A (non-exhaustive) survey of new and existing technologies for the monitoring of wastewater treatment plants is presented. Emphasis is given to the way these sensors can provide insight in the ongoing (bio-) processes. Three different uses for sensors can be found: for monitoring (operator support), in automatic control systems and as tools for plant auditing/optimization/modelling by consultants. From this, sensors have been classified in two basic types: (i) reliable, simple and low maintenance sensors for day-to-day monitoring and control and (ii) advanced, higher maintenance sensors that are used in auditing, model calibration and optimisation. The paper is organized according to the typical unit processes of biological wastewater treatment systems: anaerobic digestion, activated sludge, nutrient removal and sedimentation. Attention is drawn to a number of practical problems associated with the use of sophisticated sensors in the harsh (dirty) conditions of wastewater treatment processes. The use of autocalibration and built-in sensor checks, cleaning systems and reliable sample preparation units is illustrated. The paper ends with a discussion of the applicability of the different sensors.

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