RS Hydro approached a UK water company immediately after one of the Environmental Audit Committees in 2021 to inform them that RS Hydro could provide a real-time solution for measuring CSO impacts in bathing waters using parameters that related back to bathing water standards. In 2022 RS Hydro were awarded what is now known to be the first project of its type in the world to measure E. coli and enterococci, amongst many other parameters all in real-time. Click here for a video introduction. The first two of four databuoys were deployed at Hayling Island Beach and Tankerton in August 2022 and were then extensively tested over the next 12 months. That testing is almost complete. It is expected that the systems will go public before the end of 2023. The organisation fully understand the massive implications of providing this type of data in real-time to the public and as such have ensured that there has been extensive collaboration between RS Hydro, the UK water company, Environment Agency, Canterbury Council and Havant Borough Council. All testing samples (in duplicate) utilised UKHSA laboratories for E. coli, E.Cocci, total coliforms and faecal coliforms. The Proteus sondes are equipped with turbidity, dissolved oxygen, pH, ORP, conductivity, tryptophan, CDOM, Chlorophyll-A, E. coli, total coliforms, enterococci, faecal coliforms and temperature. It is also possible to measure ammonium, unlike ISEs which cannot be used in brackish waters.
4 Proteus sondes, 4 Data Buoys with telemetry, remote support, installation, maintenance, calibration.
As highlighted at the NWL Innovation Festival (2023), measuring coliforms was identified as one of the most crucial parameters for assessing water quality; we are the only company in the world to be able to provide this data in almost any location using Proteus. Ultimately all of the data generated for the EA21 will need to be made public. However, the current parameters are relatively subjective and are not interpretable by most. Measuring parameters such as E. coli, related back to a bathing water index, make it very easy to interpret. Below is an example from one of the databuoys. The different colours represent excellent, good and poor water quality relative to E. coli.
RS Hydro has overseen all aspects of this project including installation, calibration, maintenance, support and telemetry. Due to the probe locations, maintenance is significantly more complex requiring boat access. Maintenance/calibration visits are scheduled every 3 months, hence 4 times per annum. RS Hydro provide a total solution for the databuoys with onsite response within 5 working days (weather permitting).
This project epitomises the innovation and capability within RS Hydro. Our extensive understanding of water quality, our R&D, innovation activities, manufacturing, and support provides our clients with a truly unique experience and capability. Combined with our process strengths using our online ID System ensures that there is full traceability. Allowing the client to produce a project document at any time online. Including every aspect of any project from initial quotation/purchase order through to project approval, installation records/photos, calibration certificates, call outs, RMAs and maintenance. Simply the press of a button all of this can be generated as a living document online.
It is hoped that this technology will be rolled out across other UK water companies. Other WASCOS are also considering deployments. As a company we fully believe that there must be a step-change approach in water quality monitoring; we are now widely seen to be doing just that but believe this must always be evidence based, hence our deep links to scientific research and peer reviewed publications.