River Catchment Pollution & Monitoring - A Series of 3 Webinars:

In a first for the UK, Proteus Instruments and its partners presented a series of three webinars exploring the current situation and how Proteus aims to provide the silver bullet to monitoring and protecting the rivers & bathing waters from sewage and agricultural pollution.

Our webinars come with a warning: Proteus is a very disruptive technology and it will transform your perception of how the UK can monitor it's degraded rivers for pollution and hence rely less on manual and ineffective water sampling.

Over 700 people registered for our Webinar Series - if you missed out - check out the videos below.


Monitoring river pollution in real-time under the new Environment Act 2021

The first webinar highlighted the UK backdrop and how innovation can provide accurate, automated real-time data for parameters such as BOD, COD, TOC and E. coli (amongst others). The past few months have been interesting for those involved in UK water infrastructure and environmental protection. November 2021 saw the ratification of the Environment Act into UK law, a bill that was first introduced into the House of Commons two years prior.

Water quality was a large focus of the 2021 Environment Act which resulted in some legislation that has the capacity to make a much-needed positive impact on water quality in England. One of the main considerations was the greatly increased emphasis on reliable, real-time monitoring for water quality parameters, especially for areas at higher risk of pollution episodes including upstream and downstream of 18000 CSOs in England & Wales. If you add WWTW final effluent monitoring points that's another 20,000 monitoring points and 56,000 in total!


Monitoring bathing water quality in real-time

Our bathing waters webinar includes application stories with our distributors Nijhuis, who have been using Proteus for bathing water investigations. The webinar also discusses how Proteus is working with Southern Water in a project which is heralded as a potential blueprint for monitoring our bathing waters here in the UK.

The UK has over 600 'designated bathing waters', an overwhelming majority of which are coastal, where bathing and water sports are encouraged. These have been specifically set up to be monitored, with weekly monitoring published by DEFRA from May 15th through September 30th. Two parameters that are monitored are E.coli and intestinal Enterococci, due to being found in faecal indicator bacteria - which is an indicator of faecal pollution into the water and therefore how safe it is to swim. Bathing waters can be classified as Excellent/Good/Sufficient/Poor. In the 1970's 45% were classified as poor, now in 2022 99% of bathing waters in England meet acceptable water quality standards.

Manual sampling is still heavily relied on taking samples to the lab and waiting for results, added to the fact there is no monitoring during the winter when people love to wild swim in inland rivers. However, only a few bathing waters are inland, the pollution source can be coastal or river e.g. CSO's and WWTW outflows. With growing popularity of wild swimming and SUPs etc in inland rivers and reservoirs, there is a significant area of focus in inland bathing waters within the next 5- 10 years. With the 2021 Environmental Act now looking at increasing monitoring of requirements and complying with general interest of inland bathing waters, it may result in more sections of river being designated.


Real-time BOD/COD/TOC monitoring & control of influent & effluent at WWTW's

In the last in the series of our webinars the wastewater monitoring and control webinar we discuss how the Proteus multiprobe uses Fluorescence technology at the heart of water quality monitoring. The Proteus multiprobe combines targeted wavelength fluorometers with other essential water quality parameters such as temperature and turbidity.

The UK has 20 water utilities which invest £5.85 billion per annum in assets and £5.7 billion in services.

UK Wastewater at a glance:

>393,463 km of sewers which collect >11 billion litres of wastewater. With 7,078 WWTW in England & Wales and 98% of households connected to sewerage network.

UK wastewater is treated through primary (settling) and secondary (OM breakdown) treatment; tertiary treatment is also used to protect sensitive water environments and can include nutrient removal. Treated wastewater is subject to permit clearance before discharge into streams & rivers.

~9000 WWTWs

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