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Quality Watch – Stormwater Quality Management

The Quality watch component provides a sensing platform with a range of sensory targets, such as turbidity, conductivity, temperature and movement. This is being developed at low cost and their performance are validated by deploying them next to the existing sensing systems. This will enable the deployment to new locations to measure runoff in bushfire-damaged catchments. Due to vegetation being destroyed by bushfires in Australia the exposed soils are subject to runoff into water bodies .

Through the city councils in the Illawarra, the need for the development and deployment of a physical sensor water quality network in the Illawarra region has been highlighted. Given the strong long-range wireless infrastructure, server-based data analytical techniques, data storage capabilities and human interfaces, an excellent opportunity exists for the deployment of physical sensors to supplement council data and possibly predict and mitigate future events.

Physical sensors do not face the same challenges that bio/chemical sensors encounter, i.e. physical sensors can be protected from their environment. Changes in the chemistry of a solution can manifest in changes to physical parameters, e.g. an increase in heavy metal concentration can result in a proportional rise in conductivity or a rise in microbials can manifest in an increase in turbidity.

Realization of a network of these sensors, coupled with a lower granular bio/chemical data set from manual sampling and other elements e.g. weather data, can inform a predictive model capable of estimating the state of a water body, forewarn negative events and/or inform personnel of likely sampling locations/times.

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