Water quality has never been in the news as much as it is currently, with regular coverage throughout the media of sewage spills into rivers, algal blooms and buildup in lakes and streams, and pollution from industrial runoffs and processes making its way into the marine environment.
With clear public and government pressure for water quality monitoring, notifications and testing, Chelsea Technologies is proud to announce the new Omnis+ range, providing water quality investigative bodies its class-leading sensors in a low-cost unattended system to continuously monitor sewage, pollution and algae, with live data straight to phones, tablets and PCs.
“Chelsea Technologies is proud to announce the new Omnis+ range, providing water quality managers and researchers its class-leading sensors in a low-cost system to continuously monitor sewage, pollution and algae, delivering live water quality data straight to phones, tablets & desktops”
Chelsea Technologies’ new Omnis+ water quality system provides water quality managers with exactly the data they need to take remedial action and obtain live alerts as and when water quality deteriorates.
Why water quality matters
Many communities across the globe are either approaching or have already reached the limits of available water supplies and are resorting to drinking whatever water is available, which is often water that contains various toxins.
Water pollution has become a major concern worldwide, especially in developing countries where around 3.2 million children die each year as a result of unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation. Access to adequate wastewater treatment facilities in the developing countries is very limited. For example, only 209 of India’s 3,119 towns and cities—less than one in ten—have even partial sewage systems and treatment facilities.
In the UK and developed nations, whilst tap and drinking water maybe less of an immediate concern, there is increasing public awareness of public swimming water polluted by sewage and the proliferation of algal blooms and cyanobacteria in natural water systems. Many factors contribute to such water quality issues, including agricultural runoff, discharge from water utilities and industrial processes and locations.
What is the Omnis+ water quality range?
Most water monitors are expensive, require to be installed by engineers or operated manually, have limited data output, are inflexible and are battery or mains powered.
The Omnis+ system combines Chelsea Technologies class-leading sensors with a low-cost buoy which is self-powered and can be left unattended, providing live data and notification alerts straight to PC, tablet or phone. This means the Omnis+ system can solve business challenges and address issues raised via the live data received before potential losses occur.
The Omnis+ system uploads readings at regular time intervals and can be configured according to your requirements. This real-time data is represented graphically as part of your custom dashboard – allowing you to quickly compare parameters and gather information across multiple sites.
Preset alerts can be triggered to keep you informed of sudden changes, extreme levels, or irregular data. Whether in the office, on site, or travelling between locations, the Omnis+ system app and online dashboard allow you to review data when it suits you. Built specifically for Android and iOS devices, as well as offering multi-browser support, the app will fit around your schedule and working routine.
Omnis+ sewage detection system
Any release of sewage or slurry to an aquatic environment will introduce bacteria which will then grow rapidly and multiply. These bacteria use up oxygen in the water, causing dissolved oxygen levels to drop rapidly. When dissolved oxygen levels fall rapidly, this is extremely harmful to the aquatic environment, with visible symptoms such as fish dying en-masse also regularly in the news.
Because human sewage leads to Tryptophan activity, we can measure such spillages of human waste into aquatic environments with a Chelsea Technologies UviLux Tryptophan sensor, which is included in the Omnis+ sewage detection system. Our tryptophan sensor can help identify leakage from sewer pipes in river locations, and, if put together with other Chelsea sensors such as an OBA (optical brightening agents) sensor, even ultimately differentiate whether it is due to farming or human activity.
Why monitor sewage?
- Sewage is a danger to human health and also has an ecological impact on the animals and plants living in waterways. For instance, algal blooms are encouraged by the presence of sewage. Sewage contains nutrients: releasing large amounts of nutrients into stagnant waterways raises the probability of blue green cyanobacteria blooms occurring
- Sewage can be a major health hazard as it commonly produces potent toxins that can result in people experiencing skin rashes, eye irritations, fever, muscle pain and worse. Sewage can also be a significant hazard to animals; dog owners and farmers need to ensure their pets or livestock do not drink from waters affected by sewage
- Sewage release into public recreational waterways is a focus of increasing public concern. In the UK, the Rivers Trust, Surfers Against Sewage and Wild Swimming are but three of the pressure groups pressing for monitoring and transparency. Sewage was discharged 400,000 times into public rivers in the UK in 2020
- The Environment Act 2021 cracks down on water companies that excessively discharge sewage. It includes a duty enshrined in law to ensure water companies secure a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts of discharges from storm overflows. New duties also require the government to publish a plan to reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows by September 2022 and to report to Parliament on the progress towards implementing the plan
Omnis+ algae monitoring system
The TriLux sensor included in the Omnis+ algae monitoring system is Chelsea Technologies’ algae sensor, which monitors three key algal parameters in a single, highly sensitive probe. This 3-in-1 fluorometer enables widespread monitoring in a variety of applications, including harmful algal blooms, aquaculture, water treatment works, river catchments and coastal studies.
