What is Water Quality Monitoring and Why is it Important?

by Gillian Lovering

Water quality is a vital for many reasons but ultimately it always comes back to health or the environment.

Water monitoring provides us with the data to manage our water quality and alert us to current, ongoing and emerging problems. It also enables, or allows for, determining and adhering to compliance.

Download the guide to oil in water monitoring & discharge

Rivertrace’s primary focus has been to monitor the oil content in water. However, its applications, products and solutions also allow other parameters to be monitored and covered, including pH, conductivity, turbidity, solids content, temperature and pressure.

How it works

There are many different technologies available which all measure oil concentration in water in situ. However, they all have various attributes which lend themselves to certain applications compared to others.

Applications can vary between discharge compliance, operation and process optimisation and data collection for future environmental legislation.

The processing conditions, such as temperature, pressure, flow rate and the environments within which they operate in vastly differ. For example, the harsh North Sea environment is a very different scenario and has a very different set of logistical requirements compared to a power station in the middle of the Sahara.

The cost for monitoring water quality varies across the spectrum of devices, systems and industries and the environment within which the monitoring is being carried out. However, the environmental costs, as well as legal, corporate and social responsibility, make the efficient monitoring of water an essential part of the marine and industrial process.

There are 4 main optical based measurement technologies employed for water quality monitoring;

  • Scattered Light
  • Microscopy
  • Fluorescence
  • Ultra Sonics

Who it’s for

Wherever oil and water meet in industrial processes, there is a need to monitor the concentration of oil in water. In shipping, oil-in-water monitors are needed for compliance with ballast water and bilge water discharge standards. In oil and gas production, oil-in-water technologies are used to ensure that separation is as effective as possible and to predict when maintenance will be needed, among other applications.

Each application has different demands, constraints and challenges. When selecting an oil-in-water sensor solution it is important to find choose the right technology for your application and the conditions under which the measurements are made.

We have a whole section dedicated to the different applications your business or industry might face, and the products which can help, along with whitepapers to provide further information.