A Simple, Effective, and Low-Cost System for Water Monitoring in Remote Areas Using Optical and Conductivity Data Signature

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Water, Air, and Soil Pollution





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Anthropogenic action in nature has increased the concentrations of particulates and other pollutants in water sources. The generation of water quality data requires sample collection, transport, and analysis, which incurs high costs. As a consequence, the water quality of remote and underserved areas is often not well monitored. In addition, when monitoring is available, data may come to water managers too late for on time decision-making. An effective and low-cost monitoring system that captures the signature of a water source has been developed in this research. A water signature is a unique or distinguishing measurement of patterns, or a collection of data sets, created from sensors monitoring the water source of interest, and providing compact and computationally efficient representations of the data acquired. The goal of this research was to develop a system that captures the signature of the water source and has low-cost monitoring, as well as sufficient accuracy and resolution to ensure that the measured variables can be used in the monitoring. The system is composed of an arduino-based micro-controller (Artmega328 (R)); a 3D-printed measurement chamber, with optical and conductivity sensors; a self-priming pump; and a wireless telecommunication system. All electric and electronic devices are powered by a solar-powered system. The system was deployed in the field in different locations, and was able to respond qualitatively to water changes. The system was responsive in the range of 100 to 200 NTU for optical phenomena and responsive in the range of 0 to 2 mu S/cm for electrical conductivity phenomena. The estimated cost of the system is $370. The results of this research are important for the development of non-analytical water quality monitoring sensors for remote, underserved regions.


Instrumentation; Pattern recognition; Environmental; Sensor network; Measurements


Environmental Sciences | Fresh Water Studies | Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Water Resource Management



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