The application of automation and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems to municipal water and wastewater treatment plants is rapidly increasing. However, the application of these systems is less frequent in the research and development phases of emerging treatment technologies used in these industries. This study involved the implementation of automation and a SCADA system to the submerged membrane adsorption hybrid system for use in a semi-pilot scale research project. An incremental approach was used in the development of the automation and SCADA systems, leading to the development of two new control systems. The first system developed involved closed loop control of the backwash initiation, based upon a pressure increase, leading to productivity improvements as the backwash is only activated when required, not at a fixed time. This system resulted in a 40% reduction in the number of backwashes required and also enabled optimised operations under unsteady concentrations of wastewater. The second system developed involved closed loop control of the backwash duration, whereby the backwash was terminated when the pressure reached a steady state. This system resulted in a reduction of the duration of the backwash of up to 25% and enabled optimised operations as the foulant build-up within the reactor increased.

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