In summer, as the weather gets warm, it is not uncommon to see the water turn green in lakes and slow flowing rivers.
Traditional water quality monitoring often misses early signals of algal bloom events across waterways, risking degradation of water and potentially putting communities and entire industries at risk.
This is where Veolia SWARM Buoy technology comes in - a water quality monitoring tool that continuously measures the concentration of different parameters including dissolved oxygen in a waterway, and feeds data back to water authorities in real time.
SWARM Buoy includes a number of features to achieve continuous monitoring of water quality and minimal maintenance:
- Multi-parameter probes: Up to 6 low-maintenance water quality sensors of 6 different types. The sensors can be inter-changed depending on the use of the buoy, and the same probe can be used several times on the same buoy for measurement duplication, and also at various depths in a lake or a reservoir.
- Robust mechanical structure: The unit is can withstand outdoor conditions and includes an anchor to maintain the buoy at the same location.
- Sustainable Energy generation: A module with solar panels and a windmill connects to a battery ensure energy self-sufficiency;
- Wireless communication module: The buoy continuously transmits collected data through the 3G/4G network.
- Continuous data collection: 2-hour data is also continuously stored in the buoy to minimise risks of data loss. The collected data is accessible in real-time through the SWARM buoy web portal.
- Easy maintenance: the measuring system and sensor-packed body can be removed from the float without having to make adjustments to the anchoring system. This modularity allows an operator with no specific nautical qualifications to carry out effective maintenance of the measurement system by means of simple nautical equipment.
Why are water quality data communication tools such as SWARM buoys required?
As algae are particularly difficult to remove, detecting algal blooms as early as possible is crucial to enable water authorities to minimise the impact on human health.
SWARM Buoy enables water utilities to be more agile and responsive to changing water quality at its earliest detection; saving time and money, whilst safeguarding water for residential, farming, fishing and recreational use.
Applications for SWARM Buoy
Water authorities in France commonly use SWARM Buoy to track pollutant emissions in waterways to inform water treatment plants when to stop pumping water due to contamination.
Ensuring public health
Optimising downstream water treatment
Case study: Goulbourn Valley Water
Goulburn Valley Water (Victoria) installed a buoy in the Waranga Channel, which is shallow and prone to blue-green algae blooms. This Channel supplies water treatment plants downstream of the buoy, and the objective is to provide these plants with an early warning for algal blooms. Plants can then adjust their treatment processes to respond to degraded water quality.
Real time monitoring in remote and regional areas is a critical focus of Veolia’s delivery of SWARM Buoy Technology. Our solution can help reduce the risks associated with algal blooms, particularly in areas of water stress and scarcity.