For some years now, measuring instruments have been employed at wastewater treatment plants in Germany to continuously monitor ammonia (NH4), nitrate (NO3) and phosphate (PO4). Altogether, almost 3,000 monitoring units are currently in use at a total of approximately 600 treatment plants of all sizes. In addition to continuously monitoring the treatment plant effluent and individual treatment processes, these allow the adjustment and control of plant units and, thus, a saving in operating costs, particularly with respect to the consumption of energy and chemicals.

In addition to characteristic data on the instruments, investment and operating costs play a major role when deciding to purchase measuring instruments of this type.

Therefore, the German Technical Wastewater Association's (ATV) working group on the “Automation of Wastewater Treatment Plants” resolved to prepare, within the framework of the ATV rules, a code of practice on “Requirements with respect to On-line Analyzers for Nitrogen and Phosphorus Compounds” (M 269). The purpose of this is to provide planners, operators and public authorities with advice on the design and reliable operation of on-line analyzers and the appurtenant peripheral equipment. The present text describes the essential contents of M 269.

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