Continuous pollution measurement is interesting to optimize the operation of sanitary facilities as well as to minimize the stormwater discharges. An experimental study was carried out for the determination of Suspended Solids (SS) and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) concentrations in combined sewers using ultraviolet and visible absorbances. The maintenance of the measurement system requires six hours a month for the cleaning of the hydraulic feeding system and adjustment of the optical device. The feeding system developed increased the representativeness and reliability of the pollution measurement, but needs to be validated on other measurement sites. The determination of SS concentrations from visible absorbances requires 2 calibration curves for dry and rainy weather respectively. The corresponding accuracies appear satisfactory when compared with the results of standard sampling/laboratory analysis. The accuracy of COD determination from ultraviolet absorbance is less satisfactory, but could perhaps be improved taking into account another parameter. Then the optical measurement of SS and COD is interesting to determine average or long term pollution loads, for example the yearly impact of urban stormwater discharges. With this kind of continuous and on-line measurement, it is possible to react with short delay to unexpected phenomena which could damage the environment or water treatment efficiency.

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