The need to optimize treatment plant performance and to meet increasingly stringent effluent criteria are two key factors affecting future development of instrumentation, control and automation (ICA) applications in the water and wastewater industry. Two case studies are presented which highlight the need for dynamic modelling and simulation software to assist operations staff in developing effective instrumentation control strategies, and to provide a training environment for the evaluation of such strategies. One of the limiting factors to date in realizing the potential benefits of ICA has been the inability to adequately interpret the large number of existing instrumentation inputs available at treatment facilities. The number of inputs can exceed the number of control loops by up to three orders of magnitude. The integration of dynamic modelling and expert system software is seen to facilitate the interpretation of real-time data, allowing both quantitative (instrumented) and qualitative (operator input) information to be integrated for process control. Improvements in sensor reliability and performance, and the development of biological monitoring sensors and control algorithms are also discussed.

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