Project for the intelligent monitoring of sewerage network discharges

Implementation period

September 2014 – March 2015

Scope of work

Resilient infrastructure


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


In which hydrodynamic processes achieve homogeneous dissolution of the discharge. In this zone, the pollutant concentrations exceed the water’s environmental quality standards (EQS).

The water in this zone is unsuitable for consumption and can cause problems for the ecosystem. Knowing its extent is necessary to establish adequate control of the discharge and its impact.


Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) makes it possible to simulate a discharge’s behaviour considering the river’s hydraulic characteristics. To feed and validate this model, it has been necessary to carry out the following:

  1. Bathymetries of the river basin.
  2. Sampling and analysis in the laboratory along the river.
  3. Thermographic imaging with drones to complement the previous data.

Once the model is operational, it will be possible to:

  • Carry out predictive simulations of the impact of the discharge on the riverbed.
  • Establish corrective measures.


The experimental data agree with those obtained from simulations carried out independently of the river boundary conditions.

All the parameters of the pollutants studied (conductivity, temperature, colour, chlorides and sulphates) behave as if they were transported substances (unreacted).

There is a very sharp gradient along the transverse line of the river where the pollutants are totally diluted. The river flow varies seasonally so that the mixing zone can increase significantly, up to 200 metres at times of low flow. The solutions proposed by the simulation models predict a large capacity for improvement by increasing the number of points where the discharge takes place and inserting it in the most central areas (avoiding the banks).