Service control design in real-time and waste alerts.

Implementation period

September 2017 – March 2018

Scope of work

Digital technology


This project has been funded by the national programme for clusters support “Ayudas a Agrupaciones Empresariales Innovadoras” (AEIs).


Currently, the control of discharges into water is carried out based on random sampling or using automatic devices for sampling over a given period. This limits the manoeuvring capacity of those responsible for the management of wastewater treatment plants and the discharge control bodies (Hydrographic Confederation, regional water management bodies or local water management bodies). Sampling during a given period does not guarantee the correct functioning of the treatment systems throughout the day and at different times of the year.


The project has been developed based on the following tasks:

  • Defining the technical scope and specifications of the service. Analysing the requirements of the equipment and the discharge control methodology.
  • Technological development of the service, designing and prototyping the monitoring hardware, sample storage and data communication equipment.
  • Development of tests in a real environment, selecting two sites where three tests of the device and the discharge analysis methodology designed by ECTOR were carried out. And comparing the results obtained in the water analysis laboratory equipment.


ECTOR has designed and developed a prototype for analysing and controlling discharges in real time, including four different probes (pH, conductivity, temperature and dissolved oxygen). The device includes an alert system that allows the storage of samples when one of the parameters exceeds the established range.

In the implementation phase, anomalies were detected in the behaviour of the chosen probes. The availability of reliable and robust probes for the water bodies analysed (industrial discharges) is a major barrier that should be addressed in future developments and industrial research to better control discharges. However, this has not prevented the validation of the methodology proposed by ECTOR, which consists of three simplified steps:

  • Determining basic parameter ranges and setting alarms above and below the established threshold.
  • Continuous analysis of discharges.
  • Storage of up to three samples if the established ranges are exceeded.