Smart rainwater quality monitoring system — to be tested in Sopot. | Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2023-08-01

Smart rainwater quality monitoring system — to be tested in Sopot.

Two people in lab
Prof. Robert Bogdanowicz and Prof. Sylwia Fudala-Książek at the Environmental Laboratory of Water and Wastewater Biotechnology Photo Bartosz Bańka / Gdańsk University of Technology
An online monitoring system for detection of contamination in rainwater drainage systems and rainwater retention tanks, will be jointly developed by researchers from Gdańsk, Kraków and Łódź. The system, equipped with advanced biosensors and artificial intelligence, is to support effective water management in the city in times of climate change. It is to be the first such advanced system in Poland and it will be tested in Sopot.

A consortium consisting of an interfaculty team of scientists from Gdańsk University of Technology, researchers from AGH University of Science and Technology and Łódź University of Technology and PM Ecology will develop, manufacture and implement the modular MoReLogg system for monitoring pollution of anthropogenic origin, i.e. caused by human activity. These compounds are crucial when determining the quality of water, ensuring its good condition and its further usability for recreational and economic purposes, e.g. for watering, washing streets, supplying fountains.

Dozens of sensors, live results in the application

The project involves creation of a measurement system that consists of several new sensors and biosensors for early detection of water pollution and presence of e.g. pesticides, neurotoxins (during water blooms) or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that enter the aquatic environment as pollutants from transport, e.g. resulting from abrasion of tire rubber and asphalt, and exhaust fumes.

– Environmental data will be provided in real time and then processed using ICT tools and machine learning. Measurement results will be made available on an ongoing basis in the online application. In addition, they will be integrated with meteorological parameters - says Robert Bogdanowicz, an associate professor at Gdańsk Tech from the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics, manager of the MoReLogg project. – The comprehensiveness of the MoReLogg system will enable identification of pollution sources, assessment of the risk of their occurrence and decision making. There are currently no similar solutions on the Polish market.

Quick installation, faster response time

The MoReLogg system can be freely combined with commercial sensors currently available on the market, and its installation is to be simple and will not require a power connection (it is to have an autonomous power system).

– The reaction time itself will also be shorter in the event of possible contamination. Currently, samples are collected and sent to a laboratory for analysis to determine the compound we are dealing with, and this process requires time. Our system shortens this process in some cases from several days to single minutes - emphasizes Prof. Robert Bogdanowicz.

Pilot study of the prototype in Sopot

The system, which in the face of climate change is to support effective water management in the city and increase safe retention, will be tested in Sopot at selected points of the rainwater drainage system and rainwater retention reservoirs, as well as on streams with rainwater and snowmelt (most of them flow in closed channels, and only a small part flows in open channels). A  letter of intent regarding this matter was signed between Gdańsk University of Technology and the city of Sopot in November last year.

– In Sopot, we take the issue of counteracting the effects of climate change very seriously, which is why for several years, thanks to numerous investments, we have been striving for rational management of rainwater and surface water, says Marcin Skwierawski, Vice-President of Sopot. – Thanks to the investments we made, the capacity of the rainwater drainage system and the retention of rainwater and surface water have been increased. In the following stages, as a result of cooperation with Gdańsk University of Technology, it is planned to focus on the use of water collected in retention reservoirs, Sopot streams and rainwater drainage systems. In order to be able to use such water, e.g. for watering greenery, feeding fountains or washing streets, it must be free of contamination.

Other cities in Poland have also expressed interest in potential testing of the solution.

The project is in line with the assumptions of the circular economy, the concept of Water-Smart Society and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all), and received funding in the amount of PLN 10,870,265.50 from the program Hydrostrateg I of the National Centre for Research and Development, and is planned for three years.

Robert Bogdanowicz, PhD, an associate professor at Gdańsk Tech, is the project manager of the project. The project will be joined by the team of Sylwia Fudal-Książek, PhD, an associate professor at Gdańsk Tech, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, as well as researchers from AGH University of Science and Technology under the supervision of Artur Rydosz, PhD and Łodz University of Technology under the supervision of Witold Kaczorowski, PhD, an associate professor.