments. The goal is to provide remote access to the device and to monitoring results. Efficient power consumption will allow longer deployment periods and reduced need for maintenance. The project will assess device performance from an environmental and economic point of view using lifecycle analysis and lifecycle cost calculations. Results will be used to draft a business plan to ensure market penetration.
When brought to market, this affordable technology will result in more monitoring being undertaken, simplify water management decision-making and make it easier to comply with regulations. This will support the implementation of the WFD and a raft of related EU policy, including directives on nitrates, drinking water, bathing water, groundwater, urban wastewater treatment, floods, marine strategy, habitats and industrial emissions.
Expected results: A versatile water quality monitoring system adaptable to different applications in the water sector that allows remote near-continuous monitoring with higher precision and accuracy than current commercial monitoring systems at 80% lower power consumption and 3-4 times lower cost; Production of 42 prototypes and manufacturing scaleup plan post-project for commercialisation purposes; Improvement in water quality at the demonstration sites during the project; 4-6% savings for wastewater treatment plants in terms of resources, energy and chemical use; 42 full-time equivalent jobs created and an increase in turnover of €19 million by Year 5 post-project; and Networking and synergy with other EU-funded water quality projects.