North Sea Port monitors water quality with smart sensors

2021/07/06 at 7:33 AM

North Sea Port is carrying out a research project to improve the biodiversity of the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal. To this end, smart sensors have been installed at four locations of the artery. More sensors will be deployed in the port area when the project will be completed.

The quality and quantity of water are crucial for the future development of the North Sea Port. Therefore, the four-year research project was inaugurated in 2019 in Flanders. It is dedicated to continuous monitoring of several parameters including acidity (pH), salt concentration and temperature. Within the initiative, four smart sensors were deployed on the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal. Two were placed on the Dutch side, at Autrichehaven and Zevenaarhaven in Terneuzen, and two on the Belgian side, at Grootdok and Rodenhuizedok in Ghent.

Ghent-Terneuzen canal, source: North Sea Port

Internet of Water

The mentioned research project, which is called ‘Internet of Water’, was launched by imec, VITO, Vlakwa, Vlaamse Milieu Maatschappij, De Watergroep and Aquafin with the support of the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO). It includes several stages. Initially, the deployment of smart sensors across Flanders to test the devices and monitor water quality. Innovative algorithms and hydrological models process all the data in order to anticipate water quality.

After the development and testing of sensors and measuring systems, the network will be rolled out widely and the intelligent software fine-tuned from 2022 onwards. As the infrastructure manager, North Sea Port also benefits from good monitoring. Salinisation, for instance, is not only bad for agriculture and nature, the salt also negatively affects steel and wooden structures such as quays and foundation piles. The Internet of Water project supports future-proof asset management.

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