National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) / K Water: Water Sensor Network

K Water: Water Sensor Network, a water sensor network has been constructed in South Korea by the National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER), in collaboration with the government-affiliated water utility K Water. It aims to monitor a number of prominent river watersheds, to provide continuous real time data on the water quality through key environmental parameters. The network consists of numerous sensors deployed on individual mini pontoons to measure key water parameters. The monitoring stations were designed to allow easy installation onsite, thus providing a flexible approach to changing environmental conditions.

An NIER instrumented mini pontoon being prepared for installation on the Guem River. Credit: Dong Moon ENT Company Ltd

Until recently the stations featured conductivity, temperature and Oxygen sensors only. In 2018, sensors to monitor algae were added to obtain a better understanding of eutrophication within the water catchment. Chelsea’s TriLux and UniLux fluorometers were selected to provide this capability, due to their high-resolution data on algae pigments (including Chlorophyll-a and Phycocyanin), as well as turbidity.

10 UniLux fluorometers were initially installed on the mini pontoons located at weirs in the Geum River, Youngsan River and Nakdong river watersheds, as provided by Chelsea Technologies South Korean representative, Dong Moon ENT Company Ltd. Further TriLux’s have since been installed at river watersheds controlled by NIER for on-line water monitoring, and additional UniLux’s obtained for inflowing tributaries in Daechung-Dam and Chungju-Dam. These fluorometers will monitor priority regions within the river watersheds, as well as inside the dam, within continuous automated water quality measurement systems. The present monitoring program is scheduled to continue running through 2020.

Location of the NIER / K Water monitoring stations. Credit: Dong Moon ENT Company Ltd

Chelsea Technologies UniLux and TriLux high performance algae monitoring fluorometers provide a cost effective, easy integration solution for inclusion into water monitoring networks. With flexible data output formats, these in-situ fluorometers can inform on concentrations of algae, providing the ability to discern between green algae and cyanobacteria. Chelsea Technologies can also offer complete systems to allow both portable and stationary monitoring of these key algae parameters.

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