Case Study

Integrated Water Quality Monitoring in Australia

Metasphere and Unitywater Case Study


Related Topics

Water Quality Monitoring


Unitywater is an essential service provider serving Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Noosa communities in South East Queensland. It supplies more than 791,000 people with sewage treatment and water services. Unitywater supplies 59,077 megalitres of drinking water each year via a network measuring 6,172 km in length.


A critical component of Unitywater’s water quality management system is operational monitoring: the tracking of key parameters through the water supply chain. Historically, Unitywater made network operation and optimisation decisions based on ‘grab’ samples taken at fixed intervals, to improve the quality of water delivered to customers.

Grab sampling, in this case at 1-2 weekly intervals, is important to verify water quality and provide assurance that upstream processes have been maintained, but is of limited benefit in understanding system performance at higher resolution. The data is not sensitive enough to pinpoint water quality changes in processes such as reservoir fill/empty cycles, pump station operations, high/low diurnal demand patterns, and source water changes. Realtime water quality monitoring is needed to improve visibility and data resolution online.


Australian water authorities are already using Evoqua’s Chloroclam to monitor the quality of their water supplies, and typically want the monitored chlorine residual data communicated to their SCADA systems. Because Chloroclam is a battery powered device, Unitywater needed a battery-powered data logger that offered a ‘plug and play’ solution. The Point Colour RTU range was the perfect choice as it can integrate Chloroclam to a SCADA system.

Integration requires a custom serial cable with internal smarts. Metasphere, with Evoqua’s support, designed and prototyped a smart cable to convert Chloroclam’s bespoke protocol to Modbus. This allows the Point Colour RTU/datalogger to retrieve Chloroclam data using the standard Modbus protocol, which is then timestamped in the RTU for SCADA system use.


Point Colour coupled with the Chloroclam battery-powered water quality monitor proves an excellent solution to remotely monitor, pinpoint and verify water quality changes in key procedures such as reservoir fill/empty cycles, pump station operations, high/low diurnal demand patterns and source water changes. It is now possible for many sites to deploy this monitoring solution, to generate data to ensure the maintenance of upstream processes or barriers, and optimise overall system performance. The Modbus protocol supported on the Point Colour RTU range enables the devices to seamlessly integrate with the Chloroclam water quality monitor.


Unitywater needed a water quality monitoring solution, to be integrated with its SCADA system, with the following at each monitoring location:

  • Plastic vented underground residential pillar (URP) including concrete base, with Unitywater name and logo
  • All necessary plumbing, including DN25 HDPE valved pipework connection where noted
  • Evoqua Chloroclam (measuring Free or Total Chlorine) mounted within pillar
  • Metasphere Point Colour RTU mounted within pillar
  • Metasphere I/O Termination Cable
Featured SWAN Members: