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Updated: June 12, 2013 11:28 IST

Water quality monitors at 50 spots soon

K. Lakshmi
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In a first, 218 sewage pumping stations in the city will be automated. This will help prevent sewage overflow on the streets — Photo: M. Vedhan
In a first, 218 sewage pumping stations in the city will be automated. This will help prevent sewage overflow on the streets — Photo: M. Vedhan

Rs. 1.8-crore automated inline system to keep constant checks and transmit data to officials

Soon, city residents may not have to wait endlessly for rectification of water supply and sewage-related problems.

In a few months, Chennai Metrowater will introduce automated inline water quality monitoring system to constantly check the quality of water supplied to residents.

On Tuesday, municipal administration and water supply minister, K.P. Munusamy, announced in the State Assembly that the monitoring devices would be fixed at 50 spots across the city, at a cost of Rs. 1.8 crore.

At present, field staff members of Metrowater manually collect 3,500 water samples every day, from water distribution stations to domestic service connections.

According to an official, once the GSM/GPRS-enabled integrated water quality monitoring system is in place, Metrowater will be able to continuously monitor the quality of drinking water.

The devices that will be attached to pipelines in various places, including MRC Nagar and Anna Nagar, will test quality during the hourly flow of water. The sensors in the device will transmit the data to a central control room to be set up in the head office.

Three parameters — turbidity, residual chlorine and PH levels — will be monitored at regular intervals during a day. At present, it takes time to test samples in a water lab, detect contamination and communicate to the authorities concerned. This causes a delay in the rectification process.

With the new system, officials need not wait for complaints on contamination or lab test results to rectify a contamination problem.

The system will keep them updated. Also, Metrowater staff members can stop taking samples from the distribution network and concentrate on sampling from consumer points.

Similarly, sewage overflows are expected to be minimised, particularly during the monsoon. For the first time in the State, Metrowater will implement automated operations in the 218 pumping stations across the city. Now, the sewage stations are operated manually.

Ultrasonic level detectors will be installed in sewage-collection wells to automatically pump sewage when the level is high and stop when the flow is low.

The level detectors will send signals for the pumps to automatically switch on and off without human intervention. This will prevent sewage overflow on the streets. The project will be taken up at a cost of Rs. 3.60 crore, the official said.

Minister Munusamy said in the Assembly that the amount of drinking water supplied to city residents would be increased from the existing 831 million litres a day (MLD) to 1,000 MLD by 2016, when the various projects to create new water sources are completed.

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