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Integrating Water Sensors, AI Cameras, and smart city management.

In Canberra, Australia, the monitoring of Gross Pollutant Traps (GPT) is undergoing a transformative shift, thanks to the innovative deployment of AquaWatch water monitoring sensors and AI camera technology. This integration of advanced tools is revolutionising water management practices in the city, offering real-time insights and enabling proactive decision-making.



As part of Canberra's smart city initiative, a state-of-the-art AI capable edge computing cameras were deployed to a Gross Pollutant Trap and an above ground Trash Rack in August last year. Equipped with edge computing capabilities, these cameras have been providing real-time visual intelligence, fundamentally changing the way water management is approached.

Traditionally, GPTs are inspected only twice a year, leading to gaps in monitoring where pollutants can enter the environment unchecked. However, with the implementation of the AI camera, maintenance alerts are now triggered based on real-time data. When initial assessments suggested that a GPT needed cleaning in January, analysis from the AI camera revealed that the trap was clear, indicating that the gross pollutants, or trash, had already entered the environment upstream. This insight highlighted the inefficiency of this particular installation as well as reactive maintenance and emphasised the need to work off fact based environmental monitoring.


Fig 2. The view from inside the gross pollutant trap after five months of installation

In response, the AI camera was programmed to detect blockages, such as leaves obstructing the grill, and trigger maintenance alerts accordingly. This timely intervention enables informed decision-making, saving resources and reducing environmental impact. In the heavily processed video below we can see that in May, the camera alerted us to the need for the GPT to be cleaned out, and a work order was subsequently set up in Canberra's smart city dashboard.


Fig 3. Heavily processed image to remove caviation (bubbles) and sediment in the water to show that the screen is now blocked. Expanding the project further, AquaWatch is incorporating additional environmental measurements, including the deployment of a floating array of water sensors. These sensors measure key water quality indicators in real-time, providing continuous, actionable insights into water health. Factors such as dissolved oxygen, turbidity, temperature, pH, and conductivity are monitored, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of water quality.

At AquaWatch, the focus is on transitioning from assumptions to facts and from reactive to proactive management. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and providing bespoke solutions, AquaWatch ensures that water management practices are effective, sustainable, and prepared to address the challenges of tomorrow. Through the combined use of water sensors, AI cameras, and satellite technology, Canberra is now leading the way in water monitoring and management processes. Contact us to find out how our real-time water monitoring solutions can be tailored to enable your smart water management needs.


 

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