Wastewater Automation – The Development of a Low Cost, Distributed Automation System

  •  Tom Davies    
  •  Stanislaw MAJ    


In developed countries wastewater management is considered a vital aspect of community health and wellbeing. Failures in wastewater management may result in the release of pathogens into natural water bodies and in extreme circumstances into drinking water. Illnesses caused by contamination range from gastroenteritis and viral infections to death. As such in Australia it is a highly regulated industry accountable to a range of state authorized bodies such as Department of Environment Regulations (DER) and Department of Health (DoH) . The Shire of Moora was made responsible for their wastewater system in 2013. An analysis of this system found that the SCADA system conveyed fault location but no alarm status information. It should be noted that alarm status is needed in order to determine required responses. In order to address this problem a range of different potential solutions were evaluated according to a wide range of ranked factors such as cost, security, features etc. This resulted in the design and implementation of a low cost, distributed wireless solution based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. The authors believe this is the first implementation of this system in a rural/regional environment.

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