AquaLab Water Analyzer Tracks Trends, Loading Reduction for Texas CEQ
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has a massive task. Its goal is to identify trends, and track loading reduction into the Bosque and Leon River watersheds, two central Texas watersheds affected by point and non-point sources, as it implements environmental management plans.
In a standard water quality management program, the water quality sensors measure only a limited number of physical and chemical parameters -- dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, conductivity and turbidity. Additionally, these sensors often foul due to the nature of the water body conditions. As a result, the sensors do not provide measurements that are continuously calibrated or as accurate as laboratory analysis. Moreover, measurement of some chemical and biological parameters is only possible when the water sample is subject to standard laboratory analysis methods.
To address this challenge the TCEQ has deployed four continuous water quality-monitoring stations in the watersheds for the two rivers. It uses Stevens - Greenspan AquaLab Analyzers to monitor physical and nutrient water quality parameters. AquaLab’s ability to provide frequent measurements is important to the program’s emphasis on continuous monitoring.
These self-contained analyzers are uniquely designed to remotely provide automatic monitoring of physical or chemical parameters with on-board dynamic self-calibration procedures. For example, the Stevens units automatically back flush all samples and inlet lines, to eliminate the possibility of sample carry-over and contamination, and ensure optimum analytical performance for every measurement.
Technological advancements in such analyzers have already enabled them to be deployed in environmental monitoring applications to meet these standards and help organizations optimize sustainable water body system management. Their ability to integrate with other systems and transmit data in real time – from geostationary satellite for long-range remote communication or Bluetooth for short-range PDA- or computer-based data collection -- makes them viable solutions for continuous, realtime water quality monitoring.
The TCEQ relies on measurement accuracy and real-time reporting of the parameters, and uses the continuous water quality data to identify trends and track loading reduction into the watersheds. The analyzer’s features enable the TCEQ to optimize its understanding of conditions and thereby improve the accuracy and integrity of its modeling and forecasting programs. The analyzer’s automatic purging and cleaning system helps to insure that the measurement technique won’t be fouled. The self-cleaning process also prolongs the sensor’s life.
Stevens-Greenspan water quality analyzers offer the ability to integrate data from other water and weather monitoring sensors, sampling instruments and remote communication systems. These comprehensive integrated, on-line environmental monitoring features are important for groups like the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.