For the aquaculture industry, algal blooms blooms reduce the ability of fish and other aquatic life to find food, depleting fish populations. This is because these algal blooms not only create toxins which are detrimental to fish and other animals, but by consuming oxygen, the harmful algal blooms reduce the dissolved oxygen in the water that makes fish life sustainable.
In addition, algal blooms also block sunlight and clog fish gills. Algal blooms are also an increasing hazard in public areas, used by swimmers and dog walkers. Blue-green algae can be fatal to wildlife and dogs, and hazardous to humans if ingested whilst swimming in the waters.
Why monitor algae?
- In aquaculture, algae consumes the oxygen in the water which is usually followed by high numbers of fish mortality
- In freshwater, harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a danger for recreational users of rivers, lakes and streams
- Marine or saltwater HAB toxins can cause various illnesses in humans and animals. Exposure to marine HAB toxins occurs through direct contact whilst swimming, breathing in aerosolized toxins (toxins in water turned into mist or small airborne droplets), or consumption of toxin-contaminated shellfish
- Currently, depending on the location and regulatory body, water samples are required every 1-2 weeks to assess the levels of toxic algae in the water. For the aquaculture industry this is insufficient
- Algal blooms in seawater present a significant obstacle to desalination technologies. Phytoplankton-derived toxins and excessive plankton biomass both adversely affect the quality of intake water for desalination facilities and the permeate produced by reverse osmosis. Algae bloom detection represents an ongoing urgency in freshwater production
- Algae can impact on the maintenance of filters in water processing plants as well as costs of coagulation chemicals
Omnis+ pollution monitoring system
Hydrocarbon pollution is a major problem in developed countries with petrochemical industries. BTEX compounds (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, p-Xylene, m-Xylene, o-Xylene) and PAH compounds can be major pollution problems in groundwater. Industrial and human-induced activities such as the ﬂaring of gas resources, oil spill incidences, leakages from industries, runoff from crude oil polluted lands, reﬁnery efﬂuents, aircraft and road runoff, sand mining, dredging and agro-industrial ventures create hydrocarbon pollution. Hydrocarbon pollution such as single ring aromatics (BTEX) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are dangerous in groundwater. Groundwater supplies 30% of drinking water nationally and up to 100% in parts of the world
The Omnis+ Pollution Monitoring System contains BTEX and PAH sensors of the UviLux range, which monitors BTEX and PAH parameters in two Chelsea probes. Because of their polarity and very soluble characteristics, the organic chemicals (BTEX) of petroleum products will be able to enter the soil and groundwater systems and cause serious groundwater pollution and contamination problems.
Why monitor hydrocarbons?
- Industrial and human-induced activities such as the ﬂaring of gas resources, oil spill incidences, leakages from industries, runoff from crude oil polluted lands, reﬁnery efﬂuents, aircraft and road runoff, sand mining, dredging and agro-industrial ventures create hydrocarbon pollution
- Damage to benthic species, impaired growth and survival, interference with breeding ability, low reproductive ability and destruction of spawning and nursery grounds of most species in the sea are part of the resultant effect of hydrocarbon toxicity. Several benthic animal species are crucial to the aquatic ecosystem while others are harvested by humans for commercial use. Fish species such as the flatfishes, catfish, and haddock mainly feed on benthos, whilst benthic species such oysters, snails and shrimps are farmed for human consumption
- Hydrocarbon pollution such as single ring aromatics (BTEX) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are dangerous in groundwater. Groundwater supplies 30% of drinking water nationally and up to 100% in parts of the world
- Hydrocarbon pollution is covered globally by an increasing variety of laws and directives. In the UK, penalties include unlimited fines, prison for up to 5 years, or both. Polluters pay for the whole cost of the clean-up and there could be further costs such as paying compensation to third parties, higher insurance premiums or loss of contracts
Standard Omnis+ parameters
In addition to the specialist Chelsea Technologies sensor, the Omnis+ system also contains all the standard sensors expected in water quality monitoring systems, namely dissolved oxygen, conductivity, turbidity & pH.