Onyax and A2A: remotely monitored drinking water with IoT micro-laboratories

Ensure controlled drinking water to citizens and carry out a constant, safe and efficient remote monitoring thanks to IoT micro-laboratories and a digital platform that can remotely control multiple chemical parameters.

This is the project conceived and developed to improve and digitize the control of water quality in the network, which has combined Onyax’s experience in the electronic design of low-power IoT solutions with the innovative vision of A2A Ciclo idrico, a company of the A2A Group that deals with water management, transport, distribution and control.

A unique innovative system that aims to support the phases of analysis of the water in the laboratory with a broad focus on the optimiszationof operating times and the protection of water resources.

A technological path to monitor water quality

It started from the city of Brescia, the experimentation path for water quality control driven by a high sustainable value towards such a precious commodity and the ability to protect it through the support of IoT technology.

Thanks to A2A Ciclo idrico and its strong experience in technological research in solutions that improve water control and water service to citizens, the first NEMO devices have been installed inside some pumping stations. These are real micro-laboratories designed and built by Onyax to significantly simplify the analysis of some chemical parameters and ensure a first check on the status of water in particular sections of the water network.

Taking advantage of the great potential of IoT technology, a control system was created capable of combining the real-time analysis capabilities of a “smart device” such as NEMO with the collection, processing and subsequent analysis of data in a single digital ecosystem.

The innovations that led to the adoption of a completely remotely manageable solution are many and touch on several aspects.

NEMO’s first innovation lies in its simple and compact structure. Positioned inside a road shell, its “smart” dimensions allowed an easy and fast installation in the points of interest, with minimal space requirements and no hydraulic complications. An aspect to be considered optimal to save time and space in small places such as wells, manholes or pumping stations.

The second aspect concerns the total absence of electrical connection. In fact, the device has an integrated battery that allows NEMO to operate in total autonomy for several years, freeing itself from any source of electrical connection. A fundamental step not only of a functional nature but also towards energy efficiency and sustainability activities.

The third aspect is related to the operation of the device and its technological nature. The device is built with multi-parameter probes, modular sensors and NB-IoT technology to communicate remotely, ensuring immediate analysis that combines impedance spectroscopy techniques to real-time monitoring of different chemical and physical parameters such as:

  • electrochemical measurements (pH, ORP)
  • amperometric measurements (free chlorine)
  • turbidity (according to UNI EN ISO 7027)
  • conductivity

A platform with strategic functions

To ensure even faster, more widespread and comprehensive control of the water network, NEMO devices have been fully integrated into the Onyax ACE platform, which is dedicated to the management of real-time data, alarms, events and measurements.

  1. Every single NEMO device is georeferenced and interactively visible via GIS overlay. This allows easy geographical orientation on the map and instantaneous identification of installation points, as well as real-time detection of anomalies, predictive analysis and consequent reduction of water waste due to massive maintenance.
  2. A synoptic visualisation facilitates the understanding and visualization of the device diagram at the point of interest, with a time update and an instant control of the monitored parameters.
  3. Up-grade from simple monthly point measurements with traditional methods to dedicated reports that aggregate large amounts of data exportable in various formats and long-term measurement trends that project analysis activities to a synchronised monitoring.

Sustainability, digitisation and data-driven approach

The water network at the points of interest has been transformed into a fully digitised environment and driven by a data-driven approach that has optimised, also thanks to the features of the ACE platform, every technical operation-and has guaranteed a real support to the quality of water that flows every day in the homes of citizens.

“The ability to monitor in real-time, to have a statistical display of the required parameters combined with dynamic reports and alarm notifications also on smartphones/tablets, make the control process simple and fast.” – explains Barbara Barucco (Laboratorio – Sen.Professional).
“The path undertaken with Onyax and the NEMO devices, are allowing us to optimize our water analysis phases, which until some time ago were carried out exclusively in the traditional way, reducing the intervention time of laboratory technicians with a vision of efficiency and energy saving”.

A2A’s mission towards water has been clear for years: to guarantee every user controlled water, by activating cutting-edge technologies that also guarantee a sustainable approach towards citizens and industries..


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