Protection of Wastewater treatment plants by Detecting & Anticipating toxic events

 In Case studies



Detection and characterization of toxic events is a key challenge in the management of wastewater treatment plants. Without any real-time information, operators are unable to anticipate this type of event and become aware of the incident when the toxic shock has already impacted the biomass. This situation leads to non-conforming discharges and significant fines (penalties up to 5K€ per day for non-conformity).

This uncontrolled impact can also lead to expensive curative treatments (OPEX) and in some cases a total reseeding of the treatment units (> 50 K€).

HYDREKA was contacted by an operator in order to measure, continuously and in real time, the quality of the effluents at the inlet of the station as the performances of its plant were often impacted. 

Solutions & Results

The NODE Solutions & Services system allows for a continuous and real time measurement of the organic load as well as the toxicity of the effluents at the inlet of the plant, where it was installed. The user is warned as soon as a toxic event is detected (SMS, email…).

The study highlighted three major toxic events including the date, the relative impact on the biomass activity, the duration and resilience of the biomass.


In addition to the NODE biosensor, the multiparametric approach includes a measure of pH, redox potential and conductivity which are useful to qualify the causes of toxicity.

Feedback & Perspectives

A one month study (cost < 5K€) allowed the detection of toxicity events which affected the biomass activity in the aeration tank.

Thanks to these results, the operator, his client and local authorities were able to discuss a strategy to identify the origin of the pollution and cancel the fines of 5K€ per day of non-conformity.


To this end, it is planned to install NODE Solutions & Services biosensors in the sewage network in order to identify sectors and potentially, industries, responsible for effluent discharges impacting the treatment plant performance. 

Find out more about the NODE Solutions & Services biosensor by clicking HERE

